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1. Arrests that do NOT result in the individual being formally charged either by accusation or indictment.
If an individual is arrested for a criminal offense and either the arresting agency does not refer the arrest to the District Attorney’s Office OR the District Attorney’s Office dismisses the charge after the arresting agency refers the charge, but before the filing of an accusation or indictment, the arrest will be eligible for record restriction/expungement.
There are two (2) other criteria that must be met before the law allows the arrest to be restricted/expunged:
1. The individual requesting the restriction/expungement does not have any other charges pending; AND 2. The individual has not been convicted of the same crime within the last five (5) years.
If the above criteria are met, Georgia law allows the record of that arrest to be restricted/expunged.
B. Arrests that result in the individual being formally accused or indicted, but the accusation or indictment is subsequently nolle prossed, dead docketed, or dismissed, will be eligible for restriction/expungement, UNLESS the nolle pros, dead docket, or dismissal was the result of:a) A plea agreement resulting in a conviction for an offense arising out of the same transaction or occurrence;b) The prosecution being prevented from introducing material evidence against the individual;c) A material witness either refusing to testify, or being unavailable to testify;d) The individual being incarcerated on other criminal charges and the prosecuting attorney electing not to prosecute for reasons of judicial economy;e) The individual completed a pretrial diversion program which did not specifically provide for expungement;f) The conduct being part of a pattern of criminal activity that was prosecuted in another jurisdiction; ORg) The individual having some form of immunity from arrest or prosecution.
If an accusation or indictment was dismissed for ANY of the above reasons, the record may NOT be expunged because the law requires that the application be denied.
If an individual has multiple arrests that he or she wants restricted/expunged, the individual must submit a SEPARATE “Request to Restrict Arrest Record” form for each arrest to be considered for restriction/expungement.
In addition to completing Section One of the form, the District Attorney’s Office requires applicants to include a copy of the arrest disposition along with the form. Failure to include a copy of the arrest disposition may result in a denial of the request.
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor offense OR your case was transferred to the Solicitor General’s Office after your arrest, the Request will be forwarded to the Solicitor General’s Office. If the case was handled by the Solicitor General’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office will have no involvement with your Request. You can contact DeKalb County Solicitor General's Office at 404-371-2201.
Additional information about Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) services you can find here: http://gbi.georgia.gov/node/250.
If your Request has not been forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office yet, then you must contact the arresting agency to determine the status of your request.
Once the District Attorney’s Office has made a decision on your Request, you must contact the arresting agency to obtain the decision on your Request.
If your Request has been approved and submitted to the Georgia Crime Information Center, you must contact the Center about the status of your application.
The law does not require a specific form for your appeal, but O.C.G.A. § 5-3-21(a) gives a sample form for an appeal, which is displayed at the end of this answer.
There may be a cost associate with the filing of your appeal, but under O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37, the cost does not have to be paid in advance. Contact the Superior Court Clerk in the county where you are filing to determine the cost of the appeal.
You must serve the prosecutor and the arresting agency with a copy of your appeal. You have 30 days from the date of the denial of your record restriction/expungement to file your appeal with the Superior Court Clerk.
Ph: (404) 371-2561Fx: (404) 371-2981Email
It is very important that you contact this office with any change of address or phone number.
If you wish to file a complaint against a juvenile or file a runaway or ungovernable petition, you must come to the DeKalb Juvenile Court Intake area. The Juvenile Court is responsible for the complaint filing process, and will determine whether a case is referred to the District Attorney's Office for formal prosecution.
Ph: (404) 294-2720Fx: (404) 294-2710
You may be eligible to participate in the District Attorney's Diversion Program. Unless you are an out of state college student, or living independently of your parents, you will need to come to Arraignment with your parents to request this class and speak to a District Attorney (DA).
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF POINTS?In Georgia, your driver's license can be suspended if you accumulate enough points. Please click on this link to the Georgia Department of Driver Services for additional information. HOW MANY POINTS DOES IT TAKE TO SUSPEND A LICENSE? In Georgia, if you are over 21 years of age, you must accumulate 15 points in any 24 month period to be suspended on points. If you are under 21, your license can be suspended for any one offense that carries 4 or more points, or for the accumulation of 15 points in a 24 month period. If you are under 18, your license can be suspended for any one offense that carries 4 or more points or for the accumulations of 4 points in a 12 month period.
WILL I JUST GET ANOTHER COURT DATE?No. You will be required to pay the fine in full plus a contempt fee of $100.00 for having failed to appear, and the warrant will be recalled.
