If you have a criminal charge on your record, you may be wondering if it’s possible to have the charges expunged or sealed. Though there are some requirements and restrictions, many crimes are eligible for record restriction in Georgia.
Record Restriction, Explained
People may use the terms “expungement” or “record sealing” interchangeably, but as of July 1, 2013, Georgia now refers to the term “record restriction.” This means that crimes on your permanent record will be restricted from the general public. They are only accessible to law enforcement. Getting your record restricted can be immensely helpful when applying for jobs or housing, since employers, landlords, and financial institutions won’t be able to see charges on your record.
Who Is Eligible For Record Restriction in Georgia?
There are a few conditions for record restriction, including any of the following:
- Being acquitted by a jury
- Having your case dismissed after being indicted
- Completing a diversion program, first offender probation, or conditional discharge probation
- Completing court-mandated drug or mental health treatment
Benefits of Record Restriction
Having a record restriction can help you regain normalcy in your life. Some of the benefits include:
- Finding employment – Employers often run background checks, so requesting a record restriction helps people to find and apply for jobs. Federal agencies and law enforcement will still be able to see these records, however.
- Finding housing – Most landlords will require a background check and can deny housing if the background check finds a criminal history.
- Being able to apply for college – Having a juvenile criminal record could impact your ability to attend further education, so many young people make record restriction requests to prevent admissions from seeing their records.
Do I Qualify for Record Restriction?
The first step is to take a look at your “final disposition,” a document filed with the court clerk that explains the outcome of the case and if it will appear on your record. If you have charges you’d like to restrict the public from accessing your criminal records, or if you’re facing criminal charges right now that you would like to have dismissed or reduced, The Turner Firm can review the specifics of your case and advise you on how to have your record restricted.
Schedule a free, no-obligation assessment online to understand your options for having your record restricted and getting your life back.