Expunging an Adult Criminal Record in Alabama
NOLO Local Defense Lawyers
Enter your zip code to find local criminal defense lawyers.
Most of the time, it’s not possible to expunge --that is, erase or seal -- an accurate arrest or charge on an Alabama criminal record, even if you have completed probation. Alabama allows adult criminal records to be expunged in very limited circumstances. Below is a summary of Alabama’s state laws governing expungement.
Expunging an Inaccurate Criminal Record
If there is a mistake in your record, you may be able to have the record changed or erased. The best way to correct a criminal record is to visit the website of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) and complete a form called Requests to Review, Challenge, or Appeal Criminal History Record Information. (Alabama Administrative Code § 265X2.03.)
You may also correct an error in your criminal record by contacting the agency where the record is located. If your record is found to be inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading, the agency or a court may order the record to be purged or corrected. The ACJIC will then be notified of the changes. (Alabama Code §§ § 41-9-645, § 41-9-646.)
Expunging a Criminal Record If You Are Arrested and Released Without Charge
If you were arrested or taken into custody and law enforcement collected fingerprints, photographs, or other identifying information from you, and you were later released without charge or cleared of the offense through legal proceedings, the identifying information must be purged from the criminal records. (Alabama Code § 41-9-625.)
Expunging DNA Records
If you were convicted of a crime and your conviction was reversed, you may request to have any DNA records expunged. (Alabama Code § 36-18-26.)
Expunging Allegations of Child Abuse or Neglect
If you were investigated on a report of child abuse or neglect, but there was no conviction, any record of the report or related data must be expunged. (Alabama Code § 26-14-3.)
Expungement Upon Completion of a Pretrial Diversionary Program
Under some circumstances, a criminal defendant may be offered the opportunity to participate in a pretrial diversion program -- sometimes called "preprosecution probation." A defendant who successfully performs the conditions of such a program can ask that all records related to the diverted offense be expunged. (Alabama Code § 45-8-82.40.)