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Georgia

Adult Criminal Record Clearance Overview

Adult criminal records for cases in which you were convicted are eligible for restriction and sealing in some situations.

  • If your conviction was vacated or reversed and the prosecutor does not retry the case within two years, the record can be restricted. You must file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether to grant your petition. 
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, you must file a petition in court to have the court records sealed in addition to sending a written request to the jail or detention center to have the jail or detention records restricted. It is up to the judge whether to grant your petition for sealing, but if you meet the criteria, the jail or detention center must grant your request for restriction.
  • If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, the record can be restricted four years after you complete your sentence, so long as you are not arrested for anything other than a non-serious traffic offense during that time.
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, must file a petition in court to have the court records sealed in addition to sending a written request to the jail or detention center to have the jail or detention records restricted. It is up to the judge whether to grant your petition for sealing, but if you meet the criteria, the jail or detention center must grant your request for restriction.
  • If the judge retroactively discharges you because you were previously eligible for a first-offender sentencing but were never told, the record can be restricted.
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, you must file a petition in court to have the court records sealed in addition to sending a written request to the jail or detention center to have the jail or detention records restricted. It is up to the judge whether to grant your petition for sealing, but if you meet the criteria, the jail or detention center must grant your request for restriction. 
  • If you have been pardoned, record restriction is not automatic. You must petition the court, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. You must not have been convicted of any crimes (excluding minor traffic offenses) since you were pardoned, and you must not have any pending charges.
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, you have to file a petition in court to have the court records sealed in addition to sending a written request to the jail or detention center to have the jail or detention records restricted. It is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition for sealing, but if you meet the criteria, the jail or detention center has to grant your request for restriction.
  • If you were convicted of a crime while you were a victim of human trafficking, you may petition the court to restrict your conviction.
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, you have to file a petition in court to have the court records sealed in addition to sending a written request to the jail or detention center to have the jail or detention records restricted. It is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition for sealing, but if you meet the criteria, the jail or detention center has to grant your request for restriction. 

Adult criminal records for a case in which you completed a diversion or deferral program are eligible for restriction and sealing.  

  • If you successfully completed probation as part of deferred adjudication in a case related to underage possession or purchase of alcohol, the record should be automatically restricted. 
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, you must file a petition in court to have the court records sealed in addition to sending a written request to the jail or detention center to have the jail or detention records restricted. It is up to the judge whether to grant your petition for sealing, but if you meet the criteria, the jail or detention center must grant your request for restriction.
  • If you successfully completed a drug court, mental health, or veterans' treatment program, the record should be automatically restricted.
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, you must file a petition in court to have the court records sealed in addition to sending a written request to the jail or detention center to have the jail or detention records restricted. It is up to the judge whether to grant your petition for sealing, but if you meet the criteria, the jail or detention center has to grant your request for restriction.
  • If you successfully completed probation after deferred adjudication in case related to your first drug possession or related property crime charge, the record should be automatically restricted.
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, you must file a petition in court to have the court records sealed in addition to sending a written request to the jail or detention center to have the jail or detention records restricted. It is up to the judge whether to grant your petition for sealing, but if you meet the criteria, the jail or detention center must grant your request for restriction.
  • With certain exceptions, if you received first-offender sentencing, successfully completed your sentence, and were discharged, the record should be automatically sealed.
  • Once your GCIC record is restricted, you must file a petition in court to have the court records sealed. It is up to the judge whether to grant your petition.

Adult criminal records for arrests for which you were never convicted are eligible for restriction and sealing.   

