Georgia Arrest Records
Georgia arrest records are documents that state a person’s arrest information. Note that even if there is no conviction for a crime, an arrest record will still remain. Thus, an arrest record does not necessarily mean a person is a criminal unless they are proven guilty and convicted.
Under the Georgia Open Records Act, anyone can request their arrest records or someone else’s records even without stating a purpose. However, each record request is still governed by the state’s disclosure requirements, especially if it contains confidential information.
In Georgia, arrest records may include the following information:
- Arrestee’s name
- Birth of date
- Physical descriptors
- Date and place of arrest
- Reason for the arrest
- Arresting officer
- Information on who issued the arrest warrant
What Laws Govern Arrests in Georgia?
Arrest laws in Georgia can be found in Chapter 4 Section 17 under Criminal Procedure of the Georgia Code.
Below are the following laws that every citizen must know regarding arrests in Georgia.
- An arrest is complete when a person yields to the condition of being arrested under the discretion of an authorized officer.
- A person is considered arrested when they are verbally told or deprived of freedom of movement for a brief period, even without consent by a person of authority. For example, a person taken in for questioning is considered arrested because they are not free to leave when they want.
- An arrest warrant is presented during an arrest stating the name of the person to be arrested, the offense they committed, the time, date, and place it was committed, and the party to whom they committed the offense.
- An officer can make an arrest even without a warrant if the person committed a crime in their or attempted to escape as an offender.
- A citizen’s arrest is allowed only if they witness another person committing a crime. However, citizen arrests do not apply in violations of local ordinances since such are not considered crimes by law. A person who makes a citizen arrest should immediately contact the law enforcement unit with the appropriate jurisdiction and surrender the arrested individual and must not use any force during the arrest, except when defending their lives or others.
What Is the Arrest Booking Process in Georgia?
After an arrest, an officer will immediately transport an arrested person to the nearest jail in Georgia for the booking process. In case the arrested person has sustained physical injuries that need serious attention, they may bring the person to a treatment facility like a clinic or hospital.
Once done, the booking process will include entering the arrestee’s identification, like their name, age, social security number, and other similar information into the police database. Next, the police will take fingerprints to identify the arrested person and determine if there are other warrants against them. The police will also take mugshot photos as evidence of the arrested person’s current physical state during the arrest. Legal authorities may also collect personal effects, and a strip search may follow to ensure that no dangerous weapon or any other contraband enters the jail.
For bailable offenses, the police will place the arrested person in jail and offer a phone call to their family or lawyer. For non-bailable offenses, the arrested person will be put in jail and will wait for the magistrate or judge to decide between bail or a hearing at a later date. For more serious offenses like murder, aggravated child molestation, and kidnapping with bodily harm, the decision for a formal bond hearing is left to the superior court judge, which usually takes a minimum of two to three weeks after an arrest.
What Are Georgia Mugshot Records?
Mugshots are also called booking photographs in Georgia arrest records. Under the Georgia Code § 35-1-19, the disclosure of mugshots is prohibited unless the arrested person falls under the category of the state’s sexual offender registry.
How Long Does an Arrest Record Stay in Georgia?
Arrest records in Georgia stay depending on the severity of the crime which a person was arrested for. Arrests where charges are dismissed can immediately be expunged. However, arrest records stay for two years for misdemeanors, four years for felonies, and seven years for more sexual and violent crimes.
How To Expunge an Arrest Record in Georgia
Compared to serious criminal convictions, Georgia arrest records are easier to erase, especially for arrests with no convictions. However, the expungement process depends on when the arrest occurred.
For arrests before July 1, 2013, the person arrested must submit their expungement request to the office of the prosecuting attorney. Before that, they need to fill out the first section of the request to restrict form for their arrest record and then forward the same form to the arresting agency to complete the second section. Lastly, the prosecuting attorney’s office shall complete the last section of the form and decide whether to approve or deny the expungement request within 90 days.
Suppose the prosecuting attorney’s office approves the request, they will forward the request to the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) to perform the expungement and notify both the applicant and the arresting agency of the decision.
For arrests made on or after July 1, 2013, an arrested person can directly reach out to the prosecuting attorney’s office and request for expungement. The arrested person must keep a copy of their completed expungement application for safekeeping.
In case the prosecuting attorney’s office has no access to GCIC, the person who made the request shall send their completed application via mail together with the necessary fees for the expungement.
An arrestee also has thirty days to appeal to the county’s Superior Court if they are denied their request to delete their arrest records.
How To Search Georgia Arrest Records
Georgia arrest records are available by request from the police department or the county’s sheriff’s office. A requester may also use third-party sites like Infopay to search for any arrest records.
To perform an arrest record search, the requester must provide the person's personal information, including their name, date of birth, or social security number, the date and place of the arrest, and any other relevant information.
Counties in Georgia
- Ben Hill
- Jeff Davis