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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27692
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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My son was convicted of a felon (theft) in 2008 it was

Customer Question

My son was convicted of a felon (theft) in 2008 it was appealed but nothing ever came of it. He got five years probation with restitution. Can this charge be exonerated?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your son's conviction.

The only way to exonerate someone is to produce evidence that they did not, in fact, commit the crime after all. Usually, that requires proof that someone else did it, or ironclad proof that the accused person was somewhere else at the time the crime was committed (like you have a video of him in Europe when he was accused of committing a crime in Alabama). If you have that evidence, then you should talk to the lawyer who was appointed to represent your son. It's very difficult to prove that someone is innocent, so a local attorney can help significantly. It's not another avenue for seeking an appeal. Once a person's appeals have been exhausted, then he'd have to look into other avenues to get the charge removed from his record, such as expungement or a pardon.

Alabama law unfortunately does not have a process that allows a person who has been convicted of a felony to clean up his record. People are only able to have felony charges sealed if they were found not guilty at trial or the conviction was overturned on appeal. Ala. Code, Section 15-27-2. Your son does have the ability to apply for official forgiveness for the crime, called a pardon. You should know that, while the process of applying for a pardon is very easy, less than 1% of requested pardons are granted. Most applications are denied. The address to send a request is here:

http://www.pardons.state.al.us/Pardons.aspx

Here is the list of information to include in the request.

http://www.pardons.state.al.us/Pardons.aspx

The board of pardons also provides restoration of voting rights to convicted felons after they have completed their sentences. That's separate - he still will have a conviction on his record and it must be disclosed when applying for jobs, but he will be able to vote again. The information needed to make that request is in the second link posted above.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Although I am disappointed in your reply I guess it will suffice. I knew bout the pardon. But he can't get a job. He has been 1-1/2 tears without work with 2 kids to support. i would just like to say although he was convicted, he did not get a sentence, only restitution
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry. As time passes, it should hopefully get easier for him to find a job, because recent convictions tend to hurt someone a lot more than older ones. But there isn't a process that will allow him to have the conviction removed without a pardon.

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