How Expungement Works in Georgia

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Having a prior criminal record, especially when you have worked so hard to turn your life around and change, can feel incredibly defeating. Not only does the knowledge of your record weigh on you mentally, but it may also be affecting your ability to get your dream job, volunteer opportunities, and other benefits. 

In 2021, Georgia passed an updated expungement law (the “second chance law”) that allows for a greater portion of felony and misdemeanor charges to be removed from an individual’s criminal record. The process of expungement may seem daunting and overwhelming to you, but our team is here to help you navigate that process.

What is expungement?

Expungement is the legal process that allows an individual to remove a prior conviction from their record. In Georgia, this process is called “record restriction” instead of “expungement,” but has the same legal result, prior convictions will be restricted from public view once you have successfully completed the record restriction process.

What is the process for getting a prior conviction restricted?

Under the “Second Chance Law,” the process for restriction varies based on your arrest date.

If you were arrested before July 1, 2013:

You must apply for your record restriction with the agency that conducted the arrest. The arresting agency should not charge more than $50 as an application fee. The application typically requires that the applicant or their attorney fills out section one regarding their date of arrest and the type of charges you were convicted of.

Once you have completed your section of the application, you will turn it in to the arresting agency and they will complete a portion of the application before forwarding your application to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor’s office will then deny or approve your request and inform you of their decision. If your application is approved your public record will be restricted and unavailable for public viewing.

If you were arrested after July 1, 2013:

There is no application process, instead, you will need to contact the prosecutor involved in your arrest to formally request a record restriction. If the prosecutor determines they will not proceed with restricting your conviction, you are able to file a motion with the court to have the matter restricted.

Contacting An Attorney To Help – Arora Law Group

If you have questions about what convictions can be restricted or want to discuss your record with a criminal defense attorney to see if your record can be restricted, we can help. We’ve worked with folks throughout Georgia providing quality legal services.

The process to obtain a record restriction requires knowledge of the system, preparation of several documents, and attention to detail as you navigate through the restriction process. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys is here to help you restrict your record and move forward in a positive way. If you need help restricting a prior criminal record, contact our office today.


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