Georgia DUI Expungement Lawyer
Having a DUI charge on your criminal record can make it very difficult to apply for jobs and search for housing. Many hiring managers and landlords will take one look at the details of your charge and immediately move your application to the bottom of their pile.
Fortunately, you may not need to deal with this challenging situation forever. With the help of an experienced Georgia DUI expungement lawyer, such as those here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, it might be possible to prevent your charges from appearing on these background checks.
How the Yeargan & Kert, LLC Legal Team in Atlanta Can Help
The experienced criminal justice lawyers here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, fully understand how difficult it can be to live life with an old DUI charge on your record. When you hire us to help you get your drunk driving charge expunged, we will:
Review the Eligibility of Your Case
Every DUI case is different. Before you spend your time and money fighting to get yours expunged, our experienced lawyers will thoroughly review it to make sure that your attempt is likely to be successful. If we believe that you are eligible for expungement in Georgia, we will immediately begin taking steps toward making it happen for you.
If your expungement application is likely to be denied by the state, there are often steps that you can take to improve your odds in the future. When you meet with our knowledgeable attorneys, we will walk you through them.
File Paperwork and Documentation on Your Behalf
Applying to expunge a DUI in the state of Georgia can sometimes require quite a lot of paperwork. Fortunately, if we believe that your application is likely to be successful, we will be more than happy to fill it all out and file it on your behalf.
Our team of experienced lawyers and paralegals have been applying for DUI expungements in Georgia for years. As such, you can be confident that all documentation will be completed accurately and filed on time.
The attorneys here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, have helped countless Atlantans have their DUI charges removed from their records over the years. To find out if we can do the same for you, just give us a call and set up a free consultation with a member of our team.
How Does the Georgia Expungement Process Work?
In many jurisdictions in the United States, having a charge expunged means that all traces of the offense are permanently removed from the record. The process works a little differently in the state of Georgia.
In the Peach State, expungement is known as record restriction. It is named as such because, when a criminal charge is expunged in Georgia, it is not removed from the record. Instead, the state simply restricts the number of people who can see it.
An expunged or restricted DUI in Georgia can still be seen by:
- State bars
- Medical boards
- Nursing boards
- Law enforcement officers
- Realty boards
For more information about the list of people who can access restricted records in Georgia, please contact the Yeargan & Kert, LLC legal team. We are always happy to provide our friends and neighbors in Atlanta with the legal advice and assistance they need.
Understanding the Rules for DUI Expungements in Georgia
Before attempting to move forward with an expungement in the state of Georgia, it is a good idea to learn a little more about the rules that govern the process.
The first, and perhaps most important, fact that you should know about expungements is that a Georgia DUI conviction can never be removed from the record. To have any chance of getting your DUI charge expunged, you must first win your case or have it thrown out.
Broadly speaking, the state of Georgia will only allow expungements or record restrictions for DUI cases in the following two situations:
DUI cases that are closed without conviction in Georgia are almost always eligible for record restriction. This includes charges that were never presented to a grand jury as well as charges that were placed on the “dead docket” by the arresting law enforcement agency.
Trials that result in not-guilty verdicts and vacated or reversed convictions are also eligible for expungement under Georgia law.
There are, however, a few exceptions to the general rule that non-convictions may be expunged. For instance, record restriction may not be granted if a DUI charge was dismissed because:
- The offender had some form of immunity from prosecution.
- Important evidence was suppressed.
- The offender chose to plead guilty to another charge (such as reckless driving) in the same case.
- The offender was involved in a pattern of criminal behavior that was prosecuted in another jurisdiction.
Expungement may also be denied in cases where the offender was acquitted, but it is later determined that judicial misconduct or jury tampering occurred.
Unrelated Misdemeanor Convictions
Under Georgia law, it is possible for offenders who were originally charged with a felony DUI offense but were later convicted of an entirely unrelated misdemeanor offense as part of the same case to have their record restricted.
In determining whether restrictions are appropriate in such cases, the court will examine the offender’s conduct and the harm that their criminal record is causing them.
The attorneys here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC in Atlanta are experts in DUI law. We fully understand the rules and restrictions surrounding record restrictions. To have us help you with your DUI expungement, please reach out to us to set up a free consultation.
How Georgia’s Lookback Policies May Impact the Record of a DUI Conviction
Many Atlanta drivers are at least somewhat familiar with Georgia’s 5-year and 10-year lookback policies. However, some people mistakenly believe that these rules dictate the length of time that a DUI conviction will remain on a driver’s record. This is not the case.
These policies do not dictate when a DUI conviction will be removed from the record. They merely dictate the punishments that drivers must face if they are caught drunk driving again during that time period.
Understanding Georgia’s 10-Year Rule
In the state of Georgia, anyone who is convicted of a second DUI within 10-years is subject to a mandatory sentence enhancement. Such offenders must be sentenced to at least 72 hours in jail and a fine of $600 to $1,000. They are also required to complete DUI school, 240 hours of community service, 12 months of probation, and a clinical evaluation.
The state may also choose to levy these punishments on drivers whose first DUI occurred more than 10 years ago – since, despite the long gap between convictions, they are still repeat-offenders. However, doing so would be a decision that is made by the prosecutor. It would not be mandatory.
Understanding Georgia’s 5-Year Rule
Drivers who are convicted of a second DUI in 5 years face even harsher penalties. In addition to the punishments levied under the 10-year rule, such offenders must also surrender their license plates and pay $25.00 to have their photograph and conviction notice published in a local newspaper. They will also have their driver’s license suspended for at least 18 months.
Offenders who are punished under Georgia’s 5-year rule are not eligible to receive a limited driving permit for four months after they are convicted. Once that four-month period has expired, they will need to have an ignition interlock device fitted to their vehicle if they wish to receive such a permit.
The attorneys here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC have been practicing DUI law in Georgia for years. If you would like to have us help you with your case, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Can DUI Convictions Be Removed from the Record Through the Pardon Process?
In many states, the Governor has the power to issue pardons to individuals who are convicted of violating state law. The Governor of Georgia does not have this power. Instead, the ability to issue pardons rests with the Georgia Pardon and Parole Board.
As a general rule, offenders are eligible to apply for a pardon if:
- They have been convicted of a felony offense in the state of Georgia.
- They have completed their sentences at least 5 years before applying for the pardon.
- They do not have any pending charges.
- They have not been convicted of any crimes in the last 5 years.
- Their fines and restitution have been paid.
Since driving under the influence is usually categorized as a misdemeanor offense in Georgia, most individuals who are convicted of this crime are not eligible for a pardon.
Drivers who are convicted of felony DUI may be able to apply for a pardon. However, even if they are successful, their conviction will not be removed from the record. Instead, they will receive a certificate of rehabilitation that will be noted in their criminal record.
Should you have any additional questions about the Georgia pardon process, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Yeargan & Kert, LLC team. We are always ready, willing, and able to provide you with the answers you need.
Your Georgia DUI Expungement Law Firm
When you need help expunging your Georgia DUI charge, there is only one law firm you need to turn to – Yeargan & Kert, LLC. We have helped countless Atlantans get their records restricted over the years, and we would love to do the same for you. To set up a free consultation with a member of our experienced legal team, just give us a call or send us a message online.