What Is Record Restriction / Sealing?

The State of Georgia does not formally use the term "expunge". Record restriction or sealing means that your conviction is not viewable by anyone searching your background. This includes most employers, lenders, landlords, licensing boards, schools, etc.

The new Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. 35-3-37) allows an individual to petition the court to restrict and seal up to two misdemeanor convictions from their record and any offense that has been pardoned (as long as it was not a serious violent felony or sexual offense) from their criminal history.

Law enforcement does retain access to these records.

Why Should I Have My Criminal Record Restricted?

A conviction record can be a barrier to employment, housing, and other opportunities for rehabilitated individuals.

What Convictions Are Eligible For Sealing?

An individual may petition the court to restrict and seal the record of a misdemeanor offense four years after they have completed their sentence as long as they have NOT been convicted or a new offense in those four years and do not have any pending charges.

Excluded Misdemeanor Offenses include, but not limited to, any offenses involving:

  • Family Violence (unless under 21 at the time)
  • Child Molestation
  • Sexual Battery
  • Public Indecency
  • DUI and Aggressive Driving
  • Certain Theft Violations

How Long Does It Take?

The process can vary depending on the schedules of the arresting agency and courts and their workload. Typical turnaround time is 30-60 days for record restrictions.

Felony Pardons are a much longer process and will take 9-12 months for a formal response from the State.

What Is A Pardon?

A pardon in Georgia is “an order of official forgiveness granted to individuals who have maintained a good reputation in their community following the completion of their sentence(s).”

Pardons in Georgia are granted for felony convictions by the State Board of Pardons & Paroles and may be helpful for advancement in employment, housing, or education. It does not expunge, remove or erase the crime from your record - which is a separate process.

A pardon allows you to also request a restoration of Civil and Political Rights and Privileges (hold political office, serve jury duty, etc.)

Am I Eligible For Pardon?

You may qualify for a pardon if:

  • You have been convicted of a felony offense in Georgia;
  • You completed all sentences at least five (5) years before applying (this means that you have been off parole or probation for this period);
  • You have lived a law-abiding life (no convictions) in the last five (5) years;
  • You do not have any pending charges (open cases); and
  • All of your fines or restitution are paid
  • Pardons are NOT automatic and are reviewed and decided by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The process usually includes notification of victims and local district attorneys.

Sexual offenses are eligible for pardon BUT may require additional documentation, evaluations, and clearances.

How Do I Find Out What Happened In My Case?

The outcome of the case, also referred to as the “final disposition,” is filed in the clerk’s office of the court in which your case was handled. The final disposition reflects how the case was resolved and should be on your criminal history.

If the final disposition is missing from your GCIC criminal history record, go to the clerk’s office of the court in which your case was handled and request a copy.

How Much Does It Cost?

Each case is different but for most cases we charge a flat fee that includes all processing fees charged by the courts and arresting agencies.

You can send us a detailed email about your case and we will be glad to discuss the cost.


What If I Have Multiple Convictions?

You can petition each court to restrict and seal up to TWO misdemeanor convictions and any offense that has been pardoned.

Why Choose The Albert Law Group?

We understand that everyone makes mistakes.

We also understand that some of us want, and deserve, a fresh start. Record restriction is the first step to a fresh start for many people. Let us help!

We offer Free consultations and Flat Fee service. If we take your case and it does not qualify for restriction we offer a 100% refund.

We only do record restriction and pardons - it is not a side practice like most other firms. Call Us Today.