Understanding Georgia's Expungement Laws

September 12, 2022

Before the new expungement law, being charged with a crime in Georgia was equivalent to a life sentence. Why? Because it's very difficult to remove certain convictions from your criminal record after being found guilty of a crime in Georgia. Having things on your record can cause serious problems, especially if you're seeking employment, housing, education, professional licensing, and other important freedoms.

Expungement is the court-supervised process of removing your criminal record from your criminal history. Although criminal records can seriously impact your life, expungement restricts the record from public view and only makes it available for criminal justice purposes.

Under Georgia's new law, the expungement process is referred to as record restriction, which means a criminal record is restricted and not erased. However, not all criminal records can be expunged, and the court must order this process. 

Who is Eligible for an Expungement?

Not every criminal conviction is eligible for expungement. But there are circumstances under which your charges can be erased. For example, if you were arrested and your case was dismissed, you may qualify for record expungement. You may also get an expungement for up to two separate misdemeanor charges, which can occur four years after you complete your sentence.

Certain felony convictions may also qualify for expungement under Georgia modern law. In addition, you can petition to have your criminal history expunged; however, you can not file petitions for serious felony offenses, such as armed robbery, child molestation, family violence, or traffic offenses.

If you're looking to file a petition for expungement, it's important to work with an experienced Georgia expungement attorney to advise you and recommend the best options, which can help make expungement available.

The Georgia Expungement Process

If you believe your criminal history report has errors, you can file a petition to have it expunged. There are steps to follow in Georgia's expungement process:

  • File a petition: Petition to the court seeking expungement for your arrest, court record, or conviction. 
  • Gather evidence: Submit substantial evidence to back up your petition and prove that the record's harm to your particular situation surpasses the public's interest in viewing the record. You may also have to prepare additional documentation if necessary.
  • Expunge your records: Get an order from the presiding judge ordering for expungement or restriction of your records.
  • Confirm compliance: Contact the arresting agency, court clerk, prosecuting attorney, or jail to confirm compliance with the court order. You may also have to ask for a copy of your criminal history to obtain vital information about what's in your criminal record.

Contact a Georgia Expungement Attorney

If you are looking for a skilled attorney to help you have your criminal record successfully expunged, we can help. Our Georgia Expungement Attorneys can review your record to determine if you are eligible for expungement.

Call (404) 954-0598 to schedule a consultation with Brandon Bullard, the leading Georgia Expungement Attorney at The Bullard Law Firm.