After being arrested for a DUI, you may be thinking about what this charge can do to your future in the long term. Having an offense on your record could make returning to your normal life more difficult.
In that case, you may be thinking about what options you have to keep the arrest from your records. Can a DUI be expunged in Georgia?
As of a law that went into effect on July 1, 2013, Georgia uses the phrase “record restriction” instead of expungement. However, the process is still the same. Eligible records on your official criminal history report are restricted from public view and only accessible to law enforcement for criminal justice purposes.
Under this law, any arrest that is not referred for prosecution is restricted from your Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) history automatically after a period of two years for misdemeanors anf four years for felonies.
Record restrictions after an arrest
If you are arrested, there are three situations under which records can be restricted:
- If a case is closed without a conviction
- If the misdemeanor occurred before you turned 21
- If you were charged with a felony, but convicted of an unrelated misdemeanor
Serious traffic offenses, including DUIs, are not typically available for restrictions, but it is best to consult with an attorney to discuss your options.
Applying for a record restriction
For all arrests after July 1, 2013, there is no application process. The prosecutor at your sentencing can approve to expunge your records at that moment, which is noted in the sentencing documents and forwarded to the court. Older arrests before July 1, 2013 can be expunged through an application process with the GCIC.
If you are concerned about having your arrest expunged, you can work with an experienced DUI attorney from the very beginning. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible helps protect your rights and return to normalcy, and that includes having records expunged so that they don’t continue to haunt you in the future.