If you have ever been arrested for a crime in Georgia, you have a Georgia criminal record. Even if the criminal charges were dropped, you still have a Georgia criminal background. A criminal background can follow you forever, but there is a solution to this problem. Under Georgia law, you may be able to have your Georgia criminal record expunged. In order to have this done, you will need to hire an experienced Savannah, GA expungement lawyer for help. Jarrett Maillet is a successful criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, GA who is offering all potential clients in need of a expungement lawyer free legal consultations.
An expungement proceeding is a type of lawsuit in which a first time offender of a prior criminal conviction seeks that the records of that earlier process be sealed, thereby making the records unavailable through the state or Federal repositories. If successful, the records are said to be “expunged.”
Georgia’s old law used the term “expungement,” which implied that criminal records information was deleted or destroyed. In reality, criminal records were not deleted or destroyed; the term “expungement” simply meant that the information was unavailable to be viewed for all purposes except law enforcement and criminal justice.
Georgia’s new law, effective July 1, 2013, does not use the word “expungement.” Instead, the process is now referred to as “record restriction.” Only the name of the process has changed. Record restriction means that eligible records on your official criminal history report are restricted from public view and are only accessible to law enforcement for criminal justice purposes.
In Georgia, you are eligible to have your criminal history record expunged if you can meet one (1) of the following three (3) criteria:
An expungement seals a case that has been dismissed from public view. When the process is completed all records from the Police Department, Georgia Courts, Sheriff’s Department will be sealed from the view of the general public. In some cases you DNA can be destroyed and your DMV records can possibly be erased. No future employers, current employers, customers, landlords, colleges and insurers can see what you have been accused of in the past.
Many juvenile offenders will be eligible for expungement in Georgia. Eligibility depends on the nature of the offense, the sentencing and the age of the offender at the time of the offense. Adults may be eligible for expungement or dismissal after the term of probation is completed. In a case where the offense was a felony such as grand theft, domestic violence, assault and battery, or felony DUI that cannot be expunged, a lawyer may be able to get the court to dismiss the charge or reduce it to a misdemeanor. It is extremely important that a person convicted of a crime fulfill the requirements of probation. Any admission or finding by the court of a probation violation removes the opportunity for expungement or dismissal. The same rule applies if you received a withheld judgment at sentencing.
If you were involved with the criminal justice system, and are interested in record sealing, dismissal or expungement, contact the attorneys at Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C. at your first opportunity. Our attorneys have years of experience in expungements, record sealing, and dismissals. Contact us today at 912-713-3426 for a free consultation.