Written by attorney George F. Mccranie IV

Expungement in Georgia

In order to get a record expunged in the State of Georgia,, a person must apply to the prosecuting agency that handled the case.

A person can request expunction if they were:

Arrested, but after arrest, were released by the arresting agency without such arrest being referred to the prosecutor for prosecution; or

Arrested, but the prosecutor dismissed the charges without seeking an indictment or filing an accusation.

The person can be charged fees of up to $50.00 to have any fingerprints or photographs of the individual expunged from the police files.

When a police agency receives a request for expunction the refer the request to the prosecutor. The prosecutor then reviews the request to determine if it meets the criteria for expunction.

No Indictment or Accusation

A person has a right to have the record of an arrest expunged if:

The police agency didn't refer the case to the prosecutor, or the charge was referred to the prosecutor, but dismissed without the prosecutor seeking an indictment or filing an accussation.

No other criminal charges are pending against the individual; and

The person has not been previously convicted of the same or similar offense within the last five years.

After Indictment or Accusation:

After the prosecutor gets an indictment or accusation, an arrest record will not be expunged if the charges were dismissed because:

Of a plea agreemet resulting in a conviction;

The prosecutor was not allowed to introduce evidence because of some legal ground. For example, a motion to suppress was granted;

A key witness refused to testify or was not available to testify;

The person was incarcerated on other charges, so the prosecutor chose not to prosecute;

The person completed a pretrial diversion program and the program did not include a condition that the arrest record would be expunged;

The person was prosecuted in another county, state, or federal court; or

The ind ividual had immunity.

If the case was indicted, then dismissed, dead docketed or a nolle prosequi was entered, but not for one of the exclusions above, the individual may apply to get an expunction. For example, if the case was dismissed, dead docketed or a nolle prosequi was entered because of insufficient evidence, the person charged can seek an expunction. The person should contact the prosecuting agency. The prosecutor will review the request. If the prosecutor determines that expunction is appropriate he/she will contact the police agency. The police agency then has to notify GCIC that the records are being expunged.

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