770-609-1247 |  Georgia Expungement Attorneys – Coleman Legal Group, LLC

A misdemeanor conviction, even if it’s not as serious as a felony conviction, will make a crucial impression on your criminal record. This can seriously jeopardize your future, as your paperwork will be visible on a background check when you find a job, buy or rent a home, apply for a loan, apply for higher education, and more. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be wondering if there is a way to mitigate or eliminate the effects of your belief. Luckily there is in the state of Georgia. With the passage of Senate Bill 288 in 2021, it is possible to have misdemeanor convictions “streaked” from your criminal record (record restriction). Note that while this article primarily addresses misdemeanor convictions, the record limitation also applies to some felony convictions, non-convictions (dismissal, nolo prossed, dead pocket, etc.), juvenile delinquency (juvenile delinquency), and more. Consult an experienced attorney for details of these circumstances.

What is erasure?

Deletion is a legal process of removing a criminal conviction from an individual’s record. This terminology implies that one’s beliefs are completely erased from the information; However, this does not apply to the state of Georgia. To clarify the legal process, the term “deletion” has been changed to “record limitation”.

What does record limitation do?

Record limitation is slightly different from the literal definition of deletion. Instead of removing your crime records entirely, the records are closed to the public: only designated entities and authorized personnel can view your crime records, e.g. B. Law enforcement and government agencies. This means that potential employers, lenders, etc. cannot access your restricted criminal record with a standard background check. This process is extremely helpful if you’re looking to improve your chances and live a better life after a devastating setback in your criminal record.

Eligibility Requirements

In Georgia, the law permits individuals to have up to two (2) counts of misdemeanor convictions. However, your conviction must be a criminal offense that is eligible for the registration restriction. While most offenses are eligible, some can never be restricted. Below is a list of these crimes:

  • Domestic violence and/or assault (unless the perpetrator was under 21)
  • Stalking through domestic violence
  • sexual battery
  • Public indecency
  • child abuse
  • To seduce a child for indecent purposes
  • “Peeping Tom” crimes
  • Any offense against minors
  • Disability or obstruction of persons making an emergency call
  • Some cases of theft
  • See §35-3-37 for the full list

If your offense is not one of the exceptions, three (3) additional criteria must be met to be eligible for a full recording restriction:

  • A person must have fulfilled the conditions of their sentence
  • A person must not have been convicted of any criminal offense (other than minor traffic offenses) in the four (4) years preceding the submission of the application.
  • A person has no pending criminal offenses

If you are unsure whether you are entitled to a restriction, consult an experienced attorney. If you successfully complete all of the above, you can officially begin the record restriction process.

Steps to record the limitation of an offense

The procedure for restricting recordings varies depending on the date of your initial arrest. If your date is before July 1, 2013, you will need the arresting authority to process your application. If your date is after July 1, 2013, you must contact the prosecutor’s office to start the process. Below are the steps you need to take to narrow your criminal record:

  • Step 1: Obtain a copy of your criminal history from the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC). You can request this from your local law enforcement agency. Your criminal record contains valuable information needed to restrict records, such as the date of your arrest. When doing so, identify the misdemeanor offense you wish to limit.
  • Step 2: Contact either the arresting authority to obtain an application (before July 1, 2013) or the prosecutor’s office (after July 1, 2013) to officially start the process.
  • Step 3: Submit a request to restrict your recording(s). For arrests prior to July 1, 2013, you must complete an “Application for Restriction of Arrest Record”. Here. There is no formal application process for arrests made after July 1, 2013, and individuals must take the actions required by prosecutors.
  • Step 4: Your application will be processed and approved or denied by the court within 90 days. If your application is approved, your prosecutor will submit your application to the GCIC database and your case will be successfully restricted. If the prosecutor cannot submit the application on your behalf, you must submit your application to GCIC yourself. This also includes the payment of a processing fee.

You must submit a separate application for each arrest you wish to restrict. The court will thoroughly consider your application and grant a record of a limited hearing if it concludes that “the harm to the individual otherwise clearly outweighs the public’s interest in the public availability of criminal records information”.

My request was rejected: what can I do?

There are several possible reasons why your record limitation request was denied. Perhaps your offense was not eligible at all or you did not meet all the requirements. The prosecutor may have objected to your application based on a variety of factors, such as the outcome of your original trial. In such situations, an attorney can fight for approval on your behalf or assist you in finding alternative legal remedies that will mitigate the consequences of your file. If your application for restriction of registration is denied by the court, you may apply again (for the same conviction) two (2) years after the date the court denied the application. An experienced attorney can help you increase your chances of getting your application approved the second time around.

Disadvantages of record limitation

As previously mentioned, restricting your records will not completely erase your crimes, only from public view. This does not mean that you are 100% safe from your past crimes. The record limitation applies only to court records; All the other places that have mentioned their capped fees are not legally required to remove anything from their respective platforms. While a prospective employer will not be able to see the restricted records when conducting a standard background check, they can still access your fee coverage through social media posts, news articles and more. Eliminating every trace of your criminal past requires many additional steps to be taken on your behalf.

Recording Restrictions Regarding Pardons

The restriction/deletion of records is very different from a pardon. A pardon is an official statement by the state declaring that a person is officially forgiven for the crime that has been committed. This will not remove/erase any criminal record from your history; The statement is simply attached to your criminal record. While a pardon increases opportunities for employment, education, etc., some may also want to limit a pardoned offense. This is not uncommon and most sanctioned offenses are subject to record restrictions.

get help

Although you do not need legal counsel to apply for a registration restriction, you may find it difficult to manage the process yourself. An experienced attorney can assist you in navigating the records restriction process and ensure it runs smoothly with minimal pitfalls. They can also help you if your conviction is not admissible, your previous application was denied, or there are special circumstances in your case.

Call today – free consultations for all potential client cases

Delaying in hiring a lawyer for a criminal proceeding can be detrimental to your rights and defenses. Call our office at today 770-609-1247 speak to a lawyer.

Criminal Cases – Territories of Georgia where we operate

Our Georgia criminal attorneys handle cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Duluth, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Suwanee, Sharon Springs, Marietta, Woodstock, Canton, Sandy Springs, Kennesaw, Gainesville, Midtown Atlanta, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Kennesaw, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, Smyrna, Buford, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Decatur, Grant Park, East Atlanta and the Virginia Highlands.

Our Georgia criminal lawyers frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton.

Our main office is in Alpharetta, Georgia at address: 11539 Park Woods Circle, Suite 304, Alpharetta, GA 30005. We also have offices at the following address:

Alpharetta Georgia
Park Woods Commons
11539 Park Woods Circle
suite 304
Alpharetta, GA 30005
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Atlanta, Georgia
Colony Square
1201 Peachtree Street, 400
Colony Square, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Dunwoody, Sandy Springs
GA 400, Atlanta Georgia
1200 Abernathy Rd
Building 600
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Avenue Forsyth
410 Peachtree Parkway
Building 400, Suite 4245
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Johns Creek, Duluth GA
11555 Medlock Bridge Road
suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Duluth, Georgia
2180 Satellite Boulevard
suite 400
Duluth, GA 30097
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Kennesaw Georgia
Town Park Center
125 Town Park Drive
suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

hunt crest
1755 North Brown Road
suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Copyright © 2023 | Coleman Legal Group, LLC | All rights reserved. Coleman Legal Group, LLC • 11539 Park Woods Circle, Suite 304 • Alpharetta, Georgia 30005 • 770-609-1247 DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website does not constitute, and is not intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for individual advice on your own situation.