What does it mean to expunge your record?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Criminal Law

When you have a criminal record, you may face a variety of barriers when it comes to housing and employment. Employers, property management companies and landlords perform background checks and may choose different candidates based on what they see in the report.

Fortunately, for various arrests and misdemeanors, you may qualify for expungement. Expungement can give you a fresh start in your life.

What does expungement accomplish?

Expungement restricts who can see arrests and convictions on your record. It prevents specific charges or convictions from appearing on the record itself but does not delete the criminal record. Judicial officials and criminal justice agencies can still access your criminal record.

How do you apply for expungement?

To apply for records restrictions, you need a Request to Restrict Arrest Record form. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Georgia Crime Information Center requires a fee before processing any records restrictions in the state database. You will pay the appropriate fees to the agency you request the restriction from.

In some cases, you may have to submit additional paperwork. The office you requested will ask for additional documentation, including your criminal history and the court’s final disposition.

Remember that your process may depend on when and where your arrest occurred. If you had an arrest before July 1, 2013, you must reach out to the arresting agency. The arresting agency will submit your request to the prosecuting attorney’s office. If your arrest happened on or after July 1, 2013, you reach out directly to the prosecuting attorney’s office.