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How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in Georgia

A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in Georgia, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record.  Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take.  1) Expunge Your Record2) Seal Your Record,3) Request a Pardon of Your RecordThe problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what Georgia offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.

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Expungement

If you get your record expunged in Georgia it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.

Record Sealing

Sealing your record in Georgia is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.

Pardons

If you receive a pardon in Georgia, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.

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Things to Know Before You Start

First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in Georgia.

Felony Expungement in Georgia

Yes, it is possible to expunge your felony in Georgia but it depends on the felony.

Sealing a Recordin Georgia

Yes, it is possible to seal your record in Georgia but it depends on the felony.

Getting a Pardonin Georgia

Yes, it is possible to get a pardon of your record in Georgia but it depends on the felony.

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Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options.  The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.  

Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action.  We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process.  Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again.  In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think.  The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing of your record.

TAKE THE ELIGIBILITY TESTQuick NavigationCan You Expunge a Felony in Georgia?How to Expunge a Felony in GeorgiaCan You Seal Your Criminal Record in Georgia?How to Seal Your Criminal Record in GeorgiaCan You Apply for a Pardon in Georgia?How to Apply for a Pardon in Georgia

Can You Expunge a Felony in Georgia?

Earlier laws in Georgia used expungement to serve notice that criminal record information was deleted or destroyed. In truth, records were not deleted or destroyed from an offender’s file. These criminal records are closed to the public, but can be reopened if you commit another felony. You can state that you have not committed a crime on employment applications, but be aware that a background check may state that there are expunged records on your file that you may have to explain.

In 2013, Georgia did away with the term “expungement.” The process is now stated to as “record restriction.” The name has changed, but the processes for expunging your criminal records are the same.  More info can be found here.

Expungement in Georgia is possible if the charges against our were dismissed or dropped. The Georgia First Offender Act  and depending on the crime, allows some defendants to receive probation instead of a judgement. In the case of probation, you may be able to expunge your records.

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CANNOT EXPUNGE IF…

<ol><li><p>You cannot apply for a total criminal history expungement. Each charge must be applied for separately and a record of restriction requested for every eligible arrest.</p></li><li><p>If my conviction was years ago, can I get my record restricted?</p></li><li><p>The statute of limitation on felony conviction do not run out; you are never eligible for restriction. If you have been convicted of a felony, check into pardons.</p></li><li><p>Can a plea of nolo contendere or mop contest be expunged?  Conviction that you do not claim guilt or fault are not eligible for restriction. Note that if you case has gone to trial and you have been convicted, you will not be eligible for restriction.</p></li><li><p>If you plead guilty to another charge, involved in more criminal activity even if in another jurisdiction, or you had  form of immunity granted by the court.</p></li></ol>

How to Expunge a Felony in Georgia

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible for expungement based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li></ol><p>Georgia is interesting in that it separates the process out for criminal history that occurred before July 1st, 2013 and after.  </p><p><strong>If you were arrested and convicted before July 1st, 2013:</strong></p><p>You cannot apply for a total criminal history expungement. Each charge must be applied for separately and a record of restriction requested for every eligible arrest.</p><p>If my conviction was years ago, can I get my record restricted?</p><p>The statute of limitation on felony conviction do not run out; you are never eligible for restriction. If you have been convicted of a felony, check into pardons.</p><p>Can a plea of nolo contendere or mop contest be expunged?</p><p>Conviction that you do not claim guilt or fault are not eligible for restriction. Note that if you case has gone to trial and you have been convicted, you will not be eligible for restriction.</p><p>If you plead guilty to another charge, involved in more criminal activity even if in another jurisdiction, or you had  form of immunity granted by the court.</p><p><strong>If you were arrested and convicted after July 1st, 2013:</strong></p><p>There is no application process. When you are sentenced, the prosecutor can approve to have your criminal arrest expunged right at court time. Your approved restriction will be published in the sentencing documents and forwarded to the court.</p>

Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Georgia?

If you were not convicted of any criminal wrongdoing, or even in cases where you were convicted of a first offense, you can seal your record. When your record is sealed, it cannot be accessed by just anyone. Potential employers or loan officers cannot access these records even during a background check.

