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Obtaining Criminal History Record Information

Obtaining Criminal History Record Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I obtain a copy of my Georgia criminal history record?
Georgia criminal history records can usually be obtained from Sheriff's Office or Police Departments. Please contact a Georgia law enforcement agency about specific requirements for obtaining a copy of your Georgia criminal history record or go to the Georgia Felon Search website (www.felonsearch.ga.gov)

What information is contained in a Georgiacriminal history record?
The criminal history record includes the person's identification data (name, date of birth, social security number, sex, race, height, weight, etc.), arrest data (including arresting agency, date of arrest, and charges), final judicial disposition data submitted by a court, prosecutor or other criminal justice agency and custodial information if the offender was incarcerated in a Georgia correctional facility.

Can I obtain a Georgiacriminal history record of another person?
O.C.G.A. §35-3-34 (d.2) provides public access to felony conviction records without consent of the person whose record is being checked.

You can now use the Georgia Felon Search web site to verify if a person has been convicted in Georgia of a felony crime and if the conviction has been reported to GCIC. There is a fee listed on the website, payable by credit card only, for each transaction.

Law enforcement agencies also may provide felony conviction records. The person’s full name, race, sex, and date of birth must be provided at the time of the request. With the person’s consent, a Georgia record, which includes Georgia arrests and convictions reported to the GeorgiaCrimeInformationCenter, may be obtained.   A signed consent form from the individual whose record is being sought must be provided to the local agency.

How do I obtain a Georgia name-based criminal history record check from GCIC for employment, licensing, or any other non-criminal justice purposes?

The Georgia Crime Information Center does not conduct name-based criminal history record checks. Please contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance with name-based checks.

How do I obtain a Georgia fingerprint-based criminal history record check from GCIC for employment, licensing, or any other non-criminal justice purposes?

Georgia agencies/businesses, and out-of-state agencies/companies with Georgia applicants,that wish to conduct background checks for employment, licensing or any other non-criminal justice purposes must use the on-line Georgia Applicant Processing Service (GAPS) (www.ga.cogentid.com). Agencies/businesses that wish to conduct background checks for employment or licensing must obtain a GAPS account number. For information on how to obtain a GAPS account number, visit the GAPS website at, www.ga.cogentid.com and select the How to Get an ORI or OAC Number

Fixed GAPS fingerprinting sites are located throughout the state for conducting criminal history background checks. Results, including the criminal history record should be available for the agency to retrieve from the GAPS website within 24 to 48 hours after the applicant is fingerprinted and the transaction submitted to GCIC for processing. The GAPS website will handle collection of fees, which eliminates the need for agencies to collect and process fees for fingerprint-based checks. A valid photo ID is required at the fingerprint location. Visit the GAPS website www.ga.cogentid.com for details on the GAPS fingerprint background check process, fees, and print site locations.

Georgia residents that need a Georgia fingerprint-based background check for visa/immigration, out of state employment, or other personal requestsmay visit the GAPS website at, www.ga.cogentid.com and select the Single Applicant Registration Link. In addition to your personal identification information you will need to enter the following:

VISA/IMMIGRATION REQUESTS

Reason: GBI - Visa/Immigration Requests - GA Check only

ORI/OAC: GAGBIVISA

Verification Code: applicant

OUT OF STATE EMPLOYMENT/PERSONAL REQUESTS

Reason: GBI - Personal Requests/Out of State Employment - GA check only

ORI/OAC:GAGBI4APP

Verification Code: applicant

Non-Georgia residents that need a Georgia fingerprint-based background check for visa/immigration, out of state employment, or other personal requests may submit their prints to 3M Cogent a standard paper fingerprint card available from a local law enforcement agency. Applicants will need to register on the GAPS website and select the following prior to mailing the fingerprint card:

Fingerprint Card User: (Out of State applicants ONLY, all other cards will be returned)

Applicants must include their REGISTRATION ID (obtained online during registration) on the back of the fingerprint card AND a money order or cashier’s check, in the amount of the transaction fee, made payable to 3M Cogent.

Submit fingerprint card to:

3M Cogent
GAPS Cards Scan
5025 Bradenton Ave Suite 100
Dublin, OH 43017

3M Cogent will scan the fingerprint card and submit the images to the State/GCIC. Once your request has been completed, the results of the criminal history background check and a state certificate will be mailed to the address entered at the time of registration. Please visit the GAPS website for fees and additional information.