You will also be given a form to take to the Georgia Department of Driver Services to get your license reinstated if it has already been suspended. The payment of the fine will be finalize and close out your case.
ARE CASES EVER RE-SET AFTER A FAILURE TO APPEAR?Yes. Under Georgia law, there are legal excuses for failure to appear. 1. You were incarcerated at the time of the hearing. You must bring proof of incarceration to court to get a reset. 2. You were hospitalized or institutionalized at the time of the hearing. You must bring proof of this. Routine doctor's appointments or an emergency room visit on the date of the hearing will not satisfy this requirement 3. You were active military stationed elsewhere at the time of the hearing. Please bring in documents showing you were not free to leave the base and come to court. 4. The person receiving the ticket has been deported. ICE documentation is required. 5. The person receiving the ticket died or was terminally ill at the time of the court date and has died. Please bring in a death certificate or program from the service. 6. You did not get notice of the hearing. This sometimes happens if you were injured in a wreck, or arrested and were not given the ticket by the officer. WHAT IF I WANT A TRIAL AND DON'T WANT TO PAY THE TICKET? The court will exercise its right to arrest you on the warrant. You could be taken into custody and it will be up to a judge to grant a cash bond of up to $1000 for your release per ticket, or to order you held with no bond until your trial date.
I WAS CITED FOR NO LICENSE ON PERSON, WRONG ADDRESS ON MY LICENSE, EXPIRED LICENSE, WRONG CLASS LICENSE, WRONG ENDORSEMENT ON LICENSE, FAILURE TO OBTAIN A GEORGIA LICENSE, AND I HAVE CORRECTED WHATEVER PROBLEM WAS IN PLACE WHEN I WAS CITED, DO I STILL HAVE TO COME TO ARRAIGNMENT?If this was the only ticket you received at the time you were stopped, you may be able to have your citation administratively reduced or dismissed. If the charge is dismissed, no fine will be assessed. If the charge is reduced a minimal fine will be imposed. You must come to court no sooner than 10 days after the ticket was issued and no later than 10 days before your Arraignment (court date on the ticket) and ask about the "Standing Order." For more information, click on STANDING ORDER
I WANT/HAVE A LAWYERI THINK I NEED AN ATTORNEY. WILL THE COURT APPOINT ME AN ATTORNEY? You will have to fill out an application provided by the Office of the Public Defender for DeKalb County to see if you qualify. Qualification is based on your family income and your assets. If you do not qualify, you will have to hire an attorney on your own. Please refer to www.dekalbbar.org/ or call 404-371-2222.
If you already have an attorney, the Assistant District Attorneys assigned to Recorder’s Court can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you come to court, you will have four options:
OPTION #1: THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S PRE-TRIAL DIVERSION PROGRAMAny person who has been cited for the first time in five years for any state traffic moving violation, a first lifetime misdemeanor shoplifting; any person under 21 years of age cited for the first time with a point bearing state traffic violation, or a first 24 or over speeding citation may qualify for this program. Eligibility for program participation is at the discretion of the Assistant District Attorney.
The benefit of the District Attorney’s Pretrial Diversion Program is that once you complete the program your citation will be dismissed. It will not be reported on neither your criminal nor driving records.
If your citation is for the following offenses YOU DO NOT QUALIFY for the program:• Suspended or Revoked Registration• No insurance• Cancelled, Suspended or Revoked License• No license• 30 or over speeding citations for any age group• Reckless Driving• Passing a School Bus• Aggressive Driving• Fleeing and Eluding• Hit and Run Occupied Vehicle• Tag and Registration Offenses
You have up to FOUR months to complete the program. The components of the program:1. $200 Diversion Fee2. $35 per month probation fee (dependant upon the length of time you take to complete the program)3. $65 class (if assigned)? Restorative Justice? Me and My Driving4. Defensive Driving (if assigned) May be taken at any licensed facility. This fee is to be paid at the location and is not paid to the court.Community Service (if assigned). The number of community service hours is assigned on an individual basis.
OPTION #2: NOT GUILTYIf you enter a Not Guilty plea, your case will be “reset” or rescheduled for a Trial which will take place on another date.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COME TO YOUR ARRAIGNMENT DATE TO ENTER A PLEA OF NOT GUILTY. You can click on this link and enter a plea of Not Guilty electronically. You will be mailed a notice of your trial date. You must come to court on your trial date ready for the trial of your citations.
