Expungement refers to the process during which a court seals the criminal record of a person who has been convicted of a criminal offense. The state of Georgia refers to this process as “record restriction.” There are various requirements and stipulations about how a person can have a criminal conviction removed from this or her record. There are some important tips that a person should know to maximize the chances of successfully removing a criminal offense from his or her record. As a result, this article will review some of the important tips that you should know about obtaining a record restriction.
The Effects of an Expungement
Once a person’s record is erased or sealed, the person is no longer required to share information about this offense when completing a job or rental application. Additionally, entities like employers and schools will not be able to see information about this offense on the person’s record. In some cases, however, courts of law or law enforcement will be able to discover information about this offense.
Determining Eligibility for Expungement
Not everyone’s criminal record will make them eligible for expungement. Instead, criminal record must satisfy certain elements. Some of the elements that decide if a person is eligible for an appeal include the time between the conviction and when the person is trying to have the record expunged, the severity of the offense that the person wants expunged, the prior criminal history of the person, and the severity of the events surrounding the charge. In addition to these elements, counties in Georgia have various requirements about how an expungement can be obtained.
Understanding How the Record Restriction Process Works
Sometimes, a person must knowingly engage in the record restriction process while other times a person’s offense is automatically restricted.
Individuals arrested prior to July 1, 2013 who have had charges that were not indicted, acquitted, or dismissed will be required to apply for restriction through the appropriate arresting agency as well as pay any associated fees. Once an application of this nature is filed, a person must complete the process within 150 days.
If a person was arrested after July 1, 2013 and has not had the charges indicted or accused, been acquitted at trial, or had the case dismissed, the offense will be restricted when the court enters the appropriate information into a database. For individuals in this category, it is not necessary to apply for restrictions or pay a fee.
For other people, it is necessary to file an action in superior court to restrict their records. Court orders are required when charges are placed on the dead docket or convictions are vacated or reversed.
Find a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney
A skilled lawyer can be helpful in restricting your record. Many people discover that the process is simply too complicated to handle without legal assistance. The legal counsel at Shein and Brandenburg has experience helping people respond to these cases. Contact our law office today for a free case evaluation and to take the proper steps to ensure that your record is properly restricted.