You may also contact GCIC at (404) 244-2639,Option 2 or email GAApplicant@gbi.ga.gov for additional assistance with registration.

How do I request a correction or update of my Georgia criminal history record?
If your criminal history record has inaccurate or missing information, GCIC cannot correct or update your criminal history record without appropriate documentation and/or authorization of the submitting agency. As of December 1, 2008, law enforcement agencies must use the web-based Computerized Criminal History (CCH) User Interface to update or modify arrest and identification data submitted by their agency. All other criminal justice agencies, such as courts, prosecutors, probation/parole offices, are encouraged to transmit online updates or modifications, thereby reducing the time to complete the record update.  Written requests submitted to GCIC must be on official letterhead, with the following information: full name of subject, date of birth, social security number, race, sex, and date of arrest; or State Identification Number (SID) and date of arrest or Offender Tracking Number (OTN) for that date of arrest; and the requested changes. If the above information is not included in the document, the request cannot be processed.

How do I contest the information contained in my Georgiacriminal history record if it is inaccurate or if my identity has been used in another individual's criminal history record?
To contest the accuracy of information in your criminal history record, or if your identification data was used in another individual's criminal history record, fingerprints must be submitted to GCIC for comparison.   See the GCIC Contact Information at the bottom of the webpage to schedule an appointment. A fee, payable by certified check or money order to the GeorgiaCrimeInformationCenter , is required. Click here for the inspection and fingerpinting fees.

If you are unable to come in person, the following information is required:

A signed written request with a brief explanation for the request to include the specific data that is being challenged and a complete return mailing address.

Each request must contain two completed applicant fingerprint cards with all of the applicant's personal information (name, date of birth, place of birth, etc.) and a current set of 10 rolled fingerprints and eight flat finger impressions. Fingerprints and impressions must be taken by a local law enforcement agency; please include a photocopy of the applicant’s identification that was presented to the law enforcement agency that did the printing and provide their address and telephone number so that GCIC may contact them if there are any questions.

A fee, payable by certified check or money order to the GeorgiaCrimeInformation Center, is required. Click here for the inspection fee.

Information should be mailed to the address listed in the contact information. Your request will be processed and a certificate (letter) with the results will be mailed back to you.

How do I obtain a copy of a criminal history record from a State other than Georgia?
Contact the State's criminal justice agency (Bureau of Investigation, State Police, etc.) to obtain information on requirements and fees. Requirements may be listed on the agency’s website.

How do I obtain a copy of my national criminal history record?
Individuals can obtain a copy of their national criminal history record from the FBI.    In order to receive a copy of your FBI record for personal, employment, or international work requirements, please visit the FBI website, http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/fprequest.htm for more information.  

What is Georgia’sFirst Offender Act (FOA)?
Per Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60), “upon a verdict or plea of guilty or nolo contendere, but before an adjudication of guilt, the court may, in the case of a defendant who has not been previously convicted of a felony, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the defendant, defer further proceeding and place the defendant on probation as a first offender.

If the terms of the first offender sentence are successfully completed, and the probationer discharged, those charges would be sealed on the GCIC database when the discharge is applied to the GCIC criminal history; however, such information may be available through other sources, including court docket books, criminal justice agency websites, or through “third party” vendors. GCIC must receive official notification that the subject has successfully completed the FOA requirements. The record is not automatically sealed based on the passage of the probation sentence.   

Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-65(b)) requires GCIC to change the first offender sentence to a conviction if, prior to successful discharge, the subject is arrested and convicted of another offense while still on first offender probation or the offender has received prior FOA treatment. Courts may also revoke a first offender sentence, indicate unsatisfactory completion of the first offender sentence or change to an adjudication of guilt.

Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-63.1) notes offenses for which a FOA discharge may be used to disqualify a person for employment; thus the information will be disseminated to prospective employers

What is Conditional Discharge?

Conditional Discharge Programs is different from the Georgia First Offender Act, but there are distinct differences.  Conditional Discharge Programs are designed for offenders who have been charged with first time underage possession of alcohol (O.C.G.A. §3-3-23.1) or drug use (O.C.G.A. §16-3-2) and placed on probation without entering a judgment of guilt. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against the defendant. Discharge and dismissal under this Code section shall be without court adjudication of guilt. Discharge and dismissal, per code section, may occur only once with respect to any person. A person sentenced under O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-2 or 3-3-23.1 is not eligible for expungement under O.C.G.A §35-3-37(d)(7) unless the terms specifically provided for expungement of the arrest record.

