Neal Honeywheat wants custody of his two children. He isn’t married to his children’s mother, but they had been in a very long term relationship since high school. They were together off and on throughout the party years. She knew that he had used
marijuana and drank quite a bit, but she wasn’t with him when he was arrested for his vices. He has, since that time, really cleaned up his act. He has completed his degrees, and is about to apply for some higher paying jobs. His ex-girlfriend still doesn’t have very good taste in men, and she’s stopped chasing after him since he’s cleaned up his act. He’s truly grown up and wants to move on with his life, but he’s scared of his previous arrests messing up his future. Because of this he has put off Petitioning for Custody and applying for multiple jobs. He has learned from these arrests, and the subsequent punishments that he received, but he knows that they will forever haunt his future… or will they?
Alabama has recently passed a new law that allows you to expunge your previous arrest record. It appears that Neal Honeywheat may be just the person that the
Legislature had in mind when drafting this bill. A few things you need to know about the new Expungement Law are that:
- This applies to misdemeanors, traffic violations, and municipal ordinance violations. You can have these expunged if the case was dismissed with prejudice, no-billed by a grand jury, you were found not guilty, or the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than two years ago and has not been refiled. This includes all that dirty evidence of the arrest record, booking or arrest mug shots, index references, and other data related to the charge that could be used against you.
- It also applies to Felonies! Though, they have to be non-violent felonies. In this situation, the case must have been dismissed with prejudice, no-billed by a grand jury, a finding of not guilty, and one year after completion of a diversion program (like drug court). Further, you may be able to take advantage of this if the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than five years ago and the case has not been refiled, AND you have not been convicted of any other felony nor misdemeanor crime, any violations, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous five years.
- In order to take advantage of the Expungement, you’ll need to Petition the Court in which the charges were filed, along with a sworn statement stating whether or not there has been a previous expungement request, specifications of the arrest and facts related to it, and you’ll need to serve the DA. Because of the multitude of information requested by the Court, you’ll need to speak with an attorney just to make sure you have your ducks in a row. You don’t want to mess up the process, have the expungement denied, and then have to refile stating that your previous request has been denied. It’s a good idea to contact an attorney ahead of time, set up a consult, and make sure everything is right the first time. If, like Mr. Honeywheat, your future with your children and your livelihood, depends on this Expungement, you’ll need to make sure everything is done correctly.
- Your record disappears from the Public Eye. At this point, after it has been approved, the court and other agencies will simply reply to any inquiries that no records exists on the matter. You do not have to disclose this information to any potential employer, creditor, or on other types of applications. In order to get this information, a person would need a court order.