Record Restriction is a legal process in Georgia that allows you to have your criminal convictions cleared and the court file of the case sealed. There used to be a process called expungement where you could get your arrest and conviction records sealed but Georgia no longer has record expungement. Therefore, even if someone's criminal record has been restricted, it can still be seen by prosecutors and judges to prevent it from being used in the event of a second DUI or other related second offense. A DUI conviction on your record can have serious consequences, and it is understandable that you would like to remove it from your record. However, a DUI in most circumstances cannot be sealed from your record.
There are limited circumstances in which records can be sealed, but that does not apply to DUI cases. In cases of underage possession of alcohol (MIP), shoplifting, and possession of marijuana, people who complete diversion programs or a conditional discharge can successfully have their records restricted.
Many people call our office and ask about pleading under the Georgia First Offender Act. First offender status grants people an acquittal of their charges if they successfully complete the terms and conditions of their sentence without any violations. In essence, it gives people a second chance. The law can be used for a range of felony and misdemeanor charges. Unfortunately, DUI is one of the few exceptions. Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have lobbied against giving a second chance to those convicted of DUI.
The only way to have your charges restricted from your record is if you win your case by a bench or jury trial, or if the prosecutor dismisses all of the charges. The important thing to understand is ALL of the charges must be dismissed, or you must be found not guilty on ALL the charges to request a record concealment. If your charges were reduced, or you were found guilty of an underlying offense such as speeding or failure to maintain lane, you are not eligible for record restriction. Our Georgia DUI lawyers have over 20 years' experience with DUI cases and are here to help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.