Arrest Record Expungement Bill Goes To Governor’s Desk

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Having your name cleared in a court of law doesn't necessarily mean your record is, a legal dilemma that's now being tackled at the state capitol.

A bill that would allow the permanent sealing of arrest records for people who were charged but never convicted went to the desk of Gov. Robert Bentley this week after passing by a near-unanimous margin in the Alabama House.

Proponents said being cleared of charges should equate to a clear record for job seekers since background checks conducted by most employers almost always search arrest history. Some say it could improve job prospects for many people.

"I think it should haveĀ been done a long time ago," said Huntsville defense attorney Mark McDaniel, who calls the legislation a matter of fairness. "You have situations where people don't get jobs, they don't get promotions if they've got some arrest on their record that they weren't even convicted of."

Gov. Bentley is expected to sign the bill into law, but there are a few caveats. Police can still access the sealed records as long as they can prove it's for investigative purposes, and a defendant must initiate a request for their arrest record to be expunged. Arrests for some violent crimes are also exempt.

Judges who would receive expungement requests are permitted, but not required, to seal the arrest records.


  • retta

    I have been arrested several times in the past., put on probation came short on money and got violated they said my arrest will not show up once I paid things off. no felionies but still there as I seek jobs to provide a better living and I now have 4 children and all I want to do is give them a different life that no one after 10 or so years will accept me for jobs

  • jamison jones

    Aint this something? Thats why the crime wave is so high in major cities and lately in huntsville. Alot of these guys in jail or prison attribute their plights(this ani’t no blame game either!) to this stuff! Look, you go look for a job, an apt, and they have to do background checks and what comes up for so many people is too much of an ARREST record than convictions. The Feds have it right though! If you have no convictions on your record, you are good. They don’t deal with triffling stuff like ‘arrest record’.. you are innocnet till proven guilty

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