If you have a criminal record, you realize it can make your life difficult. It can be hard to get a job or find a place to live. Not having that criminal record would be nice. The state recognizes that you deserve that second chance and created the process of expungement, also called record restrictions. According to the State of Georgia, when you expunge your criminal record, you will seal it so it cannot be accessed by certain groups. Law enforcement and the courts can still access the records, but employers and other non-legal entities cannot.
If you were convicted after July 1, 2013, then you do not have to do anything to get your record expunged. A change in the law made it part of the conviction process. The prosecutor can immediately approve your expungement and add the restrictions and details to your sentencing documents. At the time specified by the prosecutor, your record will automatically be sealed.
If you were convicted before July 1, 2013, you have to complete a process to get your criminal records sealed. You have to fill out an application and have it completed by the arresting agency and the prosecutor. You may be charged to have this done by each party. After completing the application, the prosecutor will then file it and once the notification is made, your records are sealed. The prosecutor must put this information in the Georgia Crime Information Center. If for some reason, he or she cannot do this, then it must be done on paper and sent to the arresting agency who will complete the process to seal your records. Then, you must send a copy of the approved and filed paperwork to the GCIC. Again, you may be charged a fee to do this. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.