GEORGIA RECORD RESTRICTION
If you’ve ever been arrested, you might have faced challenges when when trying to apply for jobs, licenses, housing, or loans. Even if the charges were dropped, your arrest record can cause problems down the line. Under Georgia’s Record Restriction law, O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37, you can remove certain records from your public record; they’re only accessible to law enforcement for criminal justice purposes. Formerly known as “expungement,”the process is now called “record restriction.”
Georgia’s new law has been effective since July 1, 2013. The term “expungement” implied that criminal records were deleted or destroyed, when really they were just not public. If your arrest occurred after July 1, 2013, there is no application process for record restriction. At your sentencing, the prosecutor can approve to expunge your records, and your approved restriction will be noted in the sentencing documents.
Grounds for Record Restriction
In Georgia, record restriction is available if charges were never filed, you were acquitted of all charges, or if it’s a first offender and drug conditional discharge case.