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Frequently Asked Questions

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Administrative Services

How do I apply for employment with the Attorney General’s Office?

Generally, the Office uses the employment registers established by the Alabama Personnel Department.  For more information, please refer to their website at www.personnel.alabama.gov or you may contact our Human Resources Section at (334) 242-7305.


How can I be considered for a clerkship with the Attorney General’s Office?

Each summer, the Office utilizes the services of law clerks in every legal division.  We accept both second-year and third-year law school students.  For further information, contact the Office of the Chief Deputy Attorney General at (334) 353-4708.


How can I be considered for an internship with the Attorney General’s Office?

The Office regularly offers internships to undergraduates.  For additional information, please contact our Human Resources Section at (334) 242-7305.


How do I obtain a vendor disclosure statement and what information must be provided on the vendor disclosure statement?

Article 3B of Title 41, Code of Alabama addresses the disclosure statement which is required to be completed and filed with all proposals, bids, contracts, or grant proposals to the state of Alabama in excess of $5,000.   The disclosure statement and instructions can be found by clicking this link


Can our company request the opportunity to come to your office and present information regarding our programs and/or services?

Non-governmental organizations are prohibited from using space in many of the capital complex buildings, including the Office of the Attorney General to solicit insurance information, fundraising events, or to sale merchandise or services.



Animal Cruelty

Is there an Alabama law that prohibits cruelty to any animal in Alabama?

Yes, cruelty to animals is prohibited by law in Alabama. Source:  ALA. CODE § 13A-11-14 (1975) as amended by Act 2010-550. 


What are the penalties for cruelty to any animal?

Cruelty to animals is a Class B misdemeanor and on the first conviction of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment; on a second conviction of a violation of this section, shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment; and on a third or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment.
Source:  ALA. CODE § 13A-11-14 (1975) as amended by Act 2010-550.


Is there an Alabama law that specifically prohibits torture of or cruelty to domestic dogs or cats?

Yes, torture and cruelty to domestic dogs or cats are prohibited by law in Alabama.  Source:  ALA. CODE § 13A-11-240 et seq. (1975).


What are the penalties for torture of a dog or cat?

The penalties for torture of a domestic dog or cat are provided for under ALA. CODE §13A-11-241(a) & (b) (1975):

 (a) A person commits the crime of cruelty to a dog or cat in the first degree if he or she intentionally tortures any dog or cat or skins a domestic dog or cat or offers for sale or exchange or offers to buy or exchange the fur, hide, or pelt of a domestic dog or cat. Cruelty to a dog or cat in the first degree is a Class C felony. A conviction for a felony pursuant to this section shall not be considered a felony for purposes of the Habitual Felony Offender Act, Section 13A-5-9 to 13A-5-10.1, inclusive.

(b) A person commits the crime of cruelty to a dog or cat in the second degree if he or she, in a cruel manner, overloads, overdrives, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, injuries, mutilates, or causes the same to be done. Cruelty to a dog or cat in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

(Act 2000-615, p. 1252, §2.)


Boxing

Are boxing and mixed martial arts regulated in Alabama and if so by what agency?

Yes, professional boxing and amateur and professional mixed martial arts are regulated in Alabama by the Alabama Athletic Commission.  Source: ALA.CODE §41-9-1020 et seq. (1975).

 

Alabama Athletic Commission
260 Commerce Street
4th Floor
Montgomery, AL  36104
(334) 245-4374


Did the Alabama Athletic Commission have a different name when it was established in 2009?

Yes.  In Act 2009-622 the Commission was first called the Alabama Boxing (and Mixed Martial Arts) Commission. The name was changed to the Alabama Athletic Commission by Act 2010-222.



Capital Litigation

Describe the capital appeals process.

After a defendant is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, the appeal process begins.  In Alabama, the capital appeal process consists of three stages of review.  The Capital Litigation Division represents the State of Alabama and the victim’s interests throughout the appellate process before these courts.  In the first stage, called the direct appeal, a capital defendant who has been sentenced to death automatically has an appeal to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, the Alabama Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court.  In the second stage, called the state post-conviction appeal, the case returns to the circuit court where the original trial was held for a review of issues not appealable in a direct appeal.  The trial court’s decision can then be appealed to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, to the Alabama Supreme Court, and to the United States Supreme Court.  In the third stage, called the federal court stage, a capital defendant filed a federal habeas corpus petition in the United States District Court.  Once that court reaches a decision, the case is appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. 


How many people are on Alabama death row?

 The number of Alabama Inmates Currently on Death Row can be found at the following locations http://www.doc.state.al.us/deathrow.asp


What is the average length of time on death row for capital defendants who have been executed?

The average length of time on death row for the capital defendants who have been executed since 1976 is approximately 15 years and 5 months.


Where can you get general information on the death penalty appeals process?


Constitutional Defense

Alabama law requires that the Attorney General be notified whenever a constitutional challenge is made to an Alabama statute. Are you the Division that handles those routine challenges?

We are not.  Notices of constitutional challenges should be sent to the Executive Division, Alabama Attorney General’s Office, 501 Washington Avenue, P.O. Box 300152, Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0152.


I have been convicted of a crime and I feel my constitutional rights have been violated. Can your Division assist me?

