First call a lawyer. A lawyer can help you with understanding your situation and help guide you through it. Go ahead and HIRE the lawyer. If you are charged or arrested (or know you are going to be arrested) for a felony, WHY would you wait?
There is a program in Tuscaloosa that we have called the "2nd Chance Program". The lawyer can guide you through the obstacles to getting into this program to get your felony DISMISSED. Once the case is dismissed, you can get it EXPUNGED, so no one knows it ever happened. Being ALLOWED into the program is a privilege, NOT a right. The District Attorney's Office decides if you can participate. There are 3 categories of charges: GREEN LIGHT, YELLOW LIGHT and RED LIGHT. Your charge decides whether you can get into the program. Normally crimes involving violence DO NOT allow you into the program. You need to talk to a lawyer.
ONCE IN THE PROGRAM -
1. You will pay an application fee and any restitution along with costs
2. You will have to perform 40 hours of community service
3. You WILL BE DRUG TESTED ON COLOR CODE on a regular basis
4. Depending on your offense, you will be in the program for either 3, 6, 9 or 12 months
5. You WILL REPORT to court on a regular basis
6. Your CASE MANAGER will tell you what you have to do.
ONCE COMPLETED YOUR FELONY (OR FELONIES) ARE DISMISSED!! AND THEN you can file to have your cases expunged! This means the case file in the court system, the law enforcement agency, the state criminal justice computer and other records are REMOVED from the public and stored in a sealed compartment in Montgomery, Alabama at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. This is a GREAT opportunity for someone who has screwed up once. I have had past clients charged with DUI, Felony marijuana possession, felony drug possession, fraudulent use of a credit card, breaking and entering automobiles and other cases enter the 2nd Chance Program and have their cases dismissed. I have also heard of other people who have simply "LEFT" the program and were hauled back from California to serve their full prison sentence.
WHAT IF YOU SCREW UP?
You plead GUILTY to the charge or charges BEFORE you are accepted into the 2nd Chance Program. So all that is needed is for the Judge to FIND YOU GUILTY! The Judge WITHHOLDS finding you guilty so you can enter into the 2nd Chance Program. If you screw up and miss a drug screen (you are considered guilty) or don't do what you are told you could be put in jail for 7 days as a heads up. You could also have the conviction entered and you GO TO PRISON. KNOW THIS - if you take someone else's urine into a drug test or try to "cheat the test", YOU WILL BE REVOKED FROM THE PROGRAM AND GO TO PRISON! This is NOT a maybe, this is a guarantee.
DON'T SCREW THIS OPPORTUNITY UP!!