Having a criminal record can impact your ability to find employment, seek an education, obtain housing, and many other freedoms that are often taken for granted. No matter how hard you work to overcome your past behavior, your record follows you and continues to limit your ability to move forward.
Expungement is a process in which you can petition to have an arrest record removed from your criminal record, providing you with the ability to regain control over the direction of your life.
In Georgia, the expungement process is called “record restriction.” This is perhaps a better description of what expungement actually means. Rather than eliminating any record of your arrest, record restriction is a process in which your arrest records are “restricted” and can only be viewed by authorized agencies, such as the government.
Not every case is eligible for record restriction in Georgia, which is why it is important to work with an attorney experienced in expungement representation. At The Bullard Firm, we help individuals reclaim their autonomy through the record retention process. Depending on the specific facts of your case, we can help you do the same.
Arrest records may be restricted in cases where criminal charges were never filed, the case involves a first-time offender and drug conditional discharge, or there was a total acquittal of all criminal charges.
Of course, there may be some exceptions. For example, if you have been convicted of a similar crime in another state, then your record would not be eligible for record restriction. In addition, if you did not receive a criminal sentence as a result of immunity from prosecution, then your arrest cannot be expunged from your criminal record.
Georgia state law governs which cases are eligible and which cases or ineligible for record restriction. Working with an experienced Georgia expungement attorney can help you determine if seeking record restriction is right for you.
Many individuals misunderstand what an expungement actually does. A criminal record expungement does not mean that the record will be eliminated, nor does it mean that the criminal conduct has been forgiven or pardoned. Rather, an expungement simply removes the criminal record from public records and restricts who has access to it. In effect, it will be as if the arrest never happened.
If your record is restricted in Georgia, your arrest may still be in the public record if it was publicized or shared online. Unfortunately, an expungement only removes the record from court records. You may be able to seek removal of this information from public record outside of the legal record restriction process.
However, even if the record of your arrest is removed from official court records, government agencies and other entities may still be able to access your arrest record. This may be done in conjunction with a criminal investigation, for example.
The Bullard Firm helps individuals convicted of criminal find resolutions to their cases and regain control over their lives. Our law firm has represented clients from all over Georgia in the record expungement process. If your criminal record is holding you back from seeking new and exciting opportunities in life, and you believe that you may be eligible for record restriction, we encourage you to contact our office. Call today and schedule a time to speak with an attorney about your case.