A criminal record can follow a person long after they are proven innocent or charges are dismissed, making employment prospects, credit, and a host of other life milestones that much more difficult to achieve.When this happens, Atlanta expungement lawyers are more than happy to help their clients rebuild their lives and reclaim their good names.
Navigating expungement and record sealing can prove complex and nuanced. Different rules may apply depending on whether you were charged before or after July 2013. If you hope to remove your arrest from public records and start anew, you should seek help from an Atlanta defense attorney. En Español.
Expungement/Record Restriction Eligibility
Atlanta expungement lawyers know people sometimes are arrested for – and even plead guilty to – crimes they did not commit. However, not all are eligible for expungement or record sealing.
The first step, of course, is determining eligibility. According to Georgia Code, a person may be eligible for expungement or record sealing if they meet the following criteria:
- The charge was dismissed under the conditions set forth Georgia Code
- No other criminal charges are pending against the individual
- The individual has not been previously convicted of the same or similar offense under the laws of this state, the United States, or any other state within the last five years, excluding any period of incarceration
If someone believes any of the above scenarios apply to them, they would be wise to speak to an Atlanta expungement attorney as soon as possible about clearing their name.
Recent Law Changes
As of July 1, 2013, the rules around expungement applications and eligibility changed. Certain parties who were not eligible for expungement prior to that date may be eligible now.
If someone was charged with a crime before July of 2013, their expungement attorney in Atlanta can help them file the three-part application.
If, however, they were charged after this date, they do not have to fill out an application at all. When they appear with their Atlanta record-sealing lawyer at sentencing, the prosecution may approve their expungement on the spot.
Accessing Arrest History
The ability to access criminal records lies the main difference between expungement and sealing of a record. With expungement, criminal charges are erased from a person’s record as if they never happened.
With sealing, law enforcement officers and judicial agencies will still have access to information surrounding their charges, however, the public will not. This may be helpful in seeking employment, as criminal background checks can negatively impact those whose records are not sealed.
Contacting an Atlanta Expungement Attorney
Everyone deserves a second chance, but they are not always available. Atlanta expungement lawyers, however, will do everything in their power to ensure you do. A fresh start means a chance at better employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and freedoms under the law. If you are ready to reclaim your name and the narrative of your life, contact an Atlanta record-sealing lawyer today.