A criminal charge can lead to barriers to employment, education, and even housing.
Luckily, there is a process known as expungement in some places, and referred to as record restriction in Georgia, that allows you to restrict certain elements of your official criminal history from public view.
In August of 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp expanded access to restriction and sealing of
convictions in Georgia, allowing people the opportunity to expunge certain convictions after a period of time.
Let’s take a look at what’s changed, and how you can get your record restricted with the help of a Georgia record restriction attorney.
What is the new record restriction law in Georgia?
Governor Brian Kemp signed the “second chance” bill – SB 288 – into law in August, allowing more Georgians to restrict and seal records of certain convictions from their criminal history.
This means that records that will be restricted will be hidden from both public and private background checks.
They’ll only be accessible to law enforcement for criminal justice purposes.
What charges qualify under the new law?
Not all charges qualify, but it does allow an individual to petition the court to restrict and seal:
- Up to two misdemeanor convictions
- Almost any offense (felony or misdemeanor) that has been pardoned
What charges do not qualify?
In Georgia, there are certain charges that cannot be restricted, even under SB 288. These include:
- Sex crimes against children / by people with supervisory authority
- Pimping and pandering
- Crimes against minors
- Sexual battery
- Peeping tom crimes
- Family violence battery convictions (unless the offender was under 21)
- Child molestation
- Public indecency
- Obstructing or hindering persons making emergency telephone call
- Certain theft cases
- Certain DUI cases
- Armed robbery
- Rape and statutory
- Child molestation and aggravated child molestation
- Sodomy and aggravated sodomy
- Aggravated sexual battery
- Aggravated assault with the intent to rape
- False imprisonment
- Enticing a child for indecent purposes
- Sexual assault against persons in custody
- Sexual exploitation of children
Read more about requirements for restrictions on our Record Restriction Attorney page.
How does the process work?
You’ll start by petitioning a judge for the specific charge you want restricted. The judge can decide whether or not they will allow the record to be sealed.
It’s important to note that you can’t have your entire criminal history restricted. Instead, you’ll need to apply for each eligible arrest to be restricted individually.
When can I submit to restrict and seal my conviction?
SB 288 change will take effect January 1, 2021, so you can submit your petition any time after that.
Contact Kim Frye to help you get your record restricted
This law is an important first step toward helping increase opportunities for people with a criminal record. If you think your case qualifies for restriction, get in touch with Attorney Kim Frye today.
Kim Frye helps clients from all over Georgia with their criminal cases, and she is determined to help you. Contact the Frye Law Group today.