Your past can hang around, and it could make it harder to shape your future. Seemingly simple tasks like getting a job become vastly more difficult with a conviction on your record, but Georgia might be on the way to making it a little easier.
Employers are 60% more likely to reach out to applicants without records, even with nonviolent offenses years in the past. That can make it tough to find work despite the fact that you’ve paid your dues and avoided trouble. Wiping your blemished slate clean could be the answer you need, and the Georgia legislature is on its way to making that a little more accessible with SB 228.
While the current laws do allow for instances of expungement, the window is relatively small. The new changes could open the process to a big chunk of the 40% of Georgia citizens that currently have a criminal record. The law excludes offenders with repeat offenses, violent crimes and sexual offenses, but those with lesser transgressions could find some relief.
A conviction may be expunged under the new rules if you meet certain circumstances:
- Successful mental health, drug court or veterans treatment
- The conviction is cleared or reversed
- Four years have passed without another conviction
The bill soared through the Senate on a unanimous vote, and now makes its way to the House. Even though the expansion is not yet a law, Georgia still has regulations in place for those looking for a fresh start. Understanding how you qualify now or could in the future is the first step in getting the new beginning you need.