Experienced Legal Representation For Over 20 Years

Can drug charges be expunged in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Drug Charges

If you have faced drug charges in Georgia, you may wonder if there’s a way to erase that mark from your record.

Understanding the laws regarding expungement enables you to determine your options and potential for a clean slate.


In Georgia, expungement, called record restriction, is a legal process allowing individuals to restrict access to their criminal records. However, the state’s laws on restriction are specific. Not all offenses are eligible for this process.

For drug charges, eligibility for expungement largely depends on the type and severity of the offense. Arrests that qualify for restriction include:

  • Closed cases
  • Certain misdemeanors
  • Dismissed cases
  • Not-guilty rulings

Restriction may exclude certain drug-related offenses, especially if they involve trafficking or distribution. You must complete your sentence, including any probation or parole, and you cannot have any new convictions.

There is usually a waiting period before you can apply for record restriction. In Georgia, this waiting period varies based on the type of offense.

First-time offenders

You may be eligible for restriction if you are a first-time offender and have completed a pre-trial intervention or diversion program. These programs typically focus on rehabilitation. Successful completion can improve your chances of having the charges removed from your record.

If you were a juvenile when the drug offense occurred, there may be a different set of rules. Georgia law allows the restriction of certain juvenile records, ensuring that youthful mistakes do not follow individuals in their adult lives.

Over 1 million drug violation arrests occur each year in the United States. Drug charges can impact many areas of your life. Understanding the eligibility requirements for record restriction can help you achieve a cleaner record and a brighter future.