Expungement Basics

Interviewer: How would you define expungement?

Brett Hollett: The legal definition of expunge is to destroy; blot out; obliterate; efface designedly; strike out wholly. Expungement is a mechanism for people that have been charged with a crime to have any record of that arrest wiped out or destroyed. It will give people an opportunity to have an untarnished criminal record again.

Expungement Law in Alabama Basics

Interviewer: From my understanding, there’s a new bill that was passed so that now people are able to do this.

Brett Hollett: That’s correct. The governor signed the bill on April 7, 2014 so it should go into effect 90 days after his signing, which would be on July 7th. We’re excited about this law because this is the first time Alabama has had an expungement law on the books and this will be the first time for its citizens to have an opportunity to wipe their criminal records clean if they qualify under the provisions of the Act.

Interviewer: Was there anything similar to an expungement prior to this bill?

Brett Hollett: No. That’s why it’s so exciting and it shed some hope to many people whose lives have been negatively impacted by simply having an arrest record. It’s not the best expungement law in the country but it’s a good start and it’s definitely a good start for Alabama since we had no previous mechanism to allow any of our citizens to do this.

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