We look to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who explains the Georgia First Offender Act:
Per Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60), “upon a verdict or plea of guilty or nolo contendere, but before an adjudication of guilt, the court may, in the case of a defendant who has not been previously convicted of a felony, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the defendant, defer further proceeding and place the defendant on probation as a first offender.”
If the terms of the first offender sentence are successfully completed, and the probationer discharged, those charges would be sealed on the GCIC database when the discharge is applied to the GCIC criminal history; however, such information may be available through other sources, including court docket books, criminal justice agency websites, or through “third party” vendors. GCIC must receive official notification that the subject has successfully completed the FOA requirements. The record is not automatically sealed based on the passage of the probation sentence.
Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-65(b)) requires GCIC to change the first offender sentence to a conviction if, prior to successful discharge, the subject is arrested and convicted of another offense while still on first offender probation or the offender has received prior FOA treatment. Courts may also revoke a first offender sentence, indicate unsatisfactory completion of the first offender sentence or change to an adjudication of guilt.
Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-63.1) notes offenses for which an FOA discharge may be used to disqualify a person for employment; thus the information will be disseminated to prospective employers.
You qualify for Georgia First Offender Act status if you have a pending misdemeanor crim such as lighting fireworks near a hospital or a felony case and the following are true:
- You have never been convicted of a felony (in any state);
- You have never been sentenced as a First Offender;
- Your charge is not Driving under the Influence (DUI);
- Your charge is not a serious crime committed against a law enforcement officer engaged in his or her duties;
- Your charge is not a serious violent felony
- Your charge is not a serious sexual offense
- Your charge is not related to child pornography and
- Your charge is not related to electronic sexual exploitation of a minor or computer pornography
No matter your situation, you always have options, but you won’t know them until you speak with a qualified attorney in Atlanta GA with expertise in the law. Amircani Law provides clients with exceptional service and representation for a range of criminal defense solutions.
If you have been hit with a penalty under the Georgia Super Speeder law or accused of statutory rape, we may be able to help you. If you have a first offender or other legal issues in the State of Georgia that requires immediate attention, don’t hesitate to give us a call.