These days employers are asking potential employees to undergo a criminal background check for a variety of jobs.
When can a record can be expunged?
Under Georgia's Code, O.C.G.A. ?35-3-37 you may be eligible to expunge your record if you have no other previous convictions for the same or similar type of offense within 5 years and no currently pending case AND you were arrested but released without charges OR no indictment or accusation was filed by the prosecutor, and the case was dismissed.
What cannot be expunged?
If your case was dead docketed, nolle prossed, or dismissed after the prosecutor filed an indictment or accusation or if your case was dropped for any of the following reasons, your record cannot be expunged: a) Plea agreement; b) The State was barred from introducing material evidence or you won a motion to suppress or motion in limine; c) A material witness didn't testify; d) The State elected not to prosecute the case for judicial economy; e) You successfully completed a pretrial diversion program that did not specifically call for expungement; f) You were prosecuted by another court for the same thing or pattern of criminal activity; g) You had diplomatic, consular or another type of immunity.
What if my record cannot be expunged?
Be upfront with HR representatives and potential employers. I usually suggest to my clients that they explain to the hiring manager that they learned from their mistakes and the experience. Often times the hiring manager is not familiar with the legal terms. If your criminal record says "Nolle Prosequi" or "Elect Not to Prosecute," you may need to explain that your case was dropped.
How do I get my record expunged?
Under Georgia's Code, O.C.G.A. ?35-3-37 it is possible to make a request that a criminal record to be removed, modified, or supplemented if certain conditions are met. If you think your criminal record should not list an offense, is incorrect or flat-out wrong, you may go back to the agency or police department that arrested you and fill out an Expungement Request Form along with a small fee. If the Expungement request is denied, you would have the right to appeal the decision.
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For more information, seek out the advice of an experienced attorney.
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