This nation’s record of over-criminalizing its citizens continues to hurt many people and their families. According to studies, an estimated third of this nation’s adult population have a criminal record. People with criminal records face poverty, unemployment, and re-incarceration at higher rates than those without a criminal record. Contact our office to discuss your options to clean your record and leave your past behind.
Do I have a Criminal Record?
Anyone who has ever been arrested has a criminal record. This includes arrest warrants, time in jail, formal accusations, grand jury indictments, and any type of court-ordered supervision. Therefore, you may have a criminal record even if you have never been convicted of a crime.
Where does my Criminal History Record come from?
Common sources for your criminal record include police departments, jails, the Georgia Crime Information Center, and the Clerk of Court’s Office. Likewise, other sources of your record may come from the FBI, private companies, websites, and online databases.
Can I expunge my Criminal Record?
An expungement is actually called a ‘records restriction’ in Georgia law. A records restriction means that any information about your criminal history is made private. However, Records Restrictions will not prevent law enforcement agencies from seeing your criminal history. This will include courts in the event you are facing criminal charges, for instance.
How Do I Restrict My Record?
The law requires different procedures based on the date of your record. If you were arrested before July 13, 2013, you must prepare an application with supporting documentation showing you qualify for record restriction. Then, submit this application to the agency that created your criminal record.
If you were arrested after July 13, 2013, qualifying cases will be restricted automatically. For instance, dismissals, acquittals, or conditional discharges are subject to automatic restriction. In contrast, charges that are not automatically restricted will require a court order.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me Restrict my Record?
A criminal defense attorney can help you file a petition with the court to seal and restrict your record. An attorney must convince your judge that sealing your record would be in the interest of justice. Likewise, a prosecutor for the State will be allowed argue and oppose your restriction.
What is a First Offender Sentence?
A First Offender Sentence allows you to avoid a criminal conviction even if you plead guilty. However, a First Offender Sentence is not automatically restricted and sealed. As a result, you may avoid a conviction but still have a criminal record. An attorney must request that a first offender sentence be sealed.
Everyone is entitled to a second chance. If your record is keeping you from moving forward with your life, contact an our office to discuss your options.