What is Georgia's First Offender Act (FOA)?Upon a verdict or plea of guilty or nolo contendere, but before an adjudication of guilt, the court may, in the case of a defendant who has not been previously convicted of a felony, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the defendant, defer further proceeding and place the defendant on probation as a first offender.
If the terms of the first offender sentence are successfully completed, and the probationer discharged, the arrest record is sealed. GCIC must receive official notification that the subject has successfully completed the FOA requirements. The record is not automatically sealed based on the elapse of the probation sentence.
Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-65(b)) requires GCIC to change the first offender sentence to a conviction if, prior to successful discharge, the subject is arrested and convicted of another offense while still on first offender probation. Courts may also revoke a first offender sentence, indicate unsatisfactory completion of the first offender sentence or change to an adjudication of guilt.
What is a Local Record Expungement?
O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37(d) (1) allows for the expungement of arrest charges by a local law enforcement agency when certain conditions are met (as outlined in this statute). If approved by the local arresting agency, and the appropriate prosecutor, the arrest cycle is sealed on the Georgia criminal history report by GCIC. Access to that arrest information is restricted to criminal justice agencies only. The arrest is expunged in its entirety from the FBI criminal history record.
The following are examples of final court dispositions that may qualify: Dismissed: Not Presented to Grand Jury: No Further Action Anticipated; Nolle Prossed/Prosequi; Dead Docket; or No Record on File. All applications must be approved or denied by the appropriate prosecutor.
To apply for the local record expungement, contact the arresting law enforcement agency to obtain an application for Local Record Expungement. The request for expungement form is a three-part form:
What is the process for an attorney to request a client's criminal history record?
O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34 (a) (2) provides for an attorney to obtain criminal history records of a client, other defendant, or witness in a criminal action. The request must be submitted in writing to include the style of the case, full name, date
of birth, race, sex, and social security number (if available) for each person. Mail the request to the attention of "attorney requests" at the address listed in the contact information. A $15.00 fee payable to GCIC by business check
or money order is required for each record requested.
Disclosure of criminal history information to the defendant's counsel shall be solely in such counsel's capacity as an
officer of the court.
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