This week I had the great privilege of speaking with CBS 46 about Fulton County’s Restorative Justice Expungement Program along with Solicitor Keith Gammage. I have been assisting clients in my private practice with record restriction for about 10 years, and I had the opportunity to get involved with Fulton County’s program back in November at the Veteran’s Day Record Restriction Summit.
I feel very passionate about this topic, because Record Restriction can literally change lives. In my private practice, I work hard defending clients so that they don’t develop a criminal record in the first place, because once a person has a criminal history, his or her life can be drastically impacted. Individuals with criminal records can be barred from employment, housing, and certain types of public assistance.
So who is eligible for record restriction? While there are some exceptions (read more about those here), you may be eligible if:
- You completed a Pre-trial Diversion Program. These programs do not result in convictions. As a result, if you complete a program like this, you are eligible for record restriction.
- You plead guilty under the Conditional Discharge statute (O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2). Conditional Discharge operates slightly differently than a pre-trial diversion program. Under O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2, a person pleads guilty to the charge and is sentenced. However, if they successfully complete their sentence, the case is discharged without a conviction. The person is therefore eligible for record restriction.
- Your case was closed by the arresting agency.
- Your case was dismissed, or nolle prossed, by the prosecutor.
- Your case was not presented to the grand jury, or the grand jury twice refuses to indict your case.
- You go to trial and the jury acquits you.
- Your case was dead docketed for 12 months.
Think you might be eligible for record restriction? Check out the Georgia Expungement and Record Restriction section of my website to learn more about eligibility here. Questions? Give me a call today.