New Expungement Law in Georgia

In August 2020, Gov. Brian Kemp signed the Second Chance Bill (SB 288) into law to expand access of record restriction—also known as expungement—in Georgia and allowing more state residents to have certain misdemeanor and felony convictions removed from their criminal records. The new law became effective on January 1, 2021. 

Previously, individuals who have been arrested—rather than convicted—and minors who have been convicted of a misdemeanor are only eligible for record restriction in Georgia. Record restriction means that the offense will no longer appear on public and private background checks. 

According to SB 288, a person can petition the court to restrict and seal the following: 

  • Up to two misdemeanor convictions (four years after the person completes his/her sentence) 

  • Some felonies, so long as the person received a pardon for the offense 

The following are the misdemeanor offenses that DO NOT qualify for expungement under the new law: 

  • Certain DUI cases 

  • Certain theft cases 

  • Crimes and sex crimes against minors 

  • Domestic violence convictions (unless the offender was under the age of 21) 

  • Public indecency 

  • Peeping tom crimes 

  • Pimping and pandering 

  • Hindering or obstructing a person making an emergency call 

Felonies that DO NOT qualify for expungement include: 

  • Murder 

  • Kidnapping 

  • Armed Robbery 

  • Rape and statutory rape 

  • Aggravated sexual battery 

  • Sodomy and aggravated sodomy 

  • Child molestation and aggravated child molestation 

  • Sexual exploitation of children 

  • Enticing a child for indecent purposes 

  • Sexual assault against a person in custody 

  • Incest 

The first step is to file a petition with a judge. Ensure that your petition states which charge you want to be restricted. 

The judge will decide whether to allow your record to be sealed. If expungement is approved, the only parties to have access to your criminal record will be law enforcement agencies. 

If you are interested in expunging your record in Gwinnett County, let an experienced criminal defense attorney help you. Contact Daniels & Taylor, P.C. today at (770) 285-1673 to schedule a free office consultation. 

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