Officials with the city of Atlanta and Fulton County are hosting a Record Restriction Symposium Oct. 26 to tell residents how they can apply for the restriction of criminal records, also referred to as expungement.

The free event will be hosted by Atlanta Solicitor Raines F. Carter, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and District 3 Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Atlanta Municipal Court, Lenwood Jackson Sr., Justice Center, 150 Garnett St. SW in downtown Atlanta.

Attendees are asked to preregister by visiting

The symposium is open to all who have been arrested within the city limits of Atlanta and the county. Preregistration will determine eligibility. Participants are asked to bring a copy of their criminal history, which can be obtained at any local police station. Onsite guidance will be provided by the city solicitor’s and district attorney’s offices.

If the violation occurred prior to July 1, 2013, obtain a certified disposition letter from the clerk of court, located on the second floor of the Atlanta Municipal Court, and mail or deliver it to the Atlanta Police Department Identification Unit, 3493 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy. NW, Atlanta, GA 30331.

If the violation occurred on or after July 1, 2013, bring your certified disposition letter and a copy of your criminal history to symposium. If you participated in a diversion program, bring a letter of completion signed by the program director.

Curative justice events, such as record restriction fairs, assist thousands of Atlantans clear nonviolent misdemeanor arrests from their criminal histories, thereby providing another opportunity for success. In the wake of criminal justice reform and the upsurge of harm reduction and re-entry programs, this is an opportune time to offer hope through record restriction. These programs allow offenders a fresh start when it comes to employment and even housing.

The following cases are eligible for restriction:

  • Possession of marijuana less than an ounce (if the violation has not reoccurred within five years)
  • Theft by shoplifting (up to the third conviction)
  • Refund fraud (if the violation has not reoccurred within five years)
  • Possession of drug-related objects (if the violation has not reoccurred within five years)
  • Cases not presented to a grand jury
  • Dismissed cases
  • Not guilty verdicts
  • Underage persons in possession of alcohol, (first offense)
  • Generally CLOSED felony non-convictions include:
  1. Dead docket
  2. Decline to prosecute
  3. Dismissal
  4. NPGJ
  5. First offender
  6. Nolle prosequi
  7. No bills
  8. Not guilty

In Georgia, state law does not use the word “expungement.” Instead, the process is now referred to as “record restriction.” Only the name of the process has changed. Record restriction means eligible records on your official criminal history report are restricted from public view and are only accessible to law enforcement for criminal justice purposes.

For more information and to apply for the restriction of state charges, visit

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, residents need trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by purchasing a digital subscription. Your subscription will allow you unlimited access to important local news stories. Our mission is to keep our community informed and we appreciate your support.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.