Alabama Criminal Records
What is a Criminal Record in Alabama?
Criminal records are official documents and information on offenses for which a person was arrested, prosecuted, charged, entered a plea, convicted or sentenced. It also contains information on offenses for which a person was acquitted or discharged. Alabama Law enforcement Agency (ALEA) and departments of criminal justice are generally the custodians of criminal records in Alabama State. Information contained in a criminal record could be minor, such as the name of the offender or more detailed, with information on documents filed in court by the prosecution and the defense. Staterecords.org provides access to criminal records that are public under Alabama law.
What's in a Criminal Record?
Information contained in an Alabama criminal record may vary from state to state and differ from one county to the other within the same state. However, criminal records may contain
- First middle and last name of the offender
- Offense(s) committed and law violated
- Physical descriptions such as race, height, eye color, hair color, and so on
- Date of birth
- Pending charges
- Acquitted or dismissed charges
What is an Arrest Record?
An arrest record is part of a report created by law enforcement officers after the apprehension, detention or questioning of an individual or persons in connection to a criminal investigation, criminal complaint or criminal conduct. An arrest is often the starting point for many offenders whose criminal case and records go through law enforcement, criminal justice system and the correctional system in Alabama State. Although an arrest does not always lead to a criminal charge in Alabama, records of a persons’ arrest may still be accessible to the public unless they meet the requirements for expungement and are able to successfully expunge the arrest records. Once a person is arrested and their fingerprint is taken, information about their arrest and fingerprint is automatically analyzed, stored and is retrievable through the Automated Fingerprint Identification Services (AFIS) section of the ALEA.
An arrest record often provides details on the offense for which the suspect or offender is arrested, charges, name, address, physical description, the fingerprint of the offender and the steps to follow after the arrest, such as appearing in court.
What is an Arrest Warrant?
An arrest warrant is a formal document, which arms law enforcement officers with the authority to arrest a person in connection with a crime. Arrest warrants are issued by a judge or a magistrate when law enforcement officers or a complainant has shown probable cause under oath that they believe that a person named or against whom the warrant is issued, has committed an offense.
What are Misdemeanors in Alabama?
A misdemeanor is a category offense for which the penalty is a maximum of 1-year imprisonment, fine and hard labor. Depending on the severity of the crime, misdemeanors are further classified, with Class A misdemeanors being the most severe with harsher punishments of not more than 1-year imprisonment and a maximum of $6000 in fine. Class B and Class C misdemeanors are less severe with a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 6 and 3 months in custody or $3000 and $500 fines respectively.
Misdemeanors are considered lesser offenses and incarceration terms are usually served in county jails. Records created by authorities relating to the misdemeanor offense and the offender remain in the state repository as part of the criminal background history. A few examples of misdemeanors under Alabama laws include
- Witness tampering
- Resisting arrest
- Public lewdness
- Disorderly conduct
- 3rd-degree assault
- Drug paraphernalia
What are Felonies in Alabama?
A felony offense is a criminal conviction with the highest possible penalty under Alabama laws, which can range from 1 year and a day to a death sentence. Felonies tend to be crimes that result in grave danger and destruction to life and property. Crimes resulting in a felony charge under the Alabama State Code were formerly divided into 3 categories, Class A, B, and C. Class D category was added to the law in 2016. Offenses and punishments ascribed to them are also outlined by degrees, First-degree assault, for instance, is a more brutal form of assault and attracts a sterner sentence than 2nd-degree assault.
Alabama law imposes additional prison time if a person convicted of a felony has also been convicted of one more felony in the past. The length of the enhanced penalty depends on the class (A, B, and C) of the prior felony and the number of prior felony convictions on record. Felonies are not limited to but usually include:
- Human trafficking
- Armed robbery
What is Alabama Sex Offender Listing?
A sex offender listing is a registry of information released to the public about persons who have been convicted of sexually motivated crimes. Sex offenders are required under Alabama Laws to register and submit to fingerprinting in person every year on their birth month and every 3 months after that. Sex offenders only appear on the registry after a conviction and release on probation or from incarceration on completion of their sentence.