The attorneys in the Division are assigned by the Attorney General to represent the State of Alabama, its agencies, and its officials in specific, complex litigation.  They do not provide general legal advice to the public.  You should also be aware that the Attorney General’s Office represents the State in all criminal appeals and some criminal trials.  Accordingly, you will need to retain a private attorney to represent your interests.

To obtain an attorney or legal aid referral, you may contact the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at http://www.alabar.org/lrs or by calling 1-800-392-5660.


I need to know whether a particular felony involves moral turpitude and, thus, disqualifies someone from voting. Can your Division assist me?

If you are a member of a county board of registrars (and thus charged with evaluating whether someone meets the State’s qualifications to vote), please call the Secretary of State’s legal office.  If you are a member of the general public, you will need to consult a private attorney.


I am an attorney, employed by another agency of the State of Alabama, and I have been assigned a case that is particularly complex. Can you help me?

Our division would be available to consult with you.  Please call 334-242-7432 for assistance.


I am a county or local official and I have a question about constitutional law. Should I contact your division?

To ensure order and uniformity, all requests for legal opinions from the Attorney General are coordinated by the Opinions Division.  You should direct your questions there, even if they involve matters of constitutional law.


I am a county or local attorney, and I am preparing a submission to the United States Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. I have a question about the submission. Can I contact your division?

Yes, our division would be available to talk to you, and we have both a memorandum on how to make a submission and sample submissions which we can offer.  Please call 334-242-7432 for assistance.



Consumer

Does the Attorney General’s Office offer tips on how to avoid consumer scams, identity theft, and other fraudulent activities?

Yes. You can find general tips on our Consumer Protection homepage.  If you have specific questions you can call our toll-free Consumer Protection
hotline at 1-800-392-5658.


How do I find out if there has been any fraudulent activity on my credit accounts?

You can detect fraudulent activity by thoroughly reviewing your credit reports.  If you suspect fraud, you can place a “fraud alert” on your credit account(s) by calling all three credit reporting agencies:

Equifax – 1-800-685-1111
Experian – 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion – 1-800-916-8800


How do I obtain a copy of my credit report?

You can obtain a free copy of your credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.  This is a federal government sponsored website.


I am considering hiring a contractor to make repairs on my home. What should I know?

There are many things you need to consider when hiring a contractor such as experience, references, and licensing.  To learn more tips on hiring a contractor, please see the Attorney General’s brochure: Verify the Contractor.


I have received notification that I have won the international lottery or sweepstakes. Should I send them money for taxes for fees? Should I cash the check or money order they have sent me to cover these costs?

No. International lotteries and sweepstakes are scams.  In fact, it is illegal for you to participate in a foreign lottery.  The checks or money orders you receive in the mail are most likely fraudulent.  Do not cash these checks or money orders.  You, not the scam artists, will be responsible for paying the bank back for the amount of the check and any fees incurred.  For more information on these types of scams, visit the website: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0086-international-lottery-scams or see the Attorney General’s Check Fraud Brochure.


I have been contacted and told that I am eligible for a free government grant. Should I give the company my personal information or pay them a fee to apply for the grant?

No. Never give your personal information to someone who contacts you out of the blue offering you a free government grant. If you give this person your personal information, the person may use it to steal your identity. Do not pay a person any fee for a grant. Grants are free; they do not require you to pay a fee to receive them.


I have been told that I can qualify for a loan, but I need to pay an advance fee to get the loan. Should I pay this fee?

No. If you are asked to mail, wire, or otherwise send in any prepaid fee, you will likely never receive a loan. For more information on these types of scams, go to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/telemarketing/tel16.shtm.


I have been contacted and asked to help someone cash checks or process inheritance money. In return for cashing the check or money order and wiring the money back to the person, I will be able to keep a percentage of the money. Should I participate in this money-making opportunity?

No. These deals are inevitably scams. By the time your bank returns the check or money order as fraudulent, you will already have wired the money to the scam artist. You will have to repay the bank for this money, and the money you wired will likely be picked up in another country and will never be recovered.


A company has approached me and told me that it can erase my debts. Should I use this service?

No. These companies will tell you that they can simply erase your debt by sending the right type of letter, and they will charge you a high fee to do it. These strategies do not work, and you may end up in a worse position than when you started. If you are having trouble paying your debts, you may want to use a credit counseling service. You should be careful when choosing such a service. For tips on choosing credit counselors, go to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre13.shtm.


I want to file a complaint about an insurance company. Whom should I contact?

You should contact the Alabama Department of Insurance at 334-269-3550 or visit their website at http://www.aldoi.gov/Consumers/FileComplaint.aspx


I want to file a complaint about a real estate agent. Whom should I contact?

You should contact the Alabama Real Estate Commission at 334-242-5544 or visit their website at http://www.arec.state.al.us.


I want to file a complaint about a bank. Whom should I contact?

You should contact the Alabama Banking Department at 334-242-3452 or visit their website at http://www.banking.alabama.gov.


How do I file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office?

All complaints must be in writing.  Consumers can file a complaint online by clicking the following link, Online Consumer Complaint.  You can also call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-5658 to request a complaint form be mailed to you.


What happens if a business refuses to mediate?

