Georgia’s Second Chance Law Begins
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Georgia are praising the new law Georgia “Second Chance,” law that goes into effect on January 1, 2021. Georgia Senate Bill 288 passed in June of 2020 expands the Georgia Expungement Rules for those who have committed nonviolent misdemeanor offenses. Georgia’s law regarding criminal history has always been one of the most restrictive in the country. Until now, you needed a pardon to be have your nonviolent criminal record expunged. The bill allows for two misdemeanors to be expunged.
Crimes staying on a permanent record make it harder to find employment, are often racially biased, and affect housing, voting rights, and the Second Amendment Right to own a firearm. These laws are a huge Scarlet A on the chest of nonviolent offenders who do not commit additional crimes from fully living the American Dream. The law is a basic human and American Right. Once you serve your sentence for a crime, you should not face debilitating collateral consequences that hurt you financially, civically, politically, and more for the rest of your life. For instance, there are almost 300,000 citizens of Georgia on probation who cannot vote.