You can legally deny that the crimes on your record ever existed. Only a court order to unseal the records and  make those records accessible to anyone.

When petitioning for record sealing in Georgia you must:

Show you are factually innocent. In other words, there is no reasonable cause showing that you committed the offense. Prove you were innocent by obtaining your criminal records and going over them with the arresting agency. Sealing cases is complex and means working with evidence and having an arrest that did not result in a conviction.

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CANNOT SEAL IF…

<ol><li>If you are found guilty, your records cannot be sealed.</li><li>Misconduct in your criminal proceedings will not give you the opportunity to seal your records. These include perjury, witness tampering, or prevention of criminal evidence being introduced in the trial.</li><li>You have requested your records be sealed or expunged previously.</li><li>Conviction involving federal district courts can be sealed if you appeal to a federal district court judge. Federal judges have the power to expunge any conviction, but they usually don’t honor petitions.</li></ol>

How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Georgia

<p>To seal your records in Georgia, you must first petition the arresting agency. They are the ones who must provide the proof that you we unjustly arrested or convicted. Sealing a criminal record after a wrongful conviction is an expensive process and can take years of appeals and pleas. <br /> <br /> As a note: Georgia has a “First Offender” provision.  O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60, states “upon a verdict or plea of guilty or nolo contendere, but before an adjudication of guilt, the court may, in the case of a defendant who has not been previously convicted of a felony, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the defendant, defer further proceeding and place the defendant on probation as a first offender<strong>.” <br /> <br /> </strong>Once you have completed your first offender sentence and your probation discharged, charges can be sealed on the GCIC database. Not on other data bases, just the GCIC.</p><p>The procedure to get a criminal record sealed by a court in Georgia is a complicated process involving several steps:</p><ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible to seal your record based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Obtain your criminal history form the arresting agency.</li><li>Have the prosecutor approve your petition.</li><li><a href=”https://gbi.georgia.gov/georgia-criminal-history-record-restrictions”>Fill out the proper forms</a> to have your records sealed. </li></ol>

Can You Apply for a Pardon in Georgia?

Pardons in Georgia are letters of official forgiveness. They are granted to individuals who have lived a good law-abiding life following the completion of their sentence. It is an official statement and attached to the criminal records and states the State of Georgia has pardoned the crime. It does not remove the crime, it only allows another witness for employment or rights to be restored. You will need to apply to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The address is: 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.SE Suite 458, Balcony Level, East TowerAtlanta, GA 30334-4909

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CANNOT PARDON IF…

<ol><li>You were convicted of a felony in another state,</li><li>The time limit has not expired (five years),</li><li>You have additional criminal charges,</li><li>You still have fines and restitution to pay.</li></ol>

How to Apply for a Pardon in Georgia

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record.  In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. </li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible based on our test, then you should stop here. </li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Effective 08/01/2017 revised application is required. Every applicant is required to present their criminal history record, certified sentence sheets for dispositions not noted on their criminal history and a self-addressed, stamped envelope (9 1/2 x 4 1/8 size envelope; NO oversized envelopes). <br /><br />Send to: <br /><br />Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles<br />2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive, S.E.<br />Floyd Veterans Memorial Building, Balcony Level, East Tower<br />Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909 <br /><br /></li><li><a href=”https://pap.georgia.gov/sites/pap.georgia.gov/files/ParoleConsideration/Pardon%20Application%20Revised%20July%202017.pdf”>This is the official form that you will need to fill out</a> for the state board of pardons and paroles in Georgia.      <a href=”https://pap.georgia.gov/sites/pap.georgia.gov/files/ParoleConsideration/Pardon%20Application%20Revised%20July%202017.pdf”> </a></li><li>Fill out the form completely and send to the address listed in #5.</li></ol>

So, there you have it.  Three separate ways to get rid of your record in Georgia.  As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you take this eligibility test prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.

Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational.  If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.

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This website was created by a few folks who have personally watched their loved ones struggle to get a job due to having a felony.

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