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Circuit Criminal

Expungement Guidance

  1. An expungement check list may be obtained from the Circuit Criminal Division of the Etowah County Circuit Clerk's office located at 801 Forrest Avenue, Suite 202, Gadsden, AL 35901
  2. Petitions for expungement of records from either the Etowah County District Court or any municipal court located in Etowah County must be filed in the Circuit Criminal Division of the Circuit Clerk's office. There is a filing fee of $300.00 per case or count which is due upon the filing of an expungement petition.
  3. Petitions for expungement of records (Form 65) may be found at E-Forms (Criminal Forms). Request for criminal history forms may be found at www.alea.gov (Criminal Records Expungement - Kit, Orders & Forms)
    Note: Please use the Petition for Expungement form from the Alacourt.gov web site only.
  4. Both the Expungement Check List and the Petition for Expungement of Records reflect the requirements of the petitioner, however, if necessary, you may choose to consult an attorney to assist in filing an expungement petition on your behalf.
  5. Upon 45 days from the filing of the expungement petition, if no objection has been made from the district attorney or municipal prosecuting attorney, the petition will be sent to a circuit judge for ruling. If an objection is filed, a hearing should be scheduled no sooner than 14 days from the objection filing date. The judge may rule on the petition with or without a hearing if no objection has been filed. Please allow up to 60 days to receive notification of ruling.

Expungement Check List

Effective July 6, 2014, individuals may apply for an expungement of their criminal records under the following circumstances:

  1. For a misdemeanor criminal offense, a violation, a traffic violation, or a municipal ordinance violation:
    1. When the charge is dismissed with prejudice.
    2. When the charge has been no billed by a grand jury.
    3. When the person has been found not guilty of the charge.
    4. When the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than two years ago, has not been refiled, and the person has not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous two years. See Ala. Code 1975 §15-27-1
  2. For a non-violent felony offense:
    1. When the charge is dismissed with prejudice.
    2. When the charge has been no billed by a grand jury.
    3. a.  The charge was dismissed after successful completion of a drug court program, mental health court program, diversion program, veteran's court, or any court-approved deferred prosecution program after one year from successful completion of the program.  
      b.  Expungement may be a court-ordered condition of a program listed in paragraph a.
    4. The charge was dismissed without prejudice more than five years ago, has not been refiled, and the person has not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous five years.
    5. Ninety days have passed from the date of dismissal with prejudice, no-bill, acquittal, or nolle prosequi and the charge has not been refiled. Ala. Code 1975 §15-27-2.
    6. For any felony offense, including a violent offense as defined in §12-25-32(15), Ala. Code 1975, if the person has been found not guilty of the charge. 

§15-27-2, Ala.Code 1975.

The individual must provide the Court, at the time of filing, with the following items:

  1. A sworn statement under penalty of perjury stating that the individual has satisfied the requirements for an expungement and whether they have previously applied for an expungement in any jurisdiction and whether an expungement has been previously granted. (See Form CR-65) Ala. Code 1975 §15-27-3(a). A copy of which can be found at: E-Forms, under “Criminal Forms.” See also Petition for Expungement of Records
  2. Certified copy of the arrest, disposition, or the case action summary from the appropriate agency for the court record the petitioner seeks to have expunged as well as a certified official criminal record obtained from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.  In addition to setting forth grounds for the court to consider, the petitioner shall specify what criminal charges from the record are to be considered, further specify the agency or department that made the arrest and any agency or department where the petitioner was booked or was incarcerated or detained pursuant to the arrest or charge sought to be expunged from the agency or court in which the arrest was made or the charge was filed and which the individual is seeking to have expunged. § 15-27-3(b). Ala. Code 1975 
  3. Certified copy of the individual’s criminal record from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.  § 15-27-3(b) Ala. Code 1975 . Please visit their website at www.alea.gov to request a copy.
  4. $300 administrative filing fee or Affidavit of Substantial Hardship. See form C-10, a copy of which may be found at E-Forms under “Civil Forms.” Filing a substantial hardship affidavit is required to apply for indigent status. If the court grants indigent status, the individual may be given a payment plan for the $300 administrative fee. The fee will not be waived, and an expungement will not be granted until the fee is paid in full. Ala. Code 1975 § 15-27-4.  In addition, no order of expungement shall be granted unless all terms and conditions, including court ordered restitution, are satisfied and paid in full, including interest, to any victim, or the Alabama Crime Victim's Compensation Commission, as well as court costs, fines, or statutory fees ordered by the sentencing court to have been paid, absent a finding of indigency by the court. § 15-27-12,  Ala. Code 1975 

The District Attorney’s Office (or Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in municipal cases) must be served with a copy of the petition by the individual seeking the expungement. The District Attorney (or City Prosecutor) will have 45 days to file an objection to the petition to expunge criminal records. If the prosecution objects, a hearing will be scheduled no sooner than 14 days from the objection filing date. Otherwise individuals should not expect to hear anything regarding their request to expunge records for at least 60 days. The judge assigned to the case may rule on the request with or without a hearing, if no objection is filed.

Should you have any questions regarding our filing requirements, please do not hesitate to call the Etowah County Circuit Clerk’s Office at (256) 549-5448.

DISCLAIMER: This office cannot provide legal advice; therefore, this information is not to be construed as a legal opinion. Should a reader interpret any part of it as legal opinion or advice, it is not so intended and does not reflect the legal opinion of the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts or this Office, and does not have the force and effect of law.