Trusted criminal defense lawyer
Explore the path to a clean slate with Conoscienti and Ledbetter’s guide to expungement in Georgia. Learn about eligibility, the process, and how we can help reclaim your future.
Author: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter
Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on December 21, 2023.
Expungement, also called record restriction, is a vital process that can significantly impact your future. It involves limiting access to your criminal history and potentially destroying or deleting those records. However, it’s important to note that while this process partially erases information, it predominantly restricts public visibility.
This article thoroughly explains Georgia’s expungement process, including its implications, procedural steps, and potential outcomes. By gaining valuable knowledge and guidance, you can navigate this process successfully, whether for employment, education, or other personal reasons.
At Conoscienti and Ledbetter, our commitment is to guide individuals like yourself through the intricacies of expungement in Georgia. Our experienced legal professionals are ready to provide the necessary support and guidance throughout this journey.
Speak with trusted criminal defense lawyer today, for free.
Expungement eligibility depends on various factors, such as the offense’s severity and an individual’s criminal record. While expungement is generally available for most misdemeanor convictions, there’s a cap of two separate misdemeanor convictions that can be expunged.
However, certain serious misdemeanor convictions, including DUIs, child molestation and abuse, and sexual battery, are ineligible for expungement under the new law. Additionally, the new law excludes felonies like rape, murder or felony murder, aggravated child molestation, sodomy, sexual battery, and armed robbery from the list of offenses eligible for expungement.
Despite these restrictions, expunging many felony convictions is still possible by following additional court steps. At Conoscienti and Ledbetter, our experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers in Atlanta can guide you throughout this process. It is important to note that record restrictions apply to each charge individually. Therefore, if you have multiple charges, each one can be addressed separately.
Importantly, you may be eligible for record restriction if:
Charges against you were dropped or dismissed, especially in false imprisonment cases.
You are a first-time felony offender (which may apply to certain serious misdemeanors).
You went to trial and received a not-guilty verdict.
Considering these, it is vital to consult with a legal professional to assess your eligibility for expungement and understand the steps involved in the process.
In Georgia, criminal records can be automatically restricted or restricted by petition. Automatic restriction applies in cases like dismissal, two no bills returned by the grand jury, sentencing under conditional discharge, or completion of a treatment program. However, it is essential to note that this automatic restriction may be temporary.
If you do not have your conviction restricted automatically, filing a petition with the appropriate court becomes necessary. When filing your petition in the appropriate court, it is crucial to serve copies to all relevant agencies. A comprehensive petition should include:
The Offender Tracking Number (OTN) for the specific charge you want to have your record restricted.
A copy of the final disposition from the previous case.
Evidence demonstrating the harm caused by your criminal record, such as obstacles in obtaining housing or employment, outweighs the public interest in publicly making the criminal history record information available.
A Draft Order.
The filing fee, a petition to waive the fee, and an indigency affidavit.
To successfully navigate the complex process of petitioning for record restriction and minimize the potential consequences of an unsuccessful attempt, it’s crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney. For instance, knowing Georgia’s sex offender laws inside out is essential when it comes to dealing with sex crimes and determining expungement eligibility.
At Conoscienti and Ledbetter, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients navigate Georgia’s intricate expungement process. We can assist you in gathering all the necessary documentation, filing accurate petitions, and advocating for your rights.
Don’t delay. Schedule a risk-free consultation today.
Expungement and Access to Opportunities
Expungement in Georgia opens avenues for individuals with a criminal record, dismantling restrictions and granting access to housing, employment, and other opportunities. By concealing your criminal record from most employers and landlords, expungement becomes a catalyst for pursuing aspirations and personal progress.
Restoration of Civil Rights and Privileges
Expungement plays a pivotal role in restoring civil rights and privileges. These rights include voting, serving on a jury, and even owning a firearm. Reclaiming these privileges gives you a real sense of freedom and empowerment. Restoring civil rights is a big step towards achieving social and political inclusion.
A Fresh Start and New Opportunities
In essence, expungement of felony conviction offers a fresh start and unveils new possibilities. It removes barriers imposed by a criminal record, enabling individuals to pursue their dreams wholeheartedly. If you bear the weight of a criminal record in Georgia, it is worth exploring the merits of expungement and its transformative impact on your life.
A criminal record in Georgia need not condemn you to a life of restrictions. Expungement holds the potential to transform lives and offer a second chance. However, successfully navigating the complex process of expungement requires experience and precision. That’s where our team at Conoscienti and Ledbetter comes in.
We set ourselves apart from the rest with our extensive experience handling expungement cases, unwavering dedication to client success, and comprehensive support and guidance. We take a personalized approach to each case, comprehensively addressing your unique requirements and circumstances.
By choosing Conoscienti and Ledbetter, you’re choosing a partner in your journey toward a fresh start. Don’t let your past determine your future. Schedule a consultation today and seize your second chance.