Expunge a Criminal Record

You can restrict public access to your criminal records.

Certain criminal history records can be hidden or sealed from the public. People with a records restriction are able to apply for jobs, housing, or licenses without their record appearing on a background check. Your criminal record will not be permanently deleted or destroyed and will still be available to judicial officials and criminal justice agencies.

Arrests that qualify for restriction include, but are not limited to, cases that are closed without conviction and certain misdemeanors.

The process to restrict your records depends on the date of your arrest and which agency or prosecuting attorney processed your case. If your arrest occurred before July 1, 2013, the arresting agency needs to process your request. If your arrest occurred on or after July 1, 2013, contact the prosecuting attorney’s office directly. The prosecuting attorney may be an Attorney General, a district attorney, or the solicitor-general. 

Approved requests for records restrictions must be submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) in order for the arrest to be removed from your public record.

You may wish to consult a lawyer before submitting a records restriction request. You can find a lawyer through the State Bar of Georgia.

How Do I Expunge a Criminal Record?

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    Get Prepared

    • The process for how to apply for a records restriction may vary by county. Contact the arresting agency or the prosecuting attorney’s office for more information about how to submit a request, required fees, and additional paperwork.
    • You may want to request a copy of your criminal history order to gather important information about what is on your record, including the arresting agency and arrest date. You can request a copy from your local Sheriff’s office or police department. 
     
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    Gather What You’ll Need

    • Request to Restrict Arrest Record form (if arrest is prior to July 1, 2013) or form provided by the prosecuting attorney's office (if arrest is on or after July 1, 2013)
    • Method of payment. The arresting agency or prosecuting attorney’s office may charge fees of up to $50 to process the request. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) also requires a fee to process the records restriction in their state database. 
    • Additional paperwork. The arresting agency or the prosecuting attorney’s office may want additional documentation, including a copy of your criminal history or a certified copy of the court’s final disposition of your case.
     
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    Apply to Restrict Your Criminal Record

    The process to restrict your records depends on when your arrest took place and which agency or prosecuting attorney processed your case.

    • Arrests Before July 1, 2013
      • If your arrest occurred before July 1, 2013, you have to submit your request to the arresting agency first, who will then submit it to the  prosecuting attorney’s office.
      • Fill out Section 1 on the Request to Restrict Arrest Record form.
      • Submit the form to the arresting agency. Ask them to complete Section 2 and submit the form to the prosecuting attorney’s office.
      • The prosecuting attorney’s office will complete Section 3 and either approve or deny your request within 90 days. Once a decision is made, the prosecuting attorney’s office will notify the applicant and the arresting agency.
      • Please keep a copy of the completed application for your records.
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    • Arrests On or After July 1, 2013
      • If your arrest occurred on or after July 1, 2013, reach out directly to the prosecuting attorney’s office of the county where your arrest took place. Your application does not have to be processed first by the arresting agency.
      • The prosecuting attorney’s office will either approve or deny your request within 90 days. Once a decision is made, the prosecuting attorney’s office will notify the applicant and the arresting agency.
      • Please keep a copy of the completed application for your records.
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    Restrict Your Records

    • If your request is approved, the prosecuting attorney will submit the complete application to the Georgia Crime Information Center database.
    • If the prosecutor approves your request but doesn’t have access to the GCIC database, you will need to send the approved application and processing fee to the GCIC yourself. The processing fee can be paid by money order or certified check payable to “Georgia Bureau of Investigation.” See a list of GCIC fees.
    • Mail the completed application and payment to:

    Georgia Crime Information Center Record Restrictions

    P.O. Box 370808

    Decatur, Georgia 30037-0808

    • If the prosecutor denies your request, you can appeal the decision to the Superior Court of that county within 30 days.
     
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    Next Steps

    GCIC usually processes complete record restriction applications within 2-3 weeks. You will receive a letter of completion in the mail confirming that the arrest has been restricted in the law enforcement database. Please keep a copy of this letter for your records. If you don’t receive a notification, call GCIC for an update on your application’s status.

     

Bureau of Investigation: Office

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3121 Panthersville Road
Decatur, GA 30034

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This information was prepared as a public service of the State of Georgia to provide general information, not to advise on any specific legal problem. It is not, and cannot be construed to be, legal advice. If you have questions regarding any matter contained on this page, please contact the related agency.