In an unprecedented move, the State of Alabama green lighted an expungement measure that could offer a fresh start to qualifying residents. Under Code of Ala. § 15-27-1, enacted July 7, 2014, those persons charged with -but not convicted of- misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies can petition to have their criminal records dismissed under the following circumstances:
The charge was “no-billed” by a grand jury
A dismissal of the charge with prejudice
A finding of not guilty
A non-violent felony charge
One year after completion of a court mandated diversion program
One may also qualify to petition five years after a charge was dismissed without prejudice, if the case has not been refiled, or there has been no other conviction of felony, misdemeanor, or traffic violation.
Opponents have expressed that the law, in effect, erases the availability of complete access to an offender’s criminal records, which could likely present risks to public safety by handicapping employment background screenings. Supporters counter the argument by noting that the law prohibits the expunging of violent felony charges, and while the abrogated information is no longer available to the public, it does remain accessible to law enforcement and judicial officials. Others have voiced concerns about the relevance of this law during the age of technology, citing that because of the Internet, information is likely to never truly disappear. If the intent, they purport, is to in fact clear a person’s criminal record, then the effectiveness of the law should be called into question.
The Cedalius Group understands the importance of criminal research, and just how disastrous inaccuracies can be. This is why we remain committed to providing a hiring process that is thorough and systematic, with research that is compliant with local, state, and federal laws. To perform our exhaustive history criminal research, we explore:
- Federal Criminal History
- County Criminal History
- Sex Offender Registries
- Global Crimes and Sanctions
The Cedalius Group offers insight into the background screening industry for educational purposes. We always recommend you consult with your legal counsel to determine practices that best suit your business needs.