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New Alabama law opens door to erase certain criminal convictions

by Whitney Brown

A new Alabama law taking effect July 7 allows individuals to apply to have certain criminal proceedings expunged, meaning an applicant will be excused from disclosing the offense on employment applications.

Offenses must be misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies, and charges must have been dismissed, been “no-billed” by a grand jury, been dismissed following the offender’s completion of a deferred prosecution program, or yielded a “not guilty” verdict.

The law protects employers from negligent hiring claims if they are unaware of an applicant’s criminal history because a criminal record was expunged. The law doesn’t obligate employers to mention the law on applications.

Whitney Brown is an associate with Lehr Middlebrooks & Vreeland, P.C., in Birmingham. She can be reached at wbrown@lehrmiddlebrooks.com.