How can I seal my criminal record?

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How can I seal my criminal record?

When I was 17 I was charged as an adult with a felony, first degree robbery. I was sentenced to 3 years of probation, with no jail time. I had no priors and haven’t had a single problem since then. Now I canot get a job and cannot seem to make a life for myself. I am wondering if their is anything that I can do. I haven’t even had a parking ticket since then, have applied for tons of jobs and cannot get hired because of that felony. I cannot even get my own lease on my own place because of the felony. I was a child and didn’t know I could do anything about it. Now I am determined to get it sealed.

Asked on December 10, 2012 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

David West / West & Corvelli

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately if you live in Georgia the news is not good.  If you are charged as an adult with a crime then you are subject to adult rules regarding your criminal conviction.  Records of criminal conviction cannot be sealed for adults - under any circumstances.  Some people will ask whether their record can be expunged as some arrests can be erased from a persons record this way.  Unfortunately, expungement is only permitted when the case does not result in a conviction (except in some misdemeanor cases with the consent of the prosecutor).  Your case would NOT qualify for an expungement.  So is there anything that can be done? Yes and No.

Experienced post-conviction criminal defense lawyers like myself can ask for a Pardon on your behalf from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles and guide you through the process of trying to obtain a pardon.  If more than 5 years have passed since the conclusion of your entire sentence (including probation) then you qualify for a pardon.  However, a pardon, even if granted, does not remove the arrest record completely; rather, it essentially removes the conviction so that you are no longer considered to have been convicted by the state.  This may aid you in employment or applications.  Some places don't know how to treat a pardon though and since it still appears as a case on your record they still hold it against you.  Nevertheless, this is really your only option.

If you are interested in exploring this option then you should consult with an experienced attorney for more details and to find out how they can help you get this relief.

David S. West

Attorney at Law

 

David West / David West & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately if you live in Georgia the news is not good.  If you are charged as an adult with a crime then you are subject to adult rules regarding your criminal conviction.  Records of criminal conviction cannot be sealed for adults - under any circumstances.  Some people will ask whether their record can be expunged as some arrests can be erased from a persons record this way.  Unfortunately, expungement is only permitted when the case does not result in a conviction (except in some misdemeanor cases with the consent of the prosecutor).  Your case would NOT qualify for an expungement.  So is there anything that can be done? Yes and No.

Experienced post-conviction criminal defense lawyers like myself can ask for a Pardon on your behalf from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles and guide you through the process of trying to obtain a pardon.  If more than 5 years have passed since the conclusion of your entire sentence (including probation) then you qualify for a pardon.  However, a pardon, even if granted, does not remove the arrest record completely; rather, it essentially removes the conviction so that you are no longer considered to have been convicted by the state.  This may aid you in employment or applications.  Some places don't know how to treat a pardon though and since it still appears as a case on your record they still hold it against you.  Nevertheless, this is really your only option.

If you are interested in exploring this option then you should consult with an experienced attorney for more details and to find out how they can help you get this relief.

David S. West

Attorney at Law

 


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