If you are struggling to make advancements in your life because of your public criminal record, you may benefit from legal representation. A Gwinnett County expungement attorney could examine your criminal history and determine if you are eligible to restrict your records from public access. Concealing these events from your past could give you a valuable sense of privacy and allow you to achieve new opportunities without any harmful information to weigh you down.
In Georgia, the correct term for expungement is records restriction, as the laws surrounding this legal process changed in 2013. Records restriction allows an individual to limit public access to their criminal records, including mugshots, police reports, court clerk’s records, judicial orders, and other filings that are otherwise publicly accessible through courthouse records, open records requests, or the internet.
Records restriction can happen automatically in cases that are dismissed or where the defendant is found not guilty of their charges. In these cases, the defendant’s arrest record will be concealed from background checks run through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Though the automatic process restricts the arrest record itself, it does not restrict other public information such as courthouse records and mugshots. To complete that step of the process, the defendant must file a petition and potentially participate in a hearing to prove to a judge that the public availability of their criminal record is harmful. An attorney who is experienced in restricting Gwinnett County criminal records could help an individual effectively make this case in court.
Individuals who were previously eligible for records restriction in the Gwinnett County included the following:
In 2021, the law changed to expand criminal record restrictions. The new rules dictate that a person may restrict two misdemeanor convictions or one misdemeanor and one felony from their record if they meet the requirements to do so. Certain crimes will still not be eligible for expungement under any circumstances.
All misdemeanor offenses will be eligible for restriction even if the defendant was convicted. Crimes that will not meet the requirements for expungement include:
These new legal changes could allow thousands of convicted individuals to partially cleanse their public records with the help of a Gwinnett County expungement attorney.
There are significant long-term economic and social benefits of expungement. Having a criminal record that is publicly available through the internet, private background checks, public systems, courthouses, or government agencies makes it difficult for you to move on from your past.
Restricting access to these records could open doors to personal and professional opportunities that have been previously closed. Call today to schedule a consultation with a Gwinnett County expungement attorney and learn more about your options.