How to Expunge a Record in Cobb County, Georgia

By Anne Pyburn Craig
Getting your record expunged can open up many opportunities.

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An arrest record can impact an individual's life long after the charges are resolved, affecting employment, housing and relationship opportunities. If you have been arrested in Georgia on charges that were later dropped without prosecution, expungement can offer a fresh start. Expungement means that all fingerprints, photos and paperwork related to the arrest will be destroyed by the arresting agency, and access to the information at the state level will be restricted to law enforcement officials.

Contact the Georgia Crime Information Center and obtain a copy of Request To Expunge Arrest Record, form O.C.G.A. 35-3-37(d). The form can be downloaded at the website of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, or requested by writing to the Georgia Crime Information Center, Expungements, P.O. Box 370808, Decatur, Georgia 30037-0808. Only one arrest date can be expunged with each request, although multiple charges from the same date can be included.

Complete Section 1 of the Request for Expungement.

Contact the law enforcement agency that arrested you. They will need to fill out Section 2 of the request form and forward it to the district attorney, who will then approve or deny your request. You will need a money order or certified check made payable to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for the non-refundable request fee, about $25. The law enforcement agency may also charge a small processing fee.

Find out whether the district attorney's office will forward the form directly to the Crime Information Center, in which case your check should be included when you submit the form to the arresting agency. They may return it to you and have you mail it to the address listed in Step 1. You may also hand deliver your request to the GCIC at 3121 Panthersville Road, Decatur, Georgia from 9 AM till 1 PM or between 2 and 4 PM on any weekday that is not an official holiday.

Be patient. If your request is denied by the district attorney, the form will be returned to the arresting agency instead of being forwarded to the GCIC. Otherwise, you can check the status of your expungement request by contacting the GCIC CCH/Identification Services at (404) 270-8396 or emailing gacriminalhistory@gbi.ga.gov. If you have heard nothing after four-to-six weeks, contact your local authorities again to find out if your request is being forwarded or denied.

About the Author

Anne Pyburn Craig has written for a range of regional and local publications ranging from in-depth local investigative journalism to parenting, business, real estate and green building publications. She frequently writes tourism and lifestyle articles for chamber of commerce publications and is a respected book reviewer.

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