The mediation offered by the Consumer Protection Section is not legally binding. If we cannot reach a satisfactory resolution, then you should seek legal advice from a private attorney.


Can the Attorney General represent me in a legal action?

No. The Attorney General cannot serve as a private attorney for an individual or provide consumers with legal advice.


Does the Attorney General have the authority to initiate a lawsuit on my behalf?

Although the Attorney General cannot initiate a lawsuit on your behalf, if circumstances warrant, the Attorney General can initiate legal action, either civil or criminal, to represent the interests of the State of Alabama and to enforce various laws designed to protect consumers. When such action is taken, the Attorney General is authorized to seek restitution for the affected consumers as well as injunctive relief and applicable civil and criminal penalties.


Does the Attorney General’s Office offer education on how to avoid scams?

Yes. The Consumer Protection Section provides valuable educational information for the detection and prevention of all types of consumer fraud. Consumer Specialists are available for educational talks and booth displays. For more information call 1-800-392-5658.


If I have a problem with my electric or gas bill, whom do I call?

You should always contact your provider first to resolve any problems. However, if you are unable to resolve the problem yourself, one of our Consumer Specialists may
be able to assist you. You can file a complaint online by clicking the following link: Online Consumer Complaint. You can also call 1-800-392-5658 to have a complaint form mailed to you.


I have received a check in the mail from someone I do not know and they are asking me to cash the check and wire them part of the money. Is this real or fake? Should I cash the check?

This is a fake check and you, not the scammer, will be responsible for repayment of the funds if you cash the check.  For more information on these and other types of fake check scams visit www.fakechecks.org and www.ftc.gov


What is the best way to avoid fraud when hiring a contractor?

You should check to see if your contractor is licensed.  Every contractor should have a business license in the city or county where he/she is currently working.  Contractors that contract for jobs of $10,000 or more are required to have State contractor’s licenses through the Home Builders Licensure Board of Alabama.  You can contact the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board by calling 1-800-304-0853 or at http://www.hblb.alabama.gov


How do I find out if any complaints have been filed against the contractor I am dealing with?

You can contact the Home Builders Licensure Board at 1-800-304-0853 or by visiting them at http://www.hblb.alabama.gov, or you can contact the Better Business Bureau at 1-800-824-5274 or at www.bbb.org.  You can also contact our office at 1-800-392-5658. You should always ask for a contractor’s references beforehand.


Do all residential contractors have to be licensed through the State of Alabama?

No. Only contractors that contract for jobs of $10,000 or more are required to be licensed.  To verify State license, contact the Alabama Home Builders Licensure
Board by calling 1-800-304-0853 or by visiting their website at www.hblb.state.al.us.


How can I stop telemarketers from calling me?

You can register your number with the national Do Not Call registry by calling 1-888-382-1222 or by going to www.donotcall.gov.  Registration is free.


If I buy a vehicle is there a certain time period that I can return it to the dealer if I change my mind about my purchase?

No.  Once you purchase a vehicle you cannot return it to the dealer simply because you have changed your mind, unless your purchase contract specifically allows for such returns. 


If my vehicle is a lemon can I return it under the Alabama Lemon Law?

The Alabama Lemon Law only applies to new vehicles.  Section 8-20A-2 of the Code of Alabama gives consumers a period of 24 months or 24,000 miles after purchasing a new vehicle to notify the dealer or manufacturer of the non-conforming condition. The dealer is then obligated to make the necessary repairs to your vehicle.  If you buy a vehicle used or “as is” then the Alabama Lemon Law does not apply to your vehicle.  


Is it okay to enter my personal information on a website?

Never enter your personal information or bank or credit card information on a website that is not secure and that you are not familiar with.  Never respond to pop ups and junk emails.


Do I have a grace period to cancel contracts or other purchase agreements?

Generally, you do not have a right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Federal law does provide for grace periods in certain limited circumstances. For instance, under federal law, you may have a three-day recission period on home equity loans. To learn more about this right, go to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt037.shtm. Federal law also provides for a three-day cooling off period for sales of $25 or more made at your home or at a place that is not the business's permanent place of business. To learn more about this right, go to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro03.shtm.


I bought a car "as is," and it has been giving me problems ever since I drove it off the lot. Can I get my money back?

No. When a vehicle is purchased "as is," it means the seller is not liable for anything that is wrong with it. Alabama's Lemon Law does not apply to used cars.


If I pay for a pre-need burial arrangement, does state law require the seller to hold the money in a trust fund for me until the time comes to provide the burial?

Generally, yes. For pre-need contracts written on or after May 1, 2002, unless the pre-need contract is funded by a life insurance policy, the funds must be placed in trust. The pre-need laws are enforced by the Alabama Department of Insurance. A copy of the law is available at http://www.legislature.state.al.us/CodeOfAlabama/1975/154055.htm. You may also contact the Alabama Department of Insurance at 334-269-3550.


Who regulates companies that provide cable television service?

The State of Alabama does not regulate cable television providers. You may want to contact your local municipality and county to find out if they have any regulatory requirements for cable television providers.


Do stores have to give refunds if I change my mind about something I bought?

No. Your ability to return the product is dependent on the store's return/refund policy.


If I rent an apartment, are there state laws that say what my landlord must do?

