Criminal convictions in Georgia may be expunged under certain circumstances. Expungement is available for documents relating exclusively to the defendant in question, such as arrest records, fingerprint data and photographs. Documents that must be preserved for constitutional reasons (such as custodial records) may not be expunged or destroyed, though a court may restrict access to such records.
Records of juveniles who were found not guilty of delinquency may be expunged. Adult convictions may be expunged in Georgia under the following circumstances:
- The defendant can show that their conviction records are incomplete or are inaccurate
- The defendant has no conviction due to a dismissal or disposal of charges; also, the defendant must not have any charges pending, nor have been convicted in the U.S. for the previous 5 years (not including any jail time)
- DNA profiles of defendants may be expunged if they have had their convictions reversed or the case has been dismissed
In the state of Georgia, expungement is not available under the following circumstances:
- The criminal charges were dismissed or “dead-docketed” following a plea agreement which resulted in conviction
- The prosecution or the government was barred from introducing evidence that is material to the case
- A witness who is material to a case refused to testify or was unavailable for testifying without legal justification
- The attorney chose not to prosecute because the defendant was currently incarcerated
- The defendant completed the requirements of a pretrial diversion program and such program did not specifically allow for expungement
- The defendant’s criminal conduct was part of a pattern of criminal activity
- Other concerns such as diplomatic or immigration issues
In order to be eligible in Georgia a person is usually required to make a formal request for expungement. After a request is made, the agency having control of the records will notify the Georgia Criminal Information Center (GCIC) of any resulting modifications of conviction records.