What is a Record Expungement?
O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37(d) (1) allows for the expungement of arrest charges by a local law enforcement agency when certain conditions are met (as outlined in this statute). If approved by appropriate prosecutor, the arrest cycle is sealed on the Georgia criminal history report by GCIC. Access to that arrest information is restricted to criminal justice agencies only.

The following are examples of final court dispositions that may qualify: Dismissed: Not Presented to Grand Jury: No Further Action Anticipated; Nolle Prossed/Prosequi; Dead Docket; or No Record on File. Dispositions of Guilty, Not Guilty, Nolo Contendre, and First Offender Act are not eligible. It is recommended that you review a copy of your criminal history, prior to submitting the Request to Expunge Record, to ensure that all charges have a final disposition listed and the disposition may qualify for expungement.  If a disposition is missing or incorrect, please contact the appropriate court; the court may transmit the disposition on-line.  

All applications must be approved or denied by the appropriate prosecutor.

To apply for the local record expungement, contact the arresting law enforcement agency to obtain an application for Request to Expunge Record. Also the Request to Expunge Record can be found on the GBI website, www.gbi.georgia.gov by selecting Publications and then selecting Georgia Criminal History Record Expungements or click on this link Georgia Criminal History Record Expungements. The Request to Expunge Record is a three-part form:

Section One - You will complete Section One and return to the arresting agency.

Section Two - Completed by the arresting agency that forwards the request to the appropriate prosecutor (District Attorney or Solicitor).

Section Three - Completed by the prosecutor who will approve or deny the request.
Once the prosecutor completes their portion, all three sections should be forwarded to GCIC with the required processing fee payable by certified check or money order. Click here for the expungement fee.

What is the process for an attorney to request a client's criminal history record?
In criminal cases, O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34 (a) (2) provides that an attorney may obtain criminal history records of a client, other defendant, or witness in a criminal action. The request must be submitted in writing to include the style of the case, case number, full name, date of birth, race, sex, and social security number (if available) for each person. Mail the request to the attention of "attorney requests" at the address listed in the contact information. A fee payable to GCIC by business check or money order is required for each record requested. Click here for the attorney fee.

Disclosure of criminal history information to the defendant's counsel in criminal cases shall be solely in such counsel's capacity as an officer of the court.

In civil actions, only felony conviction criminal history information is disseminated in compliance with public information law. This information may also be obtained from local law enforcement agencies; fees vary.

Effective July 1, 2009, the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) will no longer provide Public Defender Offices with criminal history record information (CHRI). Public Defender Offices will need to either arrange with a local law enforcement agency to run criminal history records on its behalf or use the GCIC Computerized Criminal History (CCH) User Interface (UI). This change will require each Public Defender’s Office to use a State-assigned Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) number. Any Public Defender’s Office that does not have an ORI must submit a written request to GCIC. Questions may be directed to (404) 244-2639, Option 3.

Other attorneys may submit requests via fax at (404) 270-8386. Questions may be directed to (404) 244-2639, Option 3.

Someone has been using my identity for financial (material) gain. What should I do?
Effective July 1, 1998, it is a felony in Georgia to use someone else's identity to obtain something of value (O.C.G.A. §16-9-120).

Contact your local police department or sheriff's department to report the theft of your identity.

Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) in order to report the theft of your identity.
           a)   Contact OCA at (404) 651-8600 or at consumer.georgia.gov.
           b)   Contact FTC at (877) 438-4338 or at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.

Contact the major credit reporting bureaus and have a fraud alert placed on your credit report.
           a)   Equifax, P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0250 (800) 525-6285
           b)   Experian, P.O. Box 1017, Allen, Texas 75013, (888) 397-3742
           c)   Trans Union , P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, California 92634, (800) 680-7289

Contact the company(ies) that has/have provided credit or other intangible or tangible property to the person who stole your identity.

Contact Information

Georgia Crime Information Center
CCH/Identification Services
P.O. Box 370808
Decatur, Georgia 30037-0808
Fax: 404-270-8417
Email: Criminal history updates/modifications - gacriminalhistory@gbi.state.ga.us
          Employment, licensing, visa (travel) or any other non-criminal justice purpose – GAApplicant@gbi.ga.gov

Telephone Helpline: 404-244-2639
Option 1.             Criminal History Inquiries regarding Expungement or Updates
Option 2.             Applicant Background Information
Option 3.             Attorney or Public Defender
Option 4.             Livescan or Identification Inquiries