Yes. Landlord actions as well as tenant actions are governed by The Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.  See: ALA.CODE §35-9A-101 et seq. (1975).  For
general landlord/tenant questions, contact our Consumer Protection hotline 1-800-392-5658 to speak with a Consumer Specialist.



Criminal Appeals

Can the attorneys in the appeals division file and represent private individuals on appeal from criminal convictions?

No.  State attorneys are not allowed by law to represent private individuals. 


How many days after conviction and sentencing does a defendant have to appeal?

A defendant has forty-two days from sentencing to appeal. 


Can the State appeal?

Yes, under limited circumstances, the State can appeal the dismissal of a criminal charge.


How long does it take for an appeal to be resolved by the appellate court?

Between six and eight months depending on the complexity of the case. 



Criminal Trials

How long does an investigation take?

The length of time depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the crime being investigated, the current caseload, and the kinds of evidence involved.


How do I file a complaint if I think a public official or employee has committed a crime?

A person who has information that a public official or employee has committed a crime should contact either the Public Corruption, or Criminal Trials, or Investigations Division of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.  A person making a complaint should provide any facts he or she has supporting the complaint.  Please note the status of any investigation is confidential and will not be disclosed to a person making a complaint.


Violent - What do I as a victim of a violent crime have to do to get the Violent Crimes Division to take my case?

Normal protocol at the Office of the Attorney General is to submit your request in writing to the Attorney General providing any and all details of the situation and circumstances of the violent crime.  The request should also include the reason(s) for which you wish for the Attorney General to assume the case and why you believe the local authorities and/or District Attorney have not preformed a satisfactory job investigating or prosecuting the case.


Do I as a victim of a violent crime have to go through local the district attorney if I am not satisfied with him/her?

No.  However, please refer to the previous question and answer, each and every matter for consideration by the Attorney General must be submitted in writing.



Elderly Abuse

What state agencies may you call if you believe an elderly person is being abused or neglected?

If the person you believe is being abused is living in their own home or the home of relatives or friends call the Department of Human Resources Adult Protective Services. Telephone: 1-800-458-7214 or 334-242-1350                                                                                              

If the person you believe is being abused is living in a nursing home, call the Alabama Department of Public Health. Telephone: 1-800-356-9596 or 334-206-5366                                              

If the person you believe is being abused is living in an assisted living facility, call the Alabama Department of Public Health. Telephone: 1-866-873-0366, 1-800-356-9596, or 334-206-5575.



Elections

If I vote absentee, do I still have to get my ballot notarized or signed by two witnesses?

Yes.


What are pollwatchers?

Each political party or organization can appoint someone to monitor the voting process, who may be at the polling place during all voting hours and remain afterward to watch the counting of ballots.


Can a pollwatcher campaign at the polls?

No. They cannot suggest how people should vote or campaign in anyway. They cannot wear any button, ribbon, or other article bearing a candidate’s name.


As a voter, can I wear a candidate's button?

Yes. A citizen who is at the polls to vote or assist someone in voting can wear a button, ribbon, or other such article.


Who is allowed inside the polling place?

In addition to poll watchers, only voters, people who are assisting voters, election officials, sheriffs, and deputies are allowed inside the polling place.


How close can campaigners come to the polling place?

They must stand outside, at least 30 feet away from the door of the polling place.


Who is allowed to help voters?

Anyone can help a voter who wants assistance, except that voter’s employer or an agent of the employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union. The voter does not have to give any reason for requesting assistance, nor to take any oath. The voter names the person to assist, and both must sign the poll list.


Can someone videotape at the polls?

No. General news coverage of candidates and public officials voting and of crowds at the polling place is allowed, but the U.S. Department of Justice has expressed a concern that other videotaping may intimidate voters and it is not allowed.


Who is responsible for overseeing elections?

The sheriff, probate judge, and circuit court clerk are the officials responsible for conducting and supervising the elections process in each county.


Where can I find more answers about voting and elections in Alabama?

For information regarding voting and elections in Alabama, contact the Election Section of the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office by calling 1-800-274-VOTE (8683) or by visiting their website at www.sos.alabama.gov.


How do I report voter fraud?

By calling the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office at 1-800-274-VOTE (8683) or visiting www.StopVoterFraudNow.com.



Gambling

Is Bingo legal in Alabama?

Bingo is legal in Alabama in a number of counties that have adopted a constitutional amendment authorizing bingo for charitable purposes to be conducted by the charity itself and, in general, this is overseen by the Sheriff of each County or the Chief of Police of a city such as Jasper that has an independent constitutional amendment authorizing Bingo.

County/City / Amendment Number
  1. Greene / 743
  2. Jefferson / 386
  3. Limestone / 692
  4. Lowndes / 674
  5. Macon / 744
  6. Madison / 387
  7. Montgomery / 413
  8. Mobile / 440
  9. Etowah / 506
  10. Calhoun / 508
  11. St.Clair / 542
  12. Walker / 549
  13. City of Jasper / 550
  14. Covington / 565
  15. Houston / 569
  16. Morgan / 599
  17. Russell / 612


General

Where do you get help if you feel that you have been denied access to services because of a disability (ADA problem)?