Officers and witnesses are not required to attend an Arraignment. They are subpoenaed to attend on your trial date. You will be given the option to have a trial before the judge (a “bench” trial) or to have your case transferred (“bound over”) to State Court for a trial before a jury. If you would like for your case to be bound over to State Court, you must make this selection on your arraignment date or BEFORE your trial date.
OPTION #3: NOLO CONTENDRE (‘NOLO’ OR ‘NO CONTEST’)You may plead ‘Nolo’ once every five years. If you have entered a plea of ‘Nolo’ in the past five years, you must plead Not Guilty, Guilty, or see if you qualify for the District Attorney’s Pretrial Diversion Program.
If you enter a plea of Nolo you still be required to pay the original fine for your citation. It is still a conviction and will appear on your driving record.
You have a right to request a Nolo, but it is completely in the discretion of the judge to grant or deny your request. A plea of Nolo on most moving violations that carry points, or on most suspendable offense, if granted, will help you to avoid having points assessed on your license or having your license suspended. There are many limitations to this general rule.
If you are under 21 years of age, your ability to enter a plea of ‘Nolo’ to avoid an assessment of points against your license is extremely limited. You are encouraged to consider the District Attorney’s Pretrial Diversion Program to determine if you qualify.
OPTION #4: GUILTYA Guilty plea ends your case on the date you enter it. You will be immediately sentenced and/or a fine will usually be imposed.
For traffic violations, a report may be sent to the Georgia Department of Driver Services and you points may be assessed against your license.
Ordinance violations do not involve point assessments against your driver’s license and are not reported to the State of Georgia.
Also refer to Option #1, the District Attorney’s Pretrial Diversion Program
THE OFFICER TOLD ME THAT HE WOULD MAKE THIS A WARNING. WHY DO I NEED TO COME TO COURT?Once the officer turns the ticket in, you must appear on the date shown on the citation. If the officer wants to make it a warning, the officer can recommend that to the judge. This takes place at trial, not on the first court date, which is the date listed on your citation. If you do not appear on that first date, known as an "Arraignment," you are subject to having your license suspended for failure to appear, and subject to having a warrant issue for your arrest.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW TO CONDUCT MY OWN TRIAL? If you decide to represent yourself, you will be held to the standards of an attorney. Neither the court, The Assistant District Attorney, nor the clerks are allowed to give you legal advice, make any calls for you, or obtain evidence for you. CAN I SUBPOENA WITNESSES FOR MYSELF? Yes. You can get subpoenas for witnesses on your behalf from the Clerk of Court for Recorders Court before your trial date. WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM CONVICTED AT TRIAL? The maximum punishment which can be imposed by Recorders Court is 60 days in jail and $1000 in fines for each violation of the DeKalb County Code of Ordinances and 12 months in jail and $1000 in fines for each violation of State Law. If you are found Guilty, you will be sentenced and fined. Your fines are due and payable immediately upon conviction. If a suspension is required by law, or if the court for any reason feels a court suspension or medical suspension is required, your license can also be suspended on traffic tickets. CAN I APPEAL THE VERDICT OF RECORDERS COURT? Yes. You can appeal within 30 days of the date of the conviction by filing a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the Superior Court of DeKalb County. You will have to pay an appeal bond equal to the amount of the fine prior to filing this Petition. An appeal will not delay or defer any suspension of your license that may be required by law.
WHAT IF I TAKE A DEFENSIVE DRIVING CLASS BEFORE I COME TO COURT? Unless the class was ordered by a judge of this court, there is no guarantee that it will result in any reduction of fine or consideration on sentencing. It is completely in the discretion of the judge you see on your court date.
You are required by the Court to report as directed.
All questions concerning your case should be directed to your probation officer. Do not call the DeKalb County Recorders Court or the Assistant District Attorney about your probation as they will be unable to assist you.
The office is located at:2189 Northlake ParkwayBuilding 10, Suite 108Tucker, GA 30084Tel: 678-364-7075
Office Hours are 8am – 5pm Monday through Friday
For offenders on probation, the contact information for Department of Corrections – Central DeKalb Probation Office is:
Central DeKalb Probation547 Church StreetDecatur, GA 30030(404) 370-5113
The local parole office will have authority over inmates who are granted parole (shortened prison sentence) by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, please contact them at:
DeKalb Parole Office2910 Miller Road, Suite 150Decatur, GA 30035 (770) 593-5650