We all have things in our past that we'd prefer to keep under wraps, but unfortunately, if those things are illegal and you were convicted, they're probably on record and can negatively affect your future.
Many people wonder if there's anything they can do to keep their criminal records hidden. In some cases, it is actually possible.
Georgia has something called record restriction—formerly referred to as expungement—that makes criminal records unavailable except in matters involving law enforcement and criminal justice.
Georgia made changes to its expungement law back on July 1, 2013, so you may have heard conflicting opinions on this matter from people who were and were not aware of the changes. It's best to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys so they can look at your situation and tell you for sure if record restriction is an option for you.
In Georgia, record restriction is generally available for individuals who:
- Can prove their criminal record is incomplete or inaccurate.
- Were never convicted because charges were dismissed or dropped.
- Were first-time offenders that opted for probation instead of a judgment.
- Received a misdemeanor before they turned 21 years old. They must have successfully completed their sentence, and since then, not have been arrested for any offense (other than minor traffic offenses) for five years. There are, however, exceptions.
Record restriction can be very complicated, especially with the recent changes to the law, so it is highly recommended that you speak with a legal professional to find out if you are eligible.
Do you know someone who is interested in having certain pieces of his or her criminal record restricted? Share this article with them.