People arrested for and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Alabama but never actually convicted of the crime can still be faced with serious consequences, perhaps for the rest of their lives. Many professional organizations and societal institutions will negatively judge an individual or applicant just for having DUI charges on their record. In order to clear their name and move towards a better tomorrow, people can sometimes petition for a DUI expungement.
What is DUI Expungement in Alabama?
Expungement – also called expunction – is the legal process of erasing an arrest, charge, or sometimes even a conviction off a criminal record if certain requirements are met. Alabama is one of several states that is notorious for not making it easy to use expungement. In most cases, the state will only consider expungement if the petitioner has never been convicted of a DUI or another serious crime and if the DUI in question is a misdemeanor, not a felony.
Other prerequisites that must be met for your DUI expungement to be considered are:
- You were not convicted of the DUI or found guilty.
- It has been at least one year since you completed any necessary diversion programs.
- If your DUI charge was dismissed, it was done so without prejudice.
- If your DUI charge was a felony, it must not have been related to vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter.
Expungement Can Bring Numerous Benefits
If expungement is a complicated process in Alabama, is it worth considering for your DUI charge or arrest? In nearly all cases, absolutely. A successful expungement may take some time but the benefits it brings simply cannot be attained so long as a DUI mark is on your record.
After an expungement, you are far more likely to find gainful employment, be approved for bank loans and credit lines, and be accepted by landlords when renting living spaces. In many situations, you do not even have to admit to ever being arrested for a DUI or crime that was successfully expunged. When a nongovernmental official or agent asks if you have a mark on your criminal record, so long as all marks have been expunged, you can often legally answer ‘no.’ In addition to these great benefits, you will also feel peace of mind and a sense of stability that otherwise would have been difficult to achieve with a DUI charge hanging over your past.
To learn more about DUI expungement and to discover if it is an option for you, call 205.800.8596 to connect with Tidwell Law Group, LLC. Our Birmingham criminal defense attorney can review your situation during a free case evaluation to help you get pointed in the right direction.