Information submitted by the registered sex offender is then transmitted to the ALEA for verification. ALEA updates the sex offender registry daily and in real-time once information is transmitted from local law enforcement. Information contained on the registry may include the residence, name, date of birth, physical descriptions of the offender.
What are Serious Traffic Violations in Alabama?
A serious traffic violation is an offense under Alabama laws that involves willful or wanton for the rights or safety of persons or property. A serious traffic offense may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony punishable in accordance with the law, based on the severity of the case and the consequence or potential harm to public and property. Serious traffic violations may include
- Homicide by vehicle or vessel
- Fleeing or attempting to escape a police officer
- Driving while under the influence of controlled substance or alcohol
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving on a suspended license
What are Alabama Conviction Records?
A conviction record reflects the decision of the findings of guilt issued by the court after a court proceeding in which a person charged with a criminal offense is prosecuted and defended. A record of conviction would usually appear on the criminal record for a person who has been declared guilty by a court or jury, entered a guilty plea in a criminal case.
What are Alabama Jail and Inmate Records?
Jail and inmate records are official documents with information on persons incarcerated or formerly in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). The ADOC provides public online access to their inmate search website. The inmate search only provides information on persons currently being incarcerated in any of the facilities under the administration of ADOC and does not include historical data. The search service enables people to find inmates of interest and obtain some feedback on the location of the inmate as well as
- year of birth
- Status such as release rate, possible parole, life imprisonment, death row
- Offense committed
- Alabama Institutional serial number AIS)
Information about young persons adjudicated as delinquents is not available on the offender search. Sheriff’s Department in various Counties also maintains information about inmates being held in county jails.
What is Alabama Parole Information?
Parole records provide the official information about persons who have been granted some freedom outside a correctional facility so they can continue to serve their sentence still under the supervision of correctional officers but within a community, permitted by the Alabama Bureau of Pardon and ParolesBoar( ABPP). The gravity of offense for which an inmate is convicted usually determines if the court would grant the possibility of parole and when the inmate can come up for parole.
The ABPP consists of 3 persons who may or may not approve an inmate for parole. Parole would generally be granted only if the Board is able to determine that the inmate would remain in the society after their release without breaching the welfare of the society or contravening laws. The parolee is required to abide by all their conditions of parole or risk arrest and incarceration.
What are Alabama Probation Records?
Probation records are official documents containing the order of District or Circuit Court in Alabama granting a person convicted of a crime, the opportunity to remain within a community under the supervision of law enforcement officers instead of going to jail or prison. Before the court grants probation, a probation officer will carry out investigations, based on the recommendation of the court that the offender is put on probation and present their findings to aid the court in its decision.
A person on probation is not entirely free to live their lives as they did before the criminal conviction, they are required to follow strict rules and regulations a part of the terms of their probation, failing which they may be arrested without a warrant and brought before the court for possible revocation. The maximum term of probation granted for a felony is 5 years and 2 years for a misdemeanor. The court stipulates the terms of probation, length, and conditions of probation granted which may include
- Maintaining non-threatening and noncriminal behavior
- Avoiding associating with known criminals or persons with disreputable character
- Following the instructions and orders of a probation officer
- Reporting to a probation officer as scheduled
- Avoiding possession or unlawful use of controlled substances
What are Alabama Juvenile Criminal Records?
Juvenile records contain documents and information pertaining to a person below the age of 18 who has been adjudicated delinquent by a court. A child may be adjudicated delinquent if they have committed an offense that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult.
A child adjudicated delinquent for an act that would fall under a Class A felony involving the use of a dangerous weapon, physical force and causing physical harm and injury is classified as a serious juvenile offender and may be sentenced to serve a minimum 1 year in the custody of the Department of Youthful Services. If a child older than 16 commits a similar offense, they are considered a youthful offender prosecuted as an adult.
Juvenile criminal records are generally confidential under Alabama Laws. the child’s parents, legal guardians, attorney or other persons representing the child may have access to the records as well as juvenile and criminal court personnel as allowed under the law. Records relating to adjudicated juveniles are maintained by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center. Law enforcement agencies are required to take necessary precautions ‘‘safeguards’’ to prevent unauthorized access to juvenile information and records. However, a court may order the disclosure of the records of a juvenile delinquent or release the information in the interest of national security or the child.