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Georgia expungement of arrest records for first offender misdemeanor convictions?

Atlanta, GA |

I understand that the "expungement" law in Georgia has recently changed. Can arrest records be expunged or sealed if they are associated with a "first offender" plea? First offender means the conviction can be sealed, but can the arrest records also now be sealed? I'm interested in an answer for misdemeanors. Further, does the law apply to convictions that happened prior to the law change? Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

The change in the law changed the title from expungement to "Record Restriction." The link below will take you to the Georgia Justice Project's website, and it can give you the information that you need. Good luck to you.

While I am a licensed attorney in the State of Georgia, I am not your attorney, even though I have answered your question here on Avvo. I take the time to answer questions here on Avvo as a public service, and a way to help educate the public about certain aspects of the criminal justice system here in Georgia. If you are in need of more detailed answers or representation, you will have to contact me, set up an appointment, and after a consultation, retain me for my services.

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Posted

Yes,yes and yes. The language you used isn't exact, but so far as the public is concerned, First offender treatment of an offense contemplates the removal from the GCIC, except for law enforcement, who will ALWAYS be able to see the history. Also do not expect the courts to make this happen automatically. Hire criminal defense attorney familiar with the procedure.

I am an attorney, practicing throughout the state of Georgia, but primarily in the areas around Augusta, Statesboro and Savannah, Georgia. You may review more information about my practice by going to: http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/30809-ga-elmer-young-540135/reviews.html. The information I am providing you should only be considered for your general knowledge and educational purposes. Consider it as a good first step in your knowledge acquisition, but not as legal advice. Indeed, any information I provide is based on the extremely limited facts you have provided and new facts could substantially alter any answer or reply. My opinion should be understood to apply only to the laws of the State of Georgia. You should always consult with a local attorney about your situation if you live outside of the State of Georgia.

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Posted

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with the previous answer slightly. While a plea under the conditional discharge statute (OCGA 16-13-2) was included in the new Record Restriction law (even if the date of offense was before law change), a traditional first offender sentence was not unfortunately.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your reply. Would it be possible to have an arrest record expunged if the accused ended up pleading guilty to a different offense than the one described in the arrest? (I'm assuming this is known as a plea bargain.) Thank you.

Jessica Katherine Stern

Jessica Katherine Stern

Posted

It depends on many different scenarios. It would have to be a misdemeanor offense lesser than originally charged and only the initial arrest might be restrictable. Feel free to call my office if you'd like to discuss further.

Asker

Posted

So pleading to a misdemeanor that is "lesser" than another misdemeanor qualifies to get the arrest restricted? I am hearing a lot of contradictory info. Please help.

Jessica Katherine Stern

Jessica Katherine Stern

Posted

It isn't possible to give you a clear answer without more information. I'd like to help you but I cannot without the specifics of your sentence by looking at the sentence disposition and then doing some research to see if any relief is possible.

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