Recent Changes in Georgia Law

2012 

  • Record Restriction Law – Ga. Code Ann. § 35-3-37

Allows for individuals with arrests on their criminal record that did not lead to a conviction to have their record restricted from public view. Future employers who run background checks through the Georgia Crime Information Center will not see restricted information.

2013 

  • Mugshot Removal – Ga. Code Ann. §10-1-393.5

Requires mugshot companies to remove photo when charge(s) eligible for restriction within 30 days of a request (free of charge).


 

2014 

  • License Suspension – Ga. Code Ann. § 40-5-76(b)

Prevents the automatic suspension of an individual’s driver license when charged with some drug offenses not related to the direct operation of a motor vehicle.

  • Mugshots Online – Ga. Code Ann. § 35-1-18

Prohibits law enforcement from publishing mugshots online.

  • Employer Liability – Ga. Code Ann. § 51-1-54

Provides some protection to employers from liability when hiring people with pardons or certificates issued by Department of Corrections.


 

2015 

  • Ban the Box – Executive Order signed February 23, 2015

Removes questions of criminal history in the initial hiring application for potential state employees. Potential employees will still be asked about their criminal history, but later in the process and not in the initial screening.

  • First Offender Eligibility – Ga. Code Ann. § 42-8-61

Eligible individuals shall be informed about their first offender eligibility either by their attorney, if represented, or the court if not represented.

  • Retroactive Remedy for First Offender Eligibility – Ga. Code Ann. § 42-8-66

With the consent of the District Attorney, individuals who would have been eligible for first offender status at the time of their arrest are able to gain the benefit to their criminal history.

  • Georgia Fair Business Practices Act – Ga. Code Ann. § 10-1-393.14

Allows for individuals with criminal history to know when information regarding their background is being used to deny them employment. Also allows for individuals to dispute the incorrect reporting of information by requiring the Consumer Reporting Agency to investigate the claim in 30 days.