published Thursday, March 20th, 2014

AL House approves expungement bill

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — People accused, but not convicted, of certain crimes in Alabama might soon be able to have their records cleared.

The Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow people to petition the circuit court to wipe arrests from their record if they were found not guilty or if the charges were dropped.

Only certain nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies would be covered by the petition process. Rep. Chris England of Tuscaloosa said people accused of violent crimes would not be eligible to remove the arrest record.

England said people currently carry the blemish of an arrest for their entire lives even if the arrest was in error.

House members approved the bill on an 88-8 vote. The bill now returns to the Alabama Senate.

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