The state of Georgia passed a new expungement law that went into affect on July 1, 2013. This law changed the way the expungement process worked, and changed the term to restriction. In this article, we will go over some of the changes made in the law.
Georgia’s old law used the term “expungement, which implied that criminal records information was deleted or destroyed. In reality, criminal records were not really ever deleted or destroyed; the term “expungement” simply meant that the information was unavailable to be viewed for all purposes except by those in 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.
One of the biggest changes is the process. If you are arrested after July 1, 2013, and your charges are dismissed due to an error, or through a pretrial program or conditional discharge, the restriction process will be done automatically. The responsibility falls on the prosecuting attorney’s office, instead of the individual.
If your arrest occurred before July 1, 2013, you may still qualify for restriction, but you will have to apply for it.
If you are interested in getting your criminal charge restricted or want to see if you qualify, attorney Joseph Lariscy can help. For a free consultation call (706)389-4375 or contact us online for legal assistance.