How to Get Your Georgia Arrest Record Expunged
THIS IS INFORMATION TO HELP THE PUBLIC. DO NOT CALL US, WE DO NOT HANDLE THESE CASES. PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE SO YOU CAN EVALUATE YOUR CHANCES.
We are providing this information as a public service and WE DO NOT HANDLE EXPUNGEMENTS SO DO NOT CALL. We do not know any lawyers who handle them either although I’m sure some do. Remember if you plead or were convicted, it’s not getting expunged without a Governor’s pardon. So, if you were not convicted and did not plea out, read on and get your record expunged.
The basic procedure for obtaining an expungement is set forth below. Remember, if you pleaded guilty in court, you are NOT eligible to have your conviction expunged. Good luck!
STEP 1: Get a copy of your GCIC criminal record.
You can walk into your local police department and pay a small fee and you will show ID and they will print it for you. Sandy Springs Georgia charges $25.00 for instance. To get a copy of your NCIC (national criminal record) you write to the FBI and submit a request to:
ATTN: SCU, MOD.D-2
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26303
You must send: 1) A signed request with an explanation for the request and your address. 2) Two completed applicant fingerprint cards with name, date of birth, place of birth, SSN and a set of ten rolled fingerprints and eight flat finger impressions. Fingerprints and impressions must be taken by a local law enforcement agency. 3) An $18.00 fee by certified check or money order to the United States Treasury. Request it under the Freedom of Information Act.
STEP 2: If the GCIC shows you were arrested but not convicted, you may be able to expunge it.
You do not have a right to expungement, it is more of a favor. O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37 (d) lays out when it can be granted. If:
- No criminal charges are pending; and
- No other convictions within the last 5 years.
What types of records can be expunged in Georgia?:
- No Indictment was filed because:
- Arrested and released without the offense being prosecuted, or
- The prosecutor dismissed the charges without seeking an indictment.
- An Indictment was filed, but:
- The charges were “nolle prossed,”
- The charges were dead docketed, or
- The charges were dismissed.
Keep in mind the statute lists the other reasons why it won’t be expunged such as a plea deal, pre-trial diversion, so read it.
Finally, remember that First Offender and Nolo Contendere please cannot be expunged:
Step 3: How to Get your Georgia Record Expunged:
You must approach the agency that arrested you (Fulton County Sherriffs or Atlanta police department) and they will give you the forms you need to fill out. You need to know the name of the arresting department, date of the arrest and the offense. (thus the reason for getting the GCIC report. The department sends the papers to the district attorney or solicitor and it is up to them to decide whether you meet the criteria for expungement.
If the prosecutor decides to approve your request they will notify the GCIC. Within several months, GCIC will expunge your arrest record.
If the prosecuting attorney denies your request, you can file a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the county where the arresting police department is located. The lawsuit must be filed within thirty (30) days of receiving the denial. Seeking a writ of mandamus is an expensive and complicated course of action so be sure to hire a good lawyer at that phase.
Remember that our firm does not handle these cases nor can we take the time to answer everyone’s questions. You have to take it from here. Good luck to you.
Christopher Simon Attorney at Law at 3535 Piedmont Road Building 14 Suite 410 Atlanta GA 30305 (404) 259-7635.