First try calling the Alabama Department of Rehabilitative Services' ADA Hotline, 1-800-205-9986, to see if they may help you. Otherwise, you may consult a private attorney. If you do not have an attorney or need help finding one, you may try the Alabama Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (www.alabar.org) at 1-800-392-5660 or (334) 269-1515; P. O. Box 671, Montgomery, AL 36101, or e-mail to: lrs@alabar.org.


How do you apply to a city, county or state agency in Alabama to view or make a copy of a public writing or record?

You should contact the agency and request a form.  If the agency does not have a form, you may make your request in writing, in person, or over the telephone, or via e-mail.


Are police reports and arrest records public information?

Police reports and arrest records except for confidential information or information that is part of an on-going investigation would be public record. For example, a victim's name and address or the name of a minor who has been arrested would be blocked out and could not be viewed on the police report or arrest record.


What is the age of adulthood or majority in Alabama? Or in other words, how old does a person have to be to get credit or sign a contract without a co-signer?

19 years of age for unmarried persons (Code of Alabama §26-1-1) or 18 years of age for married persons and widows or widowers (Code of Alabama §30-4-15 & 16).


In Alabama, can you tape a telephone conversation?

Yes. If you have consent of at least one of the parties that is being taped. (Code of Alabama §13A-11-30)


Who do you contact to report a county employee who is using county equipment to work on private property?

Examiners of Public Accounts, Legal Division. Phone number 334-242-2997.


Where may a municipal police department enforce the maximum state speed laws as set by 32-5A-171?

Within the corporate limits of the municipality and not within the police jurisdiction of the municipality.

Section 32-5A-171

Maximum limits. Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with Section 32-5A-170, the limits hereinafter specified or established as hereinafter authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle at a speed in excess of the maximum limits.

(1) No person shall operate a vehicle in excess of 30 miles per hour in any urban district.

(2)a. No person shall operate a motor vehicle in excess of 35 miles per hour on any unpaved road. For purposes of this chapter the term "unpaved road" shall mean any highway under the jurisdiction of any county, the surface of which consists of natural earth, mixed soil, stabilized soil, aggregate, crushed sea shells, or similar materials without the use of asphalt, cement, or similar binders.

b. No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any county-maintained paved road in an unincorporated area of the state at a speed in excess of 45 miles per hour unless a different maximum speed is established under authority granted in subdivision (6) or as provided in subdivision (7) subject to the maximum rate of speed provided in subdivision (3).

(3) No person shall operate a motor vehicle on the highways in this state, other than interstate highways or highways having four or more traffic lanes, at a speed in excess of 55 miles per hour at any time unless a different maximum rate of speed is authorized by the Governor under authority granted in subdivision (6) or as provided in subdivision (7).

(4) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, on an interstate highway within the State of Alabama, at a speed in excess of 70 miles per hour or on any other highway having four or more traffic lanes at a speed in excess of 65 miles per hour, unless a different maximum rate of speed is authorized by the Governor under authority granted in subdivision (6) or as provided in subdivision (7).

(5) Notwithstanding any provisions of this section to the contrary, no person shall operate a passenger vehicle, motor truck, or passenger bus which carries or transports explosives or flammable liquids, as defined in Section 32-1-1.1, or hazardous wastes, as defined in Section 22-30-3(5), in this state unless the vehicle, truck, or bus prominently displays a current decal, plate, or placard which is required by the rules or regulations of the DOT or the PSC which indicates or warns that the vehicle, truck, or bus is carrying or transporting the substances. No person shall operate the vehicle, truck, or bus at a rate of speed greater than 55 miles per hour at any time unless a different maximum rate of speed is authorized by the Governor under authority granted in subdivision (6) or as provided in subdivision (7).

(6) The Governor may prescribe the maximum rate of speed whenever a different rate of speed is required by federal law in order for Alabama to receive federal funds for highway maintenance and construction.

(7) The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in Sections 32-5A-172 and 32-5A-173.

(8) A law enforcement officer or a peace officer of any incorporated municipality or town which has less than 19,000 inhabitants according to the most recent federal decennial census shall not enforce this section on any interstate highway.

(9) Any speed limit set pursuant to this section shall be enforced by any municipality or any law enforcement officer of a municipality only within the corporate limits of the municipality and not within the police jurisdiction of the municipality.

(Acts 1980, No. 80-434, p. 604, §8-102; Acts 1987, No. 87-408, p. 593; Acts 1994, No. 94-617, p. 1147, §1; Acts 1996, No. 96-577, p. 913, §1.) 


Does Alabama have a hate crime bill?

Can a non-profit organization conduct a raffle to raise funds in Alabama?

How Do I Schedule The Attorney General for a Visit

Before your function can be considered for the Attorney General's calendar, a Briefing Form must be completed.  Please click here for the form and instructions on how to submit a request.


May the courts in Alabama recognize an 18 year old as an adult and allow them to manage their affairs as an adult?

Yes, under certain circumstances.  Source:  ALA. CODE § 26-13-1 et seq. (1975) 


Are background checks available for employers on current employees and prospective employees under Alabama laws?

