Alabama Pardon FAQs
I Am Not Eligible For Expungement or Record Sealing. What Are My Other Options?
Though Alabama does not offer an expungement process to its rehabilitated offenders, you may have another option for a better life through a pardon by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. A pardon does not offer the same benefit as an expungement, which essentially makes your criminal record nonexistent except for in specific circumstances, but it does offer the chance to prove your rehabilitation as well as get some of your rights back.
What’s the Difference Between an Expungement and a Pardon?
A very real distinction exists between an expungement and a pardon. When an expungement is granted, your record is expunged and you may treat the event as if it never occurred. A pardon does not “erase” the event; it pardons the event, which constitutes forgiveness.
Am I Eligible For a Pardon?
Once you have completed your sentence or three years of successful parole, you are eligible for a pardon. The only exception to this rule is if the petition for a pardon is based on innocence.
How Does the Pardon Process Work?
Obtaining a pardon requires an application, generally involving a statement from you and others showing your rehabilitation, and a subsequent hearing with the board. If you are granted a pardon, you may regain certain rights – like the right to vote or hold public office.
Once a request is received, it will be assigned to a probation officer for the completion of an investigation. The investigation will include current information on the your home situation, job status, and an updated criminal arrest record, written references and other information as warranted. Once the investigation is complete, a hearing will be set before the Parole Board. Required notification will be sent to the victim, certain officials in the jurisdiction of the conviction, and you. Once all required parties are notified, a hearing will be held before the Parole Board and a decision will be made to grant or deny the pardon request.
What’s a Restricted Pardon?
The pardon you receive will most likely be a restricted pardon. The board grants full pardons to less than two percent of cases considered. This means you will most likely not have all of your rights restored – particularly when it comes to firearms and the sex offender registry. However, all pardons come with the benefit of being both on your record and in an official document. This means you can use your official pardon to prove rehabilitation to a prospective landlord, educational institution, or employer.
How Do I Apply for a Pardon?
A request for a pardon can be made by writing the Board of Pardons and Paroles at P O Box 302405, Montgomery AL 36130-2405. The request should include all of the following information:
- Name under which convicted
- True Name
- Sex and race
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- AIS# (Alabama Prison number), if you have one
- Current physical address including county
- Current mailing address, if different
- Indicate if the conviction was a State or Federal Conviction
- Home telephone number
- Work telephone number, if you have one
- Complete list of charges, county(s) of conviction and year(s) of conviction.
Does Alabama Accept Applications for Pardons with Restoration of Civil and Political Rights for Individuals with a Federal Conviction?
Yes, if the sentence is complete. A pardon with restoration of civil and political rights may be granted to applicants who reside in Alabama. If you reside in another state, you should apply in your state of residence. A pardon from Alabama on a federal case is only good in Alabama.
Does the Board of Pardons and Paroles Pardon Misdemeanor Convictions?
Yes, if the conviction is considered a crime of moral turpitude under the Alabama Law. Example of crimes of moral turpitude are: theft, attempted theft, receiving stolen property, bad checks, domestic violence, fraud, desertion from the military and attempting to defraud.