I was arrested in 2009 for DUI. The charges were amended to reckless driving to which I pleaded guilty. I'm in law school and clerking for a judge this Summer. When they ran my background check through the GCIC it came back that I had been arrested, and the disposition shows that the charge was amended. I want to know if it's possible to get this off my record completely because I was never convicted of a fingerprintable charge. Do I go through the GBI? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
DUI / DWI Attorney
My understanding is that once you are booked-in on any offense (fingerprintable or not), GCIC requires the disposition of the charges to be reported. To get it off of your record through GCIC, you would have to petition for expungement. Expungement is not available in Georgia where a plea to an amended offense is entered. There are some circumstances I have seen where a prosecutor agrees to expungement as part of a pre-trial diversion dismissal, but where you entered a plea to any offense from the same transaction or occurrence, I believe you are statutorily prohibited from expungement. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You can look at O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37(d) (1) to see the limitations on expungement in Georgia.
If the case was disposed of by anything other than a Nol. Pros. or pre-trial diversion, it isn't going to be expungeable. Honestly, if you could expunge when a DUI was reduced, there would be a lot fewer reductions offered.
Under current GA expungement law, reduced charges are not eligible for expungement. Very, very rare for a DUI charge to be expunged in Georgia. Although, there is hope on the horizon for those acquitted of all charges at trial.
Evan A. Watson is a Georgia licensed attorney. All information is based on Georgia law, and no response should be construed as legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is simply a form of legal education and is intended to provide general information for all readers. Please refer with an attorney who practices in your applicable state for non-Georgia legal questions.
A conviction will remain on your criminal record once you are convicted of a crime in Georgia. Georgia does not have laws that allow a person to 'expunge" their record if they have been convicted of the crime. I know you don't want ot hear this but, your criminal history is basically with you for the rest of your life. Because the laws of Georgia do not allow for convictions to be removed from your record it is best to retain an experienced, qualified and competent attorney to represent you BEFORE you are convicted. I would suggest that you address this issue up front with the Judge. Your honesty and acceptance of responsibility may be looked upon favorably and not as negatively as you think. I know this isn't the answer you were hoping to get. Good Luck!!!
The information provided in this response to a question is not legal advise and is provided only for general information purposes. My response should not be taken as legal advise as no attorney / client representation exists. Additionally, the information given in this answer is specific to the State of Georgia only and should not be applied to any other state.