There are some restrictions and requirements, including a waiver that must be signed by the current employee or the prospective employee.  Employers may be able to purchase a background check on current employees and prospective employees for a fee in addition to an annual subscription fee. For more information contact:

Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC)
Telephone:  866-740-4762 or 334-517-2470
E-mail: background@alacop.gov

Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center
Attn: Alabama Background Check System
201 South Union Street. Suite 300
Montgomery, Alabama 36130 


Where may you obtain birth and death certificates?

You may obtain birth and death certificates through your county health department or the Alabama Department of Public Health.  Certificates may be ordered through the Alabama Department of Public Health by mail or by e-mail at their website http://www.adph.org/vitalrecords

Alabama Vital Records
P. O. Box 5625
Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5625
Telephone:  334-206-5418
Website:  http://www.adph.org/vitalrecords


Where may you file a complaint about cemeteries?

You may file a complaint about a cemetery in Alabama with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Section.  Complaints may be completed online, or you can request a consumer complaint form by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section at 1-800-392-5658.   If the complaint or question is concerning preneed contracts see ALA. CODE § 27-17A-1 et. Seq. (1975), and contact the Alabama Insurance Department, Consumer Services Division.  


Department of Human Resources - Where may you file a complaint about a County Department of Human Resources Office?

Any person may call the Department of Human Resources help line to file a telephonic complaint.
Alabama Department of Human Resources
50 North Ripley Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Telephone: 1-888-658-6585 or 334-353-1851
http://www.dhr.alabama.gov 


Eavesdropping (Criminal) - What is criminal eavesdropping in Alabama?

“Eavesdrop.  To overhear, record, amplify or transmit any part of the private communication of others without the consent of at least one of the persons engaged in the communication, except as otherwise provided by law.”  Source:  ALA. CODE § 13A-11-30 et seq. (1975).


Is a dealer’s license required in Alabama for persons who engage in the business of purchasing precious items (gold) for the purpose of reselling such items in any form?

Yes, Alabama law requires that each dealer engaged in purchasing precious items for the purpose of reselling them shall purchase a state license and a county license for each county where he or she conducts business. Source:  ALA. CODE § 8-34-1 et seq. (1975).


Are security guards licensed in Alabama?

A:  Yes, with some exemptions.  The Alabama Security Regulatory Board was created by Act 2009-640 with an effective date of May 21, 2009. Source: ALA. CODE § 34-27C-1 et seq. (Act 2009-640)  For more information contact:

Alabama Security Regulatory Board
610 S. McDonough St.
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
Telephone:  334-269-9990



General Civil and Administrative Law

Who does the Civil Division represent?

The Civil Division represents the state and/or state employees for actions taken as part of their employment.


Who is your divisions main client?

The State employees covered by the State’s General Liability Trust Fund (GLTF), which is a division of the Department of Finance, are our most numerous clients.


What is Administrative Law?

The lawyers in the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office represent boards, agencies, and commissions in licensing hearings, personnel hearings, and court cases.



Guns

Is a pistol permit issued in another state valid in Alabama?

Yes. Under Alabama Code Section 13A-11-85, Alabama will recognize any valid out of state permit. To find out if your state has concealed handgun license reciprocity with Alabama, click here.


Where do you apply for a concealed handgun permit in Alabama?

In Alabama, a person may apply for a concealed handgun permit to the Sheriff of the county in which they reside.  Source:ALA. CODE § 13A-11-75 (1975)


Where can I find general information about gun laws in Alabama?

Please visit the Gun Reciprocity Law page on our website.



Investigations

What are the qualifications of special agents/investigators in the AGO?

All agents/investigators must meet the qualifications as noted by the State Personnel Department. A copy of such qualifications can be found at www.personnel.alabama.gov. In addition, all investigators are Alabama Police Officer Standards and Training Commission (APOSTC) certified peace officers. 


Does the Investigations Division respond to unusual or special circumstances in addition to its normal investigations?

The Investigations Division responds  to numerous criminal violations  throughout the State of Alabama.  The division also responds, as needed, to special events and natural disasters.  For example, during Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 tornado disaster, the division provided resources on the ground to address consumer fraud, price gouging and other victim exploitation schemes. 


Where is the Alabama law of arrest codified?

Rules 3 and 4 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure explain the legal procedures for making arrests in the state. 


How does the Investigations Division open its cases?

The Division cannot open investigations without first establishing reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime may have been committed.  Complaints are received from a variety of sources, including, among others, citizen letters, e-mails and telephone calls; referrals from other agencies; and independent sources. If the complaint is not based upon specific facts but is merely broad conjecture of a specific crime, or has already been adjudicated in civil or criminal court, or is an on-going investigation being conducted by another state or local law enforcement agency, it is unlikely that an investigation will be authorized. 


Can the Investigations Division provide legal advice?

As a part of the Attorney General’s Office, the Investigations Division cannot give legal advice. 


Does the Investigations Division comment on any open investigations?

In order to conduct an investigation professionally and fairly, the Investigations Division cannot make any public comment on ongoing investigations. 


What are “Cold” Cases?

Under a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the division conducts investigations of unsolved rapes and homicides.  These investigations are conducted in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and usually contain some DNA evidence which could potentially identify the perpetrators of the crime and bring justice to its victim(s).



Jury Duty

When a person is on jury duty and misses work, is she or he entitled to be paid his/her usual compensation by his/her employer?

