Having a Georgia criminal record may come back to bite you in any number of different areas. Many state residents who have criminal convictions find that their convictions make it substantially more difficult for them to land a job, find housing or apply for a loan, among other efforts. If your criminal conviction stemmed from an arrest that occurred before you were 21 years of age, however, you may, depending on the details of your conviction, be able to pursue a record restriction, which is essentially an expungement. 

According to the Georgia Justice Project, you may be able to seek a Georgia record restriction if you received certain convictions prior to turning 21 and otherwise meet eligibility requirements. There are, however, a number of convictions that are not eligible for expungement, among them many types of sex crimes and particularly serious traffic offenses. 

If you are able to determine that your criminal conviction is one that qualifies for a potential record restriction, you are going to have to find out whether you also meet other eligibility requirements. You must, for example, have successfully completed the sentence handed down to you following your conviction. You also must have remained arrest-free for at least five years before you are able to move forward with a request for a record restriction, although there are exceptions for non-serious traffic offenses. 

If you are eligible for a record restriction in Georgia, you are going to have to file a petition with the superior court in the county where your case originated. The court typically then schedules a hearing for sometime in the next 90 days, at which point it determines whether restricting your record is appropriate. 

This information is available exclusively for educational purposes and is not a replacement for legal advice.