If you were arrested for a crime but never convicted, you still have a criminal record that may make your life more challenging in terms of employment, housing, and more. Fortunately, state law allows for the restriction of criminal records—more colloquially known as an expungement—in specific circumstances. A Fort Oglethorpe expungement lawyer may assist you if you qualify for this form of relief.
Obtaining a restriction order for your eligible criminal records can significantly increase your prospects for future employment and career advancement. While you cannot wholly expunge or remove criminal records, you may be able to restrict some parties, such as schools, employers, and landlords, from viewing eligible records. A criminal lawyer could be vital to assessing your situation and determining whether specific records qualify for restriction.
Individuals generally can seek restriction of the following types of criminal records:
Despite the ability to remove certain convictions or arrests from records, convictions for other types of criminal offenses or arrests related to criminal offenses are ineligible for restriction of records under state law. These crimes include child molestation and other sex offenses, as well as pimping and pandering. Other ineligible criminal convictions include some offenses related to minors, some theft crimes, and serious traffic offenses.
As an expungement lawyer in Fort Oglethorpe may advise, various exceptions to these general rules on record restriction still exist under this code section. For instance, if individuals were acquitted of criminal charges by a jury due to jury misconduct, record restriction is unavailable. Other situations in which record restriction may not be permissible include:
Due to a large number of exceptions to the laws on record restriction and the facts of each situation, getting legal advice to determine eligibility may be highly beneficial.
O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37 outlines the procedures for restricting access to individual criminal records. For arrests that occurred before July 1, 2012, individuals must apply for restriction of their records at the law enforcement agency that carried out the arrest and pay a $25 filing fee. If approved, this restriction will prevent anyone other than non-criminal justice or law enforcement agencies from accessing arrest records.
The restriction of records related to arrests that happened after July 1, 2013, is automatic. As soon as the court enters a disposition in the case, the prosecutor will decide if a restriction is appropriate and automatically enter a restriction of records. However, if the prosecutor opts not to restrict access to the relevant records, the affected individuals must file a motion for the restriction of records.
Although restriction does not seal or remove all criminal records from public view, individuals may still benefit from an order that restricts their eligible records. As a result, contacting an expungement attorney in Fort Oglethorpe for guidance may be wise.
If you have any criminal records, determining whether you are eligible for records restriction may be advantageous to you. If your records qualify, you could benefit from the restriction of those records from potential employers, landlords, and more. A Fort Oglethorpe expungement lawyer may be able to assist you with this determination. Call right away to learn more.