  • If you were arrested but the police closed the case because the prosecutor never filed charges or the grand jury did not indict you, the record should be restricted within 30 days of the case being closed. 
  • If you were arrested for a misdemeanor or aggravated misdemeanor but the prosecutor did not file charges or the grand jury did not indict you, the record should be restricted two years after the arrest. 
  • If you were arrested for a felony other than a serious violent felony or a sexual felony against a person under 16 but the prosecutor did not file charges or the grand jury did not indict you, the record should be restricted four years after the arrest. 
  • If you were arrested for a serious violent felony or a sexual felony against a person under 16 but the prosecutor did not file charges or the grand jury did not indict you, the record should be restricted seven years after the arrest. 
  • If you were arrested but all charges were dismissed or nolle prossed, the record should be restricted immediately, so long as certain conditions are met. 
  • If you were arrested, charged, and acquitted, the record should be restricted immediately, unless the prosecuting attorney objects. 
  • If your case has been on the “dead docket” for one year, the record can be restricted. You must file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 
  • If you were charged with a felony and a misdemeanor and you were convicted of a misdemeanor but not a felony, the record of the felony charge can be restricted within four years of the arrest. You must file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 
  • If you were arrested but not convicted before July 1, 2013, the law enforcement record can be restricted. You must submit a written request to the law enforcement agency that arrested you to start the process, and it is up to the agency whether or not to grant your request. 

Adult Criminal Record Clearance Policies

    Records relating to a conviction that was vacated or reversed can be restricted by the court if the prosecuting attorney does not retry case within two years of the final order vacating or reversing the conviction. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(j)(2).
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    Records relating to a conviction of a person who was not informed of first offender treatment pursuant to 42-8-60, but would have been eligible, can be restricted if the court grants the petition for retroactive exoneration and discharge. Ga. Code Ann. § 42-8-66.
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    Records relating to a crime that has been granted a pardon from the State Board of Pardons and Paroles as provided in Ga. Code Ann. § 42-9-42 may be restricted as long as the petitioning individual has not been convicted of any crime in any jurisdiction, excluding any conviction for a non-serious traffic offense, since the pardon was granted, and has no pending charged offenses. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(j)(7).
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    A defendant convicted of an offense and sentenced while such individual was a victim of an offense of trafficking under Code Section 16-5-46 may petition the court imposing the sentence to restrict said conviction. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(j)(6).
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    Records maintained by the court clerk can be sealed by the court following the restriction of the criminal history information by the Georgia Crime Information Center. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(m)(1).
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    Records relating to a misdemeanor or series of misdemeanors arising from a single incident can be restricted by the court four years after sentence completion if the defendant has not been arrested for at least four years, excluding arrests for non-serious traffic offenses. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(j)(4)(A).
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    Records of a first-offense controlled substance possession or related nonviolent property crime dismissed following successful completion of pre-adjudication probation or a court- ordered restriction upon sentencing as permitted in Code Section 16-13-2 are restricted by the Georgia Crime Information Center. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(2)(B).
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    Records relating to a first offender case can be ordered restricted by the court at sentencing or during the term of a sentence imposed before July 1, 2016. Ga. Code Ann. §42-8-62.1(b).
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    Records relating to a first offender case, which were previously restricted, can be sealed by the court at any time. Ga. Code Ann. §42-8-62.1(c).
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    Records of a first-offense underage alcohol case following either the successful completion of pre-adjudication probation or court ordered restriction upon sentencing as permitted in Code Section 3-3-23.1 are restricted by the Georgia Crime Information Center. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(2)(C).  
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    Records relating to a case dismissed or nolle prossed following successful completion of a drug court treatment program, mental health treatment program, or veterans treatment program are restricted by the Georgia Crime Information Center if the defendant was not arrested during the program, excluding a non-serious traffic offense. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(2)(D).
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    Records of an arrest for which no indictment, accusation, or charge was filed are restricted if the case is closed by the arresting law enforcement agency and never referred for prosecution. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(1)(A)(i).
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    Records of an arrest for a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature are restricted by the Georgia Crime Information Center two years after arrest if, in that time, the case is not transferred or referred for prosecution or the grand jury returns a no bill without further action. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(1)(A)(ii)(I).
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    Records of an arrest for a felony, other than a serious violent felony or a felony sexual offense against a person under age 16, are restricted by the Georgia Crime Information Center four years after arrest if, in that time, the case is not transferred or referred for prosecution or the grand jury returns a no bill without further action. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(1)(A)(ii)(II).
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    Records of an arrest for a serious violent felony or a felony sexual offense against a person under age 16 are restricted by the Georgia Crime Information Center seven years after arrest if, in that time, the case is not transferred or referred for prosecution or the grand jury returns a no bill without further action. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(1)(A)(ii)(III).
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    Records relating to an arrest where the accusation or indictment is dismissed, nolle prossed, or reduced to a violation of a local ordinance are restricted by the Georgia Crime Information Center, so long as all criteria are met. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(2)(A), (E).
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    Records relating to an arrest resulting in an acquittal are restricted by the Georgia Crime Information Center, unless the prosecuting attorney demonstrates to the trial court that the harm inflicted upon the individual is clearly outweighed by the public interest in the records being publicly available. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(2)(E).
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    Records relating to a case that has been on the dead docket for more than 12 months can be restricted at the discretion of the court, unless an active warrant is pending for the petitioner. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(j)(3).
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    Records relating to a felony arrest that was dismissed, nolle prossed, or for which the petitioner was found not guilty but was convicted of a misdemeanor offense that was not a lesser included offense of the felony charge, can be restricted by the court within four years of the arrest. Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(j)(1).
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    Records relating to an arrest that did not result in conviction occurring before July 1, 2013 can be restricted by the arresting law enforcement agency if the request meets the criteria set forth in section 35-3-37(j). Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37(n).
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    Juvenile Record Clearance Overview

