Restoration of Rights Through Expungement in Atlanta

A criminal conviction can have severe repercussions on a defendant’s life. Even after accepting the penalties associated with their crime, a convicted person may find that their rights are heavily restricted. If you are facing this situation, one of the most effective ways to restore your rights is to restrict access to your public criminal history. Let an expungement attorney help you pursue the restoration of your rights through the expungement process.

Firearm Possession

Under state law, a felony conviction prohibits an individual from owning or possessing a firearm. Unlawful possession of a firearm could incur severe penalties, so it is crucial for someone convicted of a felony to understand their restrictions to avoid significant prison time. 

A convicted individual can pursue one of two methods to restore their firearm rights in Atlanta. First, if their felony conviction is their only felony they were convicted of in the state, they could pursue expungement through retroactive application of the First Offender Act. That retroactive application will be made at the discretion of a judge upon petitioning the court. Before filing such a petition, one has to obtain permission from the prosecutor’s office to proceed with the retroactive application. 

If retroactive application of the First Offender Act is obtained, then the restriction of the record under the First Offender Act will also apply. Once that record is restricted, a felon’s firearm rights in Atlanta will be restored. 

The other way to address restoration of firearm rights after a felony conviction is to seek a pardon for the specific purpose of restoring one’s firearm rights. A skilled attorney in Atlanta could assist a convicted person with either of these restoration  methods.

Housing Rights

Lessors have the discretion to deny potential residents an opportunity to lease a housing unit if an applicant has a criminal record. An individual who is having challenges leasing an apartment or home because of their criminal history have the option to pursue record restriction or expungement. Once a record is expunged, it would not show up on an official criminal history background report. 

Even after a record has been restricted with the Georgia Crime Information Center, however, a lessor may find evidence of the restricted criminal history when conducting a background check through a commercial background check company, as these companies do not automatically update their records after a record has been restricted. This can make the assistance of a qualified legal professional even more important when attempting to restore a person’s housing rights after expungement.

Although expungement is an option in many cases, there are some criminal convictions for which records restriction in Atlanta is prohibited, including serious felonies such as violent crimes, sexual offenses, drug crimes, and DUIs. 

Driving Privileges

There are some crimes that can restrict a person’s driving privileges upon conviction. For example, a truck driver or other commercial vehicle driver who holds a state-issued commercial driver’s license or CDL is subject to potential suspension or revocation of that CDL for certain infractions. 

A CDL might be suspended for 60 days if an individual receives a speeding ticket for going 20 miles over the speed limit, failing to maintain lane, or following too closely. These are routine traffic tickets that would result in three points being added to a person’s driving record for a period of two years for a regular driver’s license. For a CDL, these infractions will result in a 60-day suspension.  

A truck driver who receives a DUI will have their CDL suspended, and a second DUI will cause a lifetime revocation. However, after a lifetime suspension or revocation of a CDL has been in place for 10 years, there are certain administrative actions that can be taken to pursue expungement and reinstate their CDL.

An Atlanta Attorney Could Fight to Restore Your Rights Through Expungement

If you have been convicted of a crime, you may face serious obstacles that prevent you from exerting certain rights such as obtaining housing, owning a firearm, or operating a vehicle. Concealing your criminal past from public view may be your best option to move forward with your life, and a skilled Atlanta lawyer could walk you through the process of restoring your rights through expungement. Call today to learn more.