Driving in Alabama with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 percent or higher is illegal. The consequences of a DUI arrest in Alabama can last for several years.
Some residents wrongly assume that the state will remove a DUI offense from their record after they’ve completed all the terms of their sentence.
But this isn’t the case. The offense stays on your record and can affect your ability to get a job or rent a house.
Have you ever wondered if you can remove the DUI offense from your record? Below is a guide that highlights all you need to know about removing DUIs from your record in Alabama.
In Alabama, it is possible to have a DUI expunged from your record under certain conditions. You must meet certain eligibility requirements and follow the proper legal process to have the DUI expunged.
The exact requirements may vary depending on the circumstances of the case, but generally include:
- After the dismissal of DUI charges
- When you’re acquitted after trial
- If you’re granted Youthful Offender status by the courts
- If your case is heard in juvenile court
- You must not have any other criminal convictions on your record
If your DUI arrest leads to a conviction, you may not get an expungement according to Alabama laws.
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Steps for Removing a DUI Case in Alabama
Expunging an offense can be a complex task. If you want to know how to remove DUI charges from your record, here are steps to follow.
Step 1 ─ Determine Eligibility
Go through the DUI law on expungement and see if you meet the criteria of eligibility. You can consult with your DUI attorney to determine if you qualify.
Step 2 ─ Gather the Necessary Documents
Ensure you have the required documents for your DUI expungement case. Some of the documents you will need include:
- A certified copy of the criminal record showing the DUI charge
- Proof of payment of any fines, restitution, or court costs
- Proof of completion of any court-ordered probation or treatment programs
- A statement from the petitioner explaining the reasons for seeking expungement and how the DUI arrest has affected their life
- Affidavits from character witnesses attesting to the petitioner’s good conduct since the conviction
Step 3 ─ File a Petition for Expungement
Once you have the right documents, you will need to file a petition to remove your DUI charge with the court. This is usually done in the county where the DUI conviction occurred. The petition should include the specific details of your case and the reasons why you believe your DUI should be expunged.
Have an Alabama attorney assist you with the filing process since they will be familiar with the specific requirements and procedures for expungement in your jurisdiction. After filing the petition, a hearing will be scheduled in front of a judge.
Step 4 ─ Notify the District Attorney
Alabama law requires you to notify the district attorney’s office about your petition for expungement. The notice must be in writing. It should include your name and the case number.
Make sure you file the notice with the district attorney’s office not less than 30 days before the hearing on the petition for DUI expungement. This allows them to review the case and determine if they will object to the removal of the DUI from your record.
Step 5 ─ Attend a Hearing
You will have to go to the hearing. During the hearing, the court to review your petition and determine whether to grant your request for expungement.
The district attorney will have an opportunity to object to the expungement if they believe it is not in the best interest of justice.
Ensure you have a lawyer present to represent you at the hearing. They will help you present evidence and testimony in support of your petition. Additionally, the attorney will also help you cross-examine any witnesses and make arguments on your behalf.
Step 6 ─ Wait for the Court’s Decision
After the hearing, the court will decide whether to grant your petition for DUI expungement. If your petition’s granted, the court will issue an order directing the removal of your DUI arrest from public records and public court files.
Since there will be no record of a DUI charge, you can answer “no” when filling out any applications that ask if you’ve ever been arrested.
How Can a Lawyer Help With the Removal of a DUI Charge?
Hiring a lawyer before you start the DUI expungement process is highly recommended. Here is why:
Advise You on Your Eligibility to Get Expunged
A lawyer will review the specifics of your DUI charges. From their findings, they will advise you on whether you are eligible for expungement under Alabama law.
Prepare and File the Petition
Filing a petition can be challenging if you don’t have any knowledge about the law. Any mistakes made when filing the petition can lead to the dismissal of your case.
This is why you need a DUI attorney by your side. They will help you draft and file the petition accordingly.
Represent You at Hearing
A good lawyer will represent you at the hearing. They will present evidence and arguments on your behalf. This will help increase the chances of the court granting you the expungement.
Help You Navigate the Legal Process
The law can be complex and difficult to navigate on your own. A lawyer can guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are well-protected throughout. They know more about DUI laws to help you win your case.
Help Ensure the Sealing of Your DUI Records
Once the court grants your petition, your lawyer will make sure your record is sealed. This way, it won’t be accessible to the public.
Remove a DUI from Your Record in Alabama
To remove a DUI arrest from your record, you need to hire a qualified lawyer. They can give you legal counsel on how to navigate the situation.
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