How do I go about getting a felony off my record, so that I can get a job?

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How do I go about getting a felony off my record, so that I can get a job?

I have a situation where I was charged 17 years ago for burglary. I pled out under the First Offender Status program and was sentenced under that status. Here we are 17 years later; I have completed me degree in Criminal Justice and am looking for a job. However. i have found out that find out there was an error in the court paperwork and the First Offender status was omitted. I still ended up with the correct first offender sentence and completed that program, therefore, this charge should be off my record. How do I go about correcting this mistake?

Asked on May 14, 2014 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you successfully complete the terms of your sentence, the court will “discharge” the case without conviction. When the discharge is filed, the criminal records are sealed from your official criminal history report. You will not have a conviction for the offense(s). When you successfully complete your sentence, your probation officer is required to recommend to the judge that the case be discharged under the First Offender Act. The judge is then required to sign an Order of Discharge and file it at the clerk’s office so the charge is sealed from your GCIC criminal history record. After the discharge is entered, the records of your case will be sealed on your official criminal history (for most purposes). If the incident is still showing on your GCIC criminal history record, some part of the process was not completed.  But even if it were, the charge can still appear on a private background check. It is a public record. Court records of First Offender cases kept by the clerk of court remain publicly available after discharge. The First Offender Act requires that the clerk stamp the file to indicate discharge and exoneration, but because the records remain publicly available they will continue to show up on private background reports. I would speak with a private attorney to help you with the status of your matter as it appears on public record.  You seem to have successfully turned your life around and you deserve a fresh start.  Good luck.


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