The consequences of a DUI in Alabama can last for many, many years. Most people wrongly assume that after you've completed your DUI conviction sentence that the DUI offense is removed from your record. This is not the case; the DUI conviction stays on your record and can be accessed whenever you put in a job application or a rental application. Until you have the DUI conviction removed from your record, you'll always have to answer “yes” that you have been arrested on all applications that you fill out.
You'll have to initiate the action to get the DUI conviction removed from your record; the process of having the conviction removed is called Expungement.
An expungement means that the conviction is not included in the person's record, making it as though they never had a conviction.
Unfortunately, an expungement in Alabama is usually limited to first time offenders, but may be available to offenders who have had three DUI's or less.
During the expungement process, your records will be sealed and can't be found by the general public, in some cases, the records of your arrest and conviction will be completely destroyed.
You cannot get your records expunged if you are on probation or you are still completing your DUI sentence. In some situations an experienced Birmingham DUI Attorney can file a motion to terminate your probation and speed up the expungement process.
Again, expungement in Alabama is not automatic – it does not occur after a certain period of time, you have to initiate the process.
The steps to take to get your record expunged are as follows:
Petition the courts. There are many technical issues involved in an expungement and in some situations you'll have to wait a period of time before you can be granted an expungement, to make certain that the process is completed properly you should speak with an attorney familiar with Alabama DUI law.
Once the court grants your expungement request, all records of your arrest will be destroyed or sealed. Your conviction file will also be sealed or destroyed. Because there will be no record of your arrest or conviction, you can truthfully answer “no” when filling out applications that ask if you've ever been arrested.
Although your records and conviction records will be destroyed, if you are ever arrested again for another offense, you may face increased penalties because you committed another crime.
If you're interested in petitioning the courts for an expungement in Alabama, you should speak with an experienced Alabama attorney. Contact Alabama DUI Lawyer Steven Eversole for a free consultation. You can call us toll-free at (866) 831-5292 or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form or visit our office in downtown Birmingham.