Criminal Record Expungement in Covington County
One of the most fundamental principles of the United States justice system is that an individual is innocent until proven guilty. However, millions of people throughout the country encounter the issue of being arrested but never actually convicted of any crime. Not only could someone in this situation carry around a negative social stigma due to their arrest, but it can also be a significant obstacle to obtaining a well-paying job, getting a good education, advancing in their career, and applying for insurance, loans, or housing.
If you were arrested but never convicted and are experiencing this problem, contact a Covington County expungement lawyer today to discuss the expungement options available in the state of Alabama. Read on to learn more about how a dedicated criminal attorney could work for your freedom today.Expungement Law in Covington County
In Covington County, an individual may be eligible for expungement under Alabama Code Section 15-27 if they meet certain requirements. In determining whether or not someone’s criminal record is eligible for expungement, a judge will consider factors such as the nature and seriousness of the offense committed, when the offense occurred and under what circumstances, any available probation or parole records, and evidence of rehabilitation. Reach out to a skilled defense attorney to learn more.Determining Eligibility
According to Section 15-27-1 of the Alabama Code, an individual may file a petition with the Circuit Court of the county where the arrest happened to have their criminal record expunged if the arrest was for a misdemeanor, a traffic violation, or a municipal ordinance violation in addition to the following requirements:
- The charge was dismissed with prejudice
- The charge was dismissed without prejudice more than two years ago, was never refiled, and the individual was never convicted of any other crime during the prior two years
- No charge was billed by a grand jury
- The individual was found not guilty
Someone may also be eligible to have their criminal record expunged if they were arrested for a non-violent felony, as defined in Section 12-25-32(14), or if they were arrested for a violent crime but were found not guilty after a trial. In 2017, the Alabama state legislature passed an amendment to the original law that allows for any felony to be eligible for expungement if the person was found not guilty after a trial. However, an arrest leading to a conviction is never eligible to be expunged.
Completion of a drug court program, or any other court-deferred prosecution program such as a mental health program, diversion program, or veteran’s court, may also qualify someone as eligible to have their record expunged one year after the program’s completion date.Reach Out to a Covington County Expungement Lawyer Today
There are many important reasons why someone might want to have their criminal record expunged. A Covington County expungement lawyer could help you prepare an expungement petition, giving you a greater chance of success and finally getting an arrest off of your criminal record.
Expungement petitions are fairly technical in nature, and an experienced Covington County expungement lawyer may be able to help ensure you meet all of the requirements set forth in Alabama’s expungement statute, as well as all the factors that a Circuit Court may consider in deciding your case. A Covington County expungement lawyer could also represent you in the event an objection is filed for your petition and your case requires a court hearing. Consider scheduling your initial consultation today.