Our law office provides legal representation for clients seeking to remedy Youthful Offender cases on criminal backgrounds in Alabama. Does your criminal background report from ALEA and/or the FBI report a Youthful Offender, inaccurate, or incomplete charge? Our Alabama law office represents clients seeking to correct these criminal reports.
Cases Granted Youthful Offender Status in Alabama Courts and Criminal Background Reports
According to Alabama’s Youthful Offender statute – if a person charged with a crime in an adult court (not juvenile court) in Alabama is under the age of 21 at the time of the alleged offense, that person has the right to make an application with the court requesting Youthful Offender status be granted. If you had a prior criminal case in Alabama that was granted Youthful Offender status, it is sealed and the fact that you were arrested, charged, and adjudicated should NOT appear on your ALEA, FBI, or other criminal background reports. The report should be blank in relation to your prior Youthful Offender case.
For example, John Doe was charged with a felony drug charge in a county in Alabama many years ago. During the case, the Court granted Mr. Doe Youthful Offender status. As a result of receiving Youthful Offender status, his case was sealed by the Court Clerk. However, ALEA and the FBI are reporting the felony arrest on his Alabama and FBI criminal background report. Our law office represents people in Mr. Doe’s situation in seeking the remedy of correcting his criminal history reports to remove the improperly reported Youthful Offender case.
Youthful Offender Adjudications in Alabama are NOT Felony or Misdemeanor Convictions
If you were granted Youthful Offender status in a prior criminal case in Alabama and you were adjudicated “guilty” of being a youthful offender then you were not guilty of the original criminal charge. You are only adjudicated “guilty” of being a youthful offender – meaning you are not convicted of the original charged felony or misdemeanor in the case. Therefore, a person granted Youthful Offender status in Alabama does not lose civil or political rights the person would lose if convicted of the felony with no youthful offender status. You do NOT lose your right to own or possess a firearm or ammunition if you are adjudicated guilty of being a youthful offender in Alabama.
Criminal Charges Granted Youthful Offender Status by an Alabama Court are Sealed – no matter the outcome
Also, as explained above, if you are granted Youthful Offender status in Alabama – even if you are adjudicated guilty of being a youthful offender – your criminal history report should not be reporting the fact that you were ever arrested for the charge. In this situation, your ALEA and FBI criminal history reports should be clear of any arrest or charge because the youthful offender file is sealed by the Court under Alabama law.
Incomplete Criminal Background Report Indicates an Old Case is Still Open or Pending
Another situation involves potentially incomplete background reports where a person’s prior case shows a still pending or no disposition many years after a charge has been dismissed or nolle prossed.
For example, Jane Doe is charged with a felony drug charge in a county in Alabama. As a part of the case, Ms. Doe is allowed to enter Pre-trial Diversion and she successfully completes CRO and drug court. As a result, her case is “nolle prossed” or “dismissed”. However, on her criminal background report, the disposition is not reported, the charge appears to still be pending, or is inaccurately reported as a conviction. Our law office represents people in Ms. Doe’s situation in seeking the remedy of updating or correcting her criminal history reports to update the proper disposition.
Petition for Expungement vs. Requests to Correct Criminal Background
In these examples, if the client’s charge is also eligible for expungement in Alabama, we will discuss this remedy as it may be preferable in the situation. Inaccurate and incomplete criminal background reports in Alabama can result in a lost job opportunity, denial of a career advancement, denial of a professional license, denial of rental application, and more. Our law office will contact the proper agencies involved and work through the process in an effort to have inaccurate and incomplete criminal background reports from Alabama corrected for our clients.
No matter what state you currently reside, if you have a prior youthful offender charge in Alabama that is appearing on your ALEA criminal background report, we can represent you in seeking to remove this record from your report – including other inaccuracies. Feel free to contact Alabama Expungement Lawyer, Jordan M. Copeland via email at [email protected] or by phone at 205-924-3839 to discuss potential representation.