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Can you expunge your criminal record in Georgia?

A criminal record can cause significant and adverse complications on your life in Georgia, and may hinder you from obtaining gainful employment, gaining custody of your child or even obtaining credit or a home loan. For this reason, you may wish to have your record expunged, meaning that the state seals it and makes it unavailable via the state or Federal repositories. In many states, criminal record expungement is possible, but unfortunately, in Georgia, it is not.

According to FindLaw, criminal record expungement is just not possible in Georgia, no matter the circumstances under which you were convicted. For instance, in many jurisdictions, if you pled guilty, you may have an opportunity to contest the conviction and clear your name. However, in Georgia, your criminal record will always include information regarding the conviction. The information will remain available via state and Federal databases for the remainder of your life. This is true in most circumstances, with limited exceptions.

Many jurisdictions also allow expungements in cases in which the convicted receive a pardon. Again, Georgia does not.

That said, there are a few limited instances in which your record may be eligible for expungement in the state. For one, the state may restrict access to your arrest record and only make it available to criminal justice agencies and judicial officials. Your record may also be eligible for restriction if the state never filed an accusation or indictment or if the state filed an accusation or indictment, but the accusations were dismissed, or your case was “dead-docketed” for at least 12 months.

The information in this article is for purely educational purposes. It is not meant to serve as legal advice.