Neighborhood activists encourage people to apply for Alabama’s expanded expungement program

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Thousands of Alabamians with minor criminal offenses could potentially see their records cleared with Alabama’s expanded expungement law that will take effect in a few months.

Now, city, state, and local leaders are working to get the word out about the application process for the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment and Eliminate Recidivism Act — or the REDEEMER Act.

Susan Palmer, president of Neighborhood Advocates for Justice, said she is encouraging people to apply to see if they meet the qualifications to get misdemeanors cleared, which can include drug paraphernalia or minor trafficking offenses. To be eligible to get a crime expunged, a person’s crime must be a non-violent misdemeanor conviction. Alabama’s current expungement law only applies to people found not guilty for their crime or who saw their charge dismissed.

Palmer said many families continue to be impacted by these crimes, leading many of them unable to find work.

“We have mothers and fathers that are also impacted and it’s not just someone who’s young. Sometimes we were younger a teenager of legal age and we did something. We’ve got people 20 years crying about this because they can’t get a job,” Palmer said.

The expanded expungement law is set to take effect July 1. People who play on applying to see if they qualify must pay a $300 fee.

Palmer said organizations in Central Alabama have a community event planned to help with expungement planned for May. It is suggested people consult attorneys if they have any questions regarding if they qualify. Also, people must apply to see charges cleared in the circuit court in the county the crime was committed in.

Those looking to find out more about the expungement process in Alabama can click this link.

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