Understanding Record Restriction
Record Restriction, formally known as Expungement, is a court-ordered process in which one’s record report is restricted from public view and is only available to law enforcement for criminal justice purposes. In other words, Record Restriction erases past mistakes in the eyes of the law and allows you to move forward with your life.
At the Windecher Firm, we focus a majority of our time and resources into aiding our clients in the act of Record Restriction. It is our goal to help all who are eligible to clean their record and fight to ensure a fair chance for our clients moving forward.
Does restriction or expungement happen automatically?
Although in most instances your record will not automatically be restricted, there are two instances in which this will happen:
- If your arrest occurred after July 1, 2013 and the charges qualify for restriction, you will be granted Record Restriction within 30 days of the entry into the database
- If no disposition is entered into the database (two years for misdemeanors, four years for most felonies, seven years for serious violent and sex related felonies), the law requires that your record be unrestricted.
Am I eligible for Record Restriction?
Georgia has one of the harshest laws as it pertains to Record Restriction. Alongside the mountain of paperwork required to file a motion for Record Restriction, one should first determine if they are eligible or have met the requirements to proceed with the process.
Given the state the crime was committed in, determines the eligibility requirements. The below information outlines the eligibility for Record Restriction in the state of Georgia.
- Convicted of a felony or pled guilty / convicted at trial
- Convicted of a misdemeanor or pled guilty / convicted at trial
- Dismissed by the arresting agency without referral to prosecuting attorney
- Dismissed by the prosecuting attorney’s office before formal charge (accusation / indictment)
- Case placed on dead docket by prosecuting attorney – YES
- Case placed on dead docket by prosecuting attorney
- Open arrest that is not dismissed by arresting agency or referred for prosecution
- Dismissed or Nolle Prossed after the fixed charge
- Acquitted or found not guilty by judge or jury
- Successful completion of sentence under the O.C.G.A Statute
- Successful completion of sentence for furnishing to, purchasing, or possession of alcohol under the age of 21
- If successfully completed a drug, mental health, veterans or family treatment court program
- Certain misdemeanor convictions that occurred as a “youthful offender” or under the age of 21
- If a conviction is vacated or reversed
- If a felony charge was dismissed but the individual is convicted of an unrelated misdemeanor
- Fugitive From Justice warrant arrests (certain types of restrictions are up to the discretion of the court)
When to begin the process?
It is imperative to begin the restriction process immediately as the goal is to prevent your record from interfering with employment and or housing opportunities. Even if not convicted, an arrest can show-up on a background check, preventing you from potential employment or housing opportunities.
David Windecher is skilled and experienced in the topic of Record Restriction. Alongside the Georgia Justice Project, he has actively worked to help educate other Attorney’s on the difficult task of Record Restriction. Throughout his career, David has successfully restricted 200+ cases, allowing his clients to move forward and begin a life without a criminal conviction haunting their future.
For more information on Record Restriction or information on how to hire the Windecher Firm, contact David and his team today.