    Below is a general overview of when juvenile records can be sealed in Georgia. Please note that the Clean Slate Clearinghouse does not provide legal advice.  

    Read the legal policies and statutes for detailed statutory information.  

    Juvenile Record Clearance Policies Overview Most juvenile recordscan be sealed. 

     

     

    • If you were adjudicated (found guilty)of a juvenile offense, your record can be sealed two yearsafter your discharge. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request. 
    • If you have a juvenile record for a sex-related offense because you were a victim of human trafficking, your record can be sealed at any time. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request. 
    • If you successfully complete informal adjustment, mediation, or another non-adjudicatory procedure, your record should be sealed immediately. This should be done automatically; you should not have to do anything to get the record sealed. 
    • If you were charged with a juvenile offense but the court dismissed the charges, your record should be sealed immediately. This should be done automatically; you should not have to do anything to get the record sealed. 

    If you have certain convictions or adjudications on your record, you may not be eligible to have your record sealed.    

    Find a Lawyer 

    If you think you might be eligible to have your record sealed, find a lawyer who may be able to help you. Some lawyers might help you for free, although you may still need to pay a fee to file the paperwork in court.    

    Court Forms and Resources 

    If you cannot find a lawyer to help you, you may be able to file a petition on your own using these court forms and resources. 

     

     

    Juvenile Record Clearance Policies

      An adjudication for a sex crime may be vacated if such crime resulted from the petitioner being trafficked for sexual servitude or a victim of sexual exploitation. Ga. Code Ann. § 15-11-32(d).
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      Records relating to charges handled through the completion of informal adjustment, mediation, or other non-adjudicatory procedure or to a delinquency petition that was dismissed will be sealed. Ga. Code Ann. § 15-11-701(a).
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      Records relating to adjudications for committing a delinquent act can be sealed, so long as two years have passed since the petitioner's final discharge and the court determines that the petitioner has been rehabilitated. Ga. Code Ann. § 15-11-701(b).
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      Records relating to an adjudication for a sex crime can be sealed if such crime resulted from the petitioner being trafficked for sexual servitude or a victim of sexual exploitation. Ga. Code Ann. § 15-11-701(c).
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      Find A Lawyer

      Legal service providers located in the state.

      Contact information for legal aid organizations, bar associations, and other organizations that engage in record clearance work is provided for informational purposes only. The NRRC does not endorse or recommend any organization or individual referenced on the site. If you are a legal service provider who offers record clearance services, please contact us.