District Attorney Jared Williams and Solicitor General Omeka Loggins are planning a summit in October that will instruct people how to have certain minor criminal convictions restricted from the view of prospective employers.
The summit will be held on Oct. 20, however, citizens can apply for restriction of their record at any time.
Williams made the announcement via his official FaceBook page on August 21.
A 2020 change in the law by the General Assembly allows for certain misdemeanor offenses to be wiped from employment criminal background checks.
According to Williams, a restriction is not an expungement and all convictions will show up on law enforcement criminal background checks.
“If you apply for a security clearance or apply for a job in law enforcement, the conviction remains, but if you are applying to work for Kinkos, that information can be restricted,” Williams said.
Felonies can only be restricted if the person was arrested but never charged or prosecuted. Felony arrests that result in a dismissal are also eligible for restriction.
Williams says that only petty misdemeanors are subject to possible restriction if citizens paid their fines, served their sentence, finished parole and completed any mandatory programs such as Accountability Court, Drug Court or Veterans Court.
Convictions under the First Offenders Act or Conditional Discharge Act may also be considered for restriction.
Each possible restriction will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. According to Williams, the applicant must provide proof that they are on the right track and are in no way a threat to the community.
“We want to help people who made a mistake get on with their lives, we want to help people help themselves,” Williams said.
Eligibility requirements also include that the person have no convictions in the prior four years and have no cases pending.
Under Georgia law, only two convictions can be restricted in a person’s lifetime.
Serious misdemeanors such as DUI, reckless driving, assault, family violence, battery, stalking, child molestation and other sex crimes are not elligible for restriction.
Currently, Fulton, Cobb and Macon-Bibb counties are holding similar seminars.
According to Williams, who has faced criticism due to his past career as a defense attorney prior to becoming District Attorney, the seminar has nothing to do with being soft on criminal activity. He said he achieved two convictions, one for armed robbery and one for murder, in just the past week.
“I care about our community, and I am committed to protecting the community. I feel that if helping clean up records create more opportunity, then we will have less crime,” WIlliams said.
Registration for the free seminar is open until Sept. 3, and citizens can find out if they qualify and register to attend by clicking this link here.