Can I Get My Record Expunged?

Georgia law allows you to expunge records of arrests that do not result in criminal convictions, as well as up to two misdemeanor convictions, and felony convictions for which you have obtained a governor’s pardon.

Many of us have experiences in our past that we would love to erase. More people than you realize are probably keeping painful secrets about long-ago mistakes that they are afraid to talk about, and you probably have no way of finding out. If you make a fool of yourself at a party and your friend takes pictures, you can just ask your friend to delete the pictures, and no one except the people who were in attendance will ever know how foolish you looked. With arrest records, the worst day of your life keeps coming back to haunt you, the harder you try to move past it. You apply for jobs, but you always freeze when the interviewer asks you why you answered “yes” to the question about your criminal history. You apply to rent apartments in a part of town away from where all the trouble happened, but the landlords always see your arrest record during the background check. Georgia law makes it possible to erase records of your arrests in cases where the state eventually determined that you did not commit a crime; you can even expunge some records of criminal convictions. For help navigating the expungement process, contact an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer.

Which Records Are Eligible for Expungement?

You have the right to expunge an unlimited number of arrest records that did not result in a criminal conviction. This includes arrests that never resulted in criminal charges, in other words, where the incident blew over quickly. It also includes cases where the state charged you but dropped the charges before you went to trial or pleaded guilty.

Until recently, it was not possible to expunge conviction records except in the case of minor crimes that you committed shortly after reaching adulthood. Today, it is possible to expunge up to two misdemeanor convictions, as long as you have completed all of the requirements of the sentence. You can even expunge non-violent and non-sexual felony offenses if you have obtained a governor’s pardon, as long as five years have passed, with no new criminal convictions, since you completed your sentence. Not all felony offenses are available for expungement, only felony convictions that do not involve violence, sex crimes, or drug trafficking.

How Does the Expungement Process Work?

To expunge a record, you must file a petition in court in the county where the criminal proceedings took place. You must present evidence to show that the persistence of the record harms you more than expunging it would harm the public. Then the court will issue an order expunging the record. You must then follow up with the clerk of court to finalize the expungement.

Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Expungement of Criminal Records in Georgia

An Atlanta criminal defense attorney can represent you in your efforts to expunge a record of an arrest or criminal conviction. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia to set up a consultation.