What defines a Criminal Record in Georgia?
A criminal record is an official document that records a person’s criminal history. The information assembles updated local, county and state jurisdictions, trial courts, courts of appeals as well as county and state correctional facilities. The standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to county. The majority of Georgia criminal records are online record depositories that are available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report. These reports recognize a number of courts, police departments and the official Georgia Records Online Database. The amount of criminal records information presented on StateRecords.org will vary from person to person as well as what resources used to collect the information. Different sources often have non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes. Criminal records in Georgia generally include the following subjects.
Georgia Arrest Records
An arrest record is an official document providing information about a person questioned, apprehended, taken into custody, or placed in detention. A person is held for investigation and/or charged with, indicted or tried for any felony, misdemeanor or other offense by any law enforcement or military authority. The law in the state of Georgia states, http://www.blacklawoffices.com/georgia-arrest-questions-and-answers
, that an arrest for a crime made by a law enforcement officer either under a call for or without a warrant if the offense is committed in an officer's presence or within such officer's immediate knowledge states the law in the state of Georgia.
Georgia Arrest Warrants
An arrest warrant is an official document that is issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the local and state jurisdictions, which authorizes a police officer to arrest or detain the person or people named in the warrant or to search and seize the individual’s property. In Florida, the police can arrest a person for committing a crime without an arrest warrant, http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-17/chapter-4/article-2/17-4-20
. This might happen only when the person commits the crime in an officer’s presence.
A misdemeanor is a non-indictable offense and is generally less severe than felonies. However, like felonies, a misdemeanor charge is based on a number system designed to describe the severity of the alleged crime. Misdemeanors in Georgia are divided into misdemeanors and misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature. Misdemeanors are punishable, http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-17/chapter-10/article-1/17-10-4
, by a fine of up to $1,000, up to 12 months in county jail, both a fine and time in county jail or up to 12 months in a state diversion center.
A felony offense is a criminal conviction with a maximum sentence of more than 1 year, which is served in a county jail or state prison. In some cases, a felony conviction can even be punished by death. The most serious felonies are punishable by the death penalty (for murder only) or life imprisonment. Other serious crimes (including kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, and other sex crimes) are punishable by a minimum of 10 or 25 years in prison, http://www.mygeorgiadefenselawyer.com/georgia-criminal-offenses-penalties/
. Less serious crimes (such as theft crimes) are punishable by shorter prison terms. For example, rape is punishable by 25 years to life imprisonment or life without parole.
Georgia Sex Offender Listing
A sex offender listing is a registry of persons convicted of committing a sex crime that is often accessible by the public. In most cases, jurisdictions compile their laws into sections, such as traffic, assault and sexual. Judges are given discretion as to whether they need registration for crimes besides the charges listed under the sex offender registration law, https://gbi.georgia.gov/42-1-12-state-sexual-offender-registry
. A judge may order an adult to register as a sex offender if the crime they were convicted of involves sexual motivation.
Georgia Serious traffic violation
A serious traffic violation tends to involve willful disregard for public safety, death, serious bodily injury, damage to property and multiple minor traffic violations. In Georgia, your traffic ticket is calculated on: where you received the ticket, and the severity of your violation, http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-40/chapter-6/article-15
. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) may also add points to your driving record if you plead guilty.
Georgia Conviction Records
A conviction record is an official document providing information that a person was found guilty, pleaded guilty or pleaded no contest against criminal charges in a civilian or military court. These criminal charges may be classified as a felony, misdemeanor or other offense. Conviction includes a person judged as a delinquent, or has been less than honorably discharged or placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled. A criminal conviction is rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law. A conviction does not include a final judgment by a pardon, set aside, reversed or otherwise rendered inoperative.
Georgia Jail and Inmate Records
Jail and inmate records are official documents of information about a person’s current and sometimes passed inmate status. A person who is in jail or considered an inmate is someone deprived of their civil liberties and is on trial for a crime or is serving, which maintains an inmate database that is often searchable online a prison sentence after being convicted of a crime. Most states have a Department of Corrections, http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/
. These records often include the inmate’s name, incarceration date, expected the release date, convicted offense and sometimes photos.
Parole records are an official document that includes information about the release of a prisoner who agreed to certain conditions before completion of their maximum sentence. While the prisoner is on supervised parole, the board requires a parole to pay a monthly supervision fee of not less than $30, unless the board agrees to accept a lower fee after determining inability of the prisoner to pay. The board may also impose any conditions of parole it deems proper to make sure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of Georgia are served.
Probation records are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crime in Georgia to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they follow probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer http://www.georgiadefenders.com/probation.terms.htm
. Probation is issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation differ (sometimes drastically) from case to case. Probation typically falls into three categories: minimally supervised, supervised and intensive – an intensive is a form of very strict probation that has conditions that vary from state to state but that emphasize punishment and control of the offender within the community.
Georgia Juvenile Criminal Records
A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information about criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered convicted of a crime like an adult but instead are found “adjudicated delinquent”. These criminal records are often mistakenly erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well.
Georgia History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
The accuracy of the data of criminal records depends on the record keeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Georgia criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s when criminal and arrest data starts to centralize and compile into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past, but in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of record keeping improved exponentially due to the advent of the computer, so the information provides on StateRecords.org will vary from person to person.
Georgia Megan’s Law
Megan's Law is the term for state laws that create and keep up a sex offender registry, which provides information on registered sex offenders to the public. The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government requires all states set up sex offender registries and offer the public with information about those registered. The O.C.G.A. § 42-1-12, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is the central repository for Georgia's Violent Sexual Offender Registry, https://gbi.georgia.gov/42-1-12-state-sexual-offender-registry
. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation makes every effort to make sure that the information contained in the Georgia Sex Offender Registry is correct, and provided by other agencies.