Yes. (Code of Alabama §12-16-8). See also AG Opinions 86-00276 and 80-00269.


Can employers subtract the $10.00 per day expense allowance and mileage from their usual compensation?

No. AG Opinions 92-00182 and 90-00190 have held that the expense allowance and mileage are not compensation and, as such, are not deductible from a juror's usual compensation.



Marriage/Divorce

How old do you have to be to get married in Alabama without parental consent?

18 years of age. (Code of Alabama §30-1-5)


How long does one have to be a resident of Alabama before filing for divorce in Alabama?

Is Alabama a common law state or a community property state?

Alabama is a common law state.


Is common-law marriage recognized in Alabama? If so, what is sufficient to constitute a common-law marriage in Alabama?

Yes.  “A valid common-law marriage exists in Alabama when there is capacity to enter into a marriage, present agreement of consent to be husband and wife, public recognition of the existence of the marriage, and consummation.”  Waller v. Waller, 567 So.2d 869 (Ala.Civ.App. 1990). See also, Hudson v. Hudson, 404 So.2d 82
(Ala.Civ.App. 1981), and Attorney General’s Opinion 1992-041.


Does the marriage or widowhood/widowerhood of any woman or man in Alabama between the age of 18 and 19 automatically allow them to be recognized as an adult?

Yes, the marriage or widowhood/widowerhood of any man or woman in Alabama between the ages of 18 and 19 or the arrival at the age of 18 of any married woman/man or widow/widower allows them to be recognized as an adult.  Source:  ALA. CODE § 30-4-15 (1975) and ALA. CODE § 30-4-16 (1975)



Medicaid Fraud

How do I report suspected Medicaid Fraud or abuse / neglect of a nursing home resident?

The division is also responsible for investigating allegations of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of residents of long-term care facilities that receive Medicaid funding.  You may contact the Medicaid Fraud Unit at (334) 353-8793. 


Does the division investigate fraud by Medicaid recipients?

No. Fraud committed by recipients of Medicaid services is investigated by the Medicaid Agency and should be reported to the Medicaid Agency by calling 1-866-452-4930. 


How do I report Medicare Fraud?

Medicare fraud is investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. You may reach their Birmingham office by calling (205) 731-0376.



Opinions

What is an Attorney General's opinion?

Section 36-15-1 of the Code of Alabama imposes certain enumerated duties on the Attorney General. These include giving his opinion, in writing, on questions of law connected with the interests of the state and state departments and to certain enumerated local, county, and municipal officials and bodies.


Who is entitled to request an Attorney General's opinion?

Any officer, governing body, department or agency of the state, a county, or municipality; the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee (“Committee”) of either House; and legislators, if there is a perceived legislative duty.


How should opinion requests be submitted?

Opinion requests should be submitted in writing. If the opinion request is submitted by a board or governing body, a resolution from the board or governing body should also be included setting forth the facts showing the nature and character of the question that makes the advice sought necessary to the present performance of some official act that the officer must immediately perform.


Do Attorney General's opinions carry the weight of law?

Opinions of the Attorney General are advisory in nature and not binding. They are, however, entitled to great weight and may constitute persuasive authority. The written opinion of the Attorney General secured by any officer, board, local governing body, or agency protects the officer and members of the board or agency from liability to either the state, county, or other municipal subdivisions of the state because of any official act or acts performed as directed or advised in such opinion.


When will opinions not be issued?

The Attorney General does not issue opinions in the following circumstances:

  • When the issues are currently in litigation
  • When the questions are moot (actions have already been taken)
  • Private or personal questions in which the state, county, or public is not materially or primarily interested
  • The constitutionality of statues or ordinances
  • Validity of municipal ordinances
  • Validity of rules of state agencies when the rules have been adopted
  • Questions of federal law

How can I receive a copy of an Attorney General's opinion?

Opinions are available online at our opinions search page, or copies of opinions are distributed at no charge upon request to the office. Please see the Search box at the top of the page for the option to Search the AG Opinions data base. 



Solicitor General

Why did the State create the Solicitor General position?

In recent years, the practice of law in the nation’s appellate courts has become increasingly specialized.  In light of the State’s frequent participation in matters pending at the U.S. Supreme Court in particular, it became necessary for the State to appoint an advocate with substantial appellate experience to represent the State in these matters.  Moreover, in light of the State’s increasing caseload at the appellate level, it became necessary to have a primary attorney, who serves at the pleasure of the Attorney General, to ensure that the State was taking consistent, correct positions in these courts.  Following the lead of several other states that had created state Solicitor General offices, Alabama created this position in 2001. 


Since Alabama created the Solicitor General position, how often has the Solicitor General represented the State in merits cases at the U.S. Supreme Court?

Since the State created the Solicitor General position in 2001, four lawyers have served as Alabama Solicitor General.  Over the last 10 years, these lawyers have
argued a total of eight cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.  These Solicitor Generals have frequently won awards from the National Association of Attorneys General for best briefs  submitted to the Court.


How many lawyers are in the Solicitor General’s office?

The Solicitor General office currently has two lawyers—the Solicitor General and a deputy Solicitor General.


How does the Solicitor General decide whether to file an amicus brief in a case where the State is not a party, and how can a party request that the Solicitor General submit an amicus brief?

