Criminal records can be sealed, which include the records of the charges and the arrest. A particular amount of time must have passed before expungement can be pursued and only those without conviction are eligible. The court will take the severity of the crime and the individual’s age into account when making a decision. Those under the age of eighteen at the time of the crime will often receive expungement regardless of the charges.
Expungement If You Were Not Convicted of a Crime
You may be able to expunge your Georgia criminal record if the charges against you were dropped or dismissed.
This rule does not apply if:
- Other criminal charges pending against you
- Convicted of the same or a similar offense within the last five years, or
- Entered into a plea agreement that caused the charges against you to be dropped or dismissed.
- There are a few other exceptions as well. O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37
Expungement If You Were Convicted of a Crime
The Georgia First Offender Act permits some defendants to receive probation instead of being subject to judgment by a court. (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60.) If you successfully completed probation and were not arrested and convicted of another offense, your record may be sealed on the Georgia Criminal Information Center Database. However, it may still be available through other sources.
Other offenses. It is not possible to expunge your criminal record for other convictions in Georgia, even if you receive an official pardon for the offense.
Correcting an Inaccurate Criminal Record
If your Georgia criminal record contains mistakes or is incomplete, you can petition to have it corrected. (O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37.)