Expungement of Criminal Records – General – Alabama
1. What is an expungement?
The process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges.
2. What records may be expunged?
DNA records, records related to investigations of child abuse, and records of criminal convictions found to contain inaccuracies or incomplete information. Specifically, if a person is the subject of child abuse investigation that doesn’t result in a conviction, the records related to that investigation must be expunged by the investigating agency or authority. § 26-14-3.
Upon the reversal of conviction, the director shall be authorized and empowered to expunge DNA records upon request of the person from whom the sample was taken. § 36-18-26.
3. Who is eligible for an expungement?
Persons who can prove inaccurate or incomplete information contained in their criminal convictions. § 41-9-645. Also, persons subject to investigation of child abuse not resulting in a conviction. § 26-14-3. A person whose criminal conviction is reversed may have their DNA records expunged. § 36-18-26. Persons who satisfactorily complete preprosecution or pretrial diversionary programs may ask the district attorney to petition for expungement. § 45-8-82.40.
4. How do I get an “Expungement”?
In the case of a person investigated for child abuse which does not lead to a conviction, the agency or authority holding the information related to the investigation has a duty to expunge the information and any data developed from it from their records.
If an individual believes his or her criminal records to be inaccurate or incomplete, he or she may request the original agency having custody or control of the detail records to purge, modify, or supplement them and to notify the Alabama Criminal Information Center of such changes. Should the agency decline to act or should the individual believe the agency’s decision to be unsatisfactory, the individual or his or her attorney may, within 30 days of such decision, enter an appeal to the circuit court of the county of his residence or to the circuit court in the county where such agency exists, with notice to the agency, to acquire an order by the court that the subject information be expunged, modified, or supplemented by the agency of record. Costs will be charged to the party in error.
A person whose criminal conviction is reversed may make a request to the state Director of Forensic Sciences to expunge their DNA sample records.
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