Dunwoody Expungement Lawyer
As of January 1, 2021, Georgia citizens with certain criminal convictions on their record are given a second chance with the new state expungement law. Expungement allows for a person’s criminal record to be erased and has the potential to substantially improve their life. The Dunwoody expungement lawyers at Hawkins Spizman are is prepared to assist you through the process of expunging your criminal record. To learn more about what convictions are eligible for expungement in Georgia and how the process works, call or contact our office today.
What is Expungement?
Expungement, also known as “record restriction”, is the process by which the courts seal or erase a person’s criminal charges or convictions from their record. Once restricted, only police officers and other law enforcement have access for investigative purposes. Records may be restricted if a person is arrested but never charged, or the charges are dismissed.
Criminal records may also be expunged in Georgia after a conviction in certain circumstances. Examples of criminal convictions that may be expunged include first time drug possession and offenses that fall under the Georgia First Offender Act. The new expungement law allows for other certain misdemeanor crimes to be restricted four years after the sentence is complete, with some exceptions. Talk to an experienced record restriction attorney today to find out if your record qualifies for expungement.
Once a criminal conviction is expunged from the record, a person is legally allowed to claim that they never committed that crime. They do not have to disclose it on applications that inquire about a criminal history, and the conviction will not appear on any background checks for jobs, housing, or school. Any public records request about that criminal conviction will also turn up nothing, as all access to public records are restricted.
How the Expungement Process Works
The expungement process differs in Georgia based on the date of the arrest. For arrests that occurred prior to July 1, 2013, a person who wishes to restrict the record for that offense must petition for expungement with the agency that made the arrest. An attorney can help fill out the forms, and if approved by the arresting agency, the process moves to the court for final approval. Once the record restriction is signed by the judge, all courts and agencies that have records of the criminal conviction being expunged must remove them from all public records, and all locations except for law enforcement must restrict their records.
The process for arrests that occur after July 1, 2013 is much easier, as there is no application process for expungement. A person must simply contact the prosecutor’s office and request that their conviction be restricted from the record. This request can also be made at sentencing, where it is noted for processing once all terms of the sentence are complete.
Contact Our Office
To learn more about the expungement process in Georgia, call the office or contact us at Hawkins Spizman in Dunwoody today to schedule a free consultation.