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How do I get a record expunged if its already been denied once?

Valdosta, GA |

I was arrested for shoplifting at 18 to and the judge had compassion, saying if I did the comm. service and paid it would be dismissed (ga first offender). But now I'm 23 and its definitely still there...what can I do? When I requested to have it expunged, it was denied. That was almost.2 yrs ago

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Attorney answers 3


Best bet is to hire a local criminal attorney to help you in this matter. Best of luck.


First offender pleas are not dismissed, they are "discharged" if probation is successfully completed. If you have been discharged then the case should not appear on an employment run criminal history. Start by getting a copy of your criminal history and a certified copy of the disposition of your plea and any subsequent discharge orders. Then contact a lawyer who can look at if for you and determine whether your criminal history properly reflects what happened in your case.


Many people wish they could erase all traces of the mistakes of their past. Unfortunately, this is more difficult to do than most people think. Once we are no longer juveniles, we must live with our choices for the rest of our lives.

There seems to be quite a bit of misinformation and "street law" about criminal records that simply isn't true. As a general rule, criminal convictions are never expunged and do not "fall off" your criminal history after some period of time. Short of a pardon from a sitting Governor or a reversal of the conviction on appeal to a higher court, convictions are nearly impossible to remove.

On July 1, 2013, the new Title 35 of the Official Code of Georgia regarding the restriction of records will take effect.

Criminal history records can be restricted if the convictions fall into these categories:
1. The case was never referred to the Solicitor or District Attorney for prosecution
2. The case was referred to the prosecuting attorney, but was later dismissed.
3. The grand jury twice reviewed the case and refused to indict
4. All charges were dismissed after indictment or accusation (but not because of a plea deal or evidentiary ruling)
5. It involves a drug case that ended with a successful Conditional Discharge
6. Successful completion of Drug Court followed by dismissal and 5 years of no trouble.
7. The accused person was acquitted of ALL of the charges
8. The case has been on the "dead docket" for 12 months or more
9. The case was reversed on appeal more than two years ago
10. Most misdemeanors by youthful offenders (under21) after 5 years

You sound like you are a #10 or at least getting close to being one.

If you believe your criminal history record information to be inaccurate, you may request a criminal history record information inspection at the center for $15. If the information is wrong, the entity (arresting law enforcement agency, jail or detention center) has 60 days to correct it. If they don't correct it within 60 days, you have 30 days to appeal to superior court for an order that the information be corrected, supplemented, or amended by the arresting law enforcement agency, jail or detention center.

Hope that helps.

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