Interested parties should contact the Solicitor General or his staff, and submit materials explaining the nature of the case and why they believe the State should be interested in filing an amicus brief. The Attorney General’s Office will decide whether to submit an amicus brief based on factors such as the importance of the case, the court in which the case is pending, and the ability of the State to put together a submission that will help the Court reach the right result.


Do attorneys employed by state agencies and departments other than the AG’s Office fall under the Solicitor General’s supervision?

Yes. Any agency or department attorney who is designated a Deputy Attorney General or Assistant Attorney General should inform the Solicitor General whenever a case involving the State has been initiated at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Alabama Supreme Court, or U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Solicitor General will work together with those attorneys to represent the State as the case progresses.


Does the Solicitor General review each brief the State submits to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Alabama Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit?

Under Attorney General Strange, the Solicitor General or the deputy Solicitor General reviews and approves every brief submitted to these courts. The name of the Solicitor General or the deputy Solicitor General appears on each brief so reviewed.


What is the Solicitor General’s role in cases where the State is a party at the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, and trial courts?

Although the Solicitor General’s role is generally confined to cases pending at the U.S. Supreme Court, Alabama Supreme Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Solicitor General participates in some cases of great importance pending at other courts, including the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. In most cases at those courts, however, other attorneys within the Attorney General’s Office or the pertinent department or agency are responsible for supervising the appeal. Regardless, the Solicitor General is always available as a resource to all Deputy and Assistant Attorneys General who have matters pending in any court.



Utilities

If I have a problem with a utility and they are not regulated by the state, who may I contact?

The Federal Communications Commission - 1-888-225-5322 or at http://www.fcc.gov  OR The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - 1-866-208-3372 or at http://www.ferc.gov


If I have a problem with a utility regulated by the state, who may I contact?

The Alabama Public Service Commission – 1-800-392-8050 or http://www.psc.state.al.us



Victim

What are my rights as a victim?

The Crime Victims Bill of Rights is in the Alabama Code Section. 15-23-60 et seq (1975). The Attorney General’s Office of Victim Assistance is here to help you assert your rights.  Please call us at 1-800-626-7676 if you have specific questions regarding your personal situation


What is Crime Victims Compensation and how to I register?

In an effort to alleviate hardships suffered by victims of crime, the Alabama Legislature passed the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission Law on June 1, 1984.  Alabama's compensation law covers a variety of expenses for which compensation is paid. The Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission (ACVCC) provides the only substantial financial compensation to victims for expenses for personal injuries including medical, funeral and counseling bills.  This assistance lessens the financial burden on innocent victims of violent crime and serves as a vehicle of hope for the rights of crime victims.  You must register within one year from the date of the crime.  Contact ACVCC today at 1-800-541-9388 or visit the ACVC website at www.acvcc.state.al.us. 


What is the Sex Offender Community Notification Act and how do I receive notification?

You may register by filling out the Victim Registration Form (the three words will have a link to the form)  and sending it to our office.  You may fill out the form online or print it and send it through the US Mail or you may simply call us at 1-800-626-7676 and we can take your information over the phone.  The choice is yours.

In May 1996, the Alabama State Legislature passed a law establishing the Community Notification Act. This law requires convicted adult sex offenders to notify local law enforcement of their residence within the community where they are living. Law enforcement authorities must then notify community residents living near the sex offender. Within this law are provisions which prohibit a convicted sex offender from living near a school and living in a residence with children.

During the 1999 Regular Session, the Community Notification Act received a major revision which created different provisions for juvenile sex offenders. Juvenile sex offenders are no longer subject to automatic community notification, but they are required to receive sex offender treatment and must register with the local authorities upon release from the juvenile court's supervision. The Act was also revised in 2005 as Act 2005-301.

Please also visit the Alabama Department of Public Safety's Sex Offender Site for more information.


I received a parole notice. What should I do to protest a parole?

How do I register to be notified about appeals after the trial?

Registration is easy. All you need to do is contact AGOVA either by phone at 1-800-626-7676 or by filling out the online registration form. You may also print the form and mail it to us at:

Office of Victim Assistance
Post Office Box 300152
Montgomery, Alabama 36130


What is the death penalty appeals process and how long will it take?

Alabama’s Death Penalty Appeals Process Booklet  will help you better understand the process and answer any questions you may have.  Remember to register with AGOVA and keep your information updated with us when you move.  As the booklet explains, this is NOT a fast process and it will take years before an execution may take place. 

 


What are my rights as a victim at an execution on a death penalty case?

If you are an immediate family member of the victim(s) you have the right to view the execution.  By Alabama statute, up to eight (8) immediate family members are allowed to view the execution.  Other family members may accompany the immediate family members to the prison facility to provide support; however, the other family members are not allowed to actually view the execution.  Read more about it in the Alabama’s Death Penalty Appeals Process Booklet


Where are sex offenders required to register in Alabama?

At the Sheriff's Office in the county in which they will reside and with the Chief of Police of any municipality in which the criminal sex offender intends to reside. (Code of Alabama §15-20-21). For more information about the Sex Offender Notification Law, see our section on Victim Assistance or the state's On-line Sex Offender Registry.