How to Restrict (Expunge) Youthful Offender Convictions and Seal the Court Records

If you were convicted of certain misdemeanor charges when you were under the age of twenty-one (21), you can petition to have the record(s) restricted (expunged). See O.C.G.A. §35-3-37(j)(4).


1. You were convicted of a misdemeanor or a series of misdemeanors arising from a single incident.

The following misdemeanor offenses are not eligible for restriction:

  • Serious Traffic Offenses including:
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Reckless Driving
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Theft (does not include Shoplifting)
  • Child Molestation
  • Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes
  • Pimping
  • Keeping a Place of Prostitution
  • Pandering by Compulsion
  • Masturbation for Hire
  • Giving Massages in a Place used for Lewd Sexual Acts
  • Sexual Battery
  • Sexual Assault by Persons with Supervisory or Disciplinary Authority
  • Sexual Exploitation of Children
  • Electronically Furnishing Obscene Material to Minors
  • Obscene Telephone Contact with a Minor
  • Computer Pornography 

2. You were under the age of twenty-one (21) when convicted;

3. You successfully completed the sentence; and

4. You have not been charged with a criminal offense in the last five (5) years before you are petitioning for restriction (excluding non-serious traffic offenses).


  1. File a petition in the superior court in the county where the case occurred for an order to restrict the records. See “How to Restrict (Expunge) Charges NOT handled in Superior Court” on page 103.
  2. Deliver a copy of the petition to the prosecuting attorney’s office.
  3. If requested, hearing must occur within ninety (90) days of filing the petition.
  4. The court will grant restriction if appropriate, considering your conduct since conviction and the public’s interest in the record being available.
  5. If the court orders the records restricted, you can submit a written request for restriction to the jail/detention center and the law requires the records be restricted within thirty (30) days of your request. See “How to Restrict (Expunge) Records Kept by the Jail” on page 110.


  1. Certified copy of the final disposition from the clerk of court.
  2. Proof of successful completion of the sentence.
  3. Petition to restrict. (Sample petition is included with these instructions)
  4. Evidence that the charge causes you harm (such as preventing employment).

Posted in: Restriction