Local law states that individuals have the right to request for Georgia record restrictions and record sealing. A record restriction ensures that private companies and the general public do not have access to your criminal record, allowing you to pursue opportunities that were not previously accessible to you. If your criminal record is preventing you from progressing in your personal life, you may want to consider sealing a record in Georgia. Hiring a skilled expungement lawyer can help make the process easier, and you will definitely need help if your request has been denied.
Defining Record Restriction
Individuals can request Georgia record restrictions and record sealing for a variety of reasons. Having a criminal record can prevent a person from getting a job, finding housing, or receiving an education, but once a record is restricted, it cannot be accessed by private citizens or companies. This means that an individual with an alleged criminal record will no longer have to worry about background checks and employment screenings uncovering the details of their alleged criminal history. Even internet searches will not be able to find details on a criminal record once it is restricted. It is common for individuals with an alleged criminal background to experience a greater quality of life after having their record restricted.
Factors Affecting a Restriction Request
Individuals who request Georgia record restrictions will need to make a motion to the court. Whether the court decides to deny or grant Georgia record restrictions and record sealing will depend on the following factors.
- Whether the charge resulted in a conviction
- Whether the case was dismissed
- How the case was dismissed
- If witnesses not appear
If the request is granted, the record will be restricted, and only law enforcement agencies and the judicial system will have access to the complete record. Internet searches and background checks performed by private companies and the general public may not uncover information that has been sealed.
Filing a Request for Record Sealing
Sealing a record in Georgia can be difficult, and if a person wants to have their records expunged or sealed, they will need to meet certain standards. The following factors can influence whether the prosecuting attorney grants or denies a sealing request:
- The Record must be restricted previously
- The harm to the individual outweighs the public’s interest (ex. Knowing about the offense)
- The nature and severity of the other items of the criminal record of the individual making the request
Many individuals are disheartened to find out that relatively recent events may not be eligible for Georgia record restrictions and record sealing.
What Happens After a Record is Sealed?
If a person can undergo the process of Georgia record restrictions and record sealing, they will no longer have to worry about the public viewing certain matters on their criminal record. Of course, law enforcement agencies and the judicial system will still have access to the complete record, but basic background checks performed by private citizens and companies will not uncover sealed information. Once a criminal record is sealed, the information it contains may not be able to be found using the internet. When a record is sealed, it will be as if the events on it never occurred in the first place.
Common Reasons for a Denial
Not all requests for Georgia record restrictions and sealing will be granted. The office of the state prosecutor denies requests for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common include:
- The charge resulted in a conviction
- Case was dismissed since witnesses did not appear
- Evidence was suppressed for Constitutional violations
The state of Georgia also denies restriction requests to individuals who have been convicted of witness tampering or perjury-related offenses. If a request is denied, the individual with the alleged criminal background can hire an attorney to fight on their behalf. This can improve their chances of having their record restricted by the prosecutor. If someone wants their criminal record restricted, they should contact an attorney with an established history of helping similar situations.
Speaking with an Attorney
State law allows individuals with previous arrests and convictions to petition the prosecutor for Georgia record restrictions and record sealing. Individuals with alleged criminal backgrounds often struggle to find employment, housing, and educational opportunities, but by having their records sealed, their records will no longer be accessible to private companies and the general public. If you wish to have your record sealed, you may want to contact an attorney, who can advise you on the best way to proceed. If you need help sealing a record, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. We understand how difficult it can be to live with a criminal record, and we will do our best to get your request approved by the state prosecutor. Contact our law firm today to speak with an attorney.