Ga. Code Ann. § 17-10-21 & § 35-3-37(J)
As of July 1, 2020, survivors of both labor and sex trafficking may seek to vacate convictions and/or restrict access to their criminal history information, for any offense in Georgia that was a direct result of trafficking.
Georgia law offers many important protections to survivors, including making clear that confidentiality is important and all petitions for criminal record relief are filed under seal, meaning the information contained in the petitions is not publicly available. A hearing is only required if the prosecution objects to relief. The court may grant relief over the prosecutor’s objection.
The law also requires prosecutors to respond to a petition within 30 days, which should help to prevent unnecessary delays in resolving petitions. Official documentation creates a rebuttable presumption that the person seeking relief was a victim of trafficking, which is useful for survivors who have been certified or recognized by other government agencies.
As of May 2022, there is no longer any time restriction on when someone can file a petition for relief. This means survivors may file a petition for vacatur immediately after conviction, and are no longer required to wait until they have completed any sentence. Survivors also must clear all outstanding warrants, in Georgia and anywhere else, before filing a petition.
If a petition is granted, the court also issues an order restricting access to the criminal history record information for the offense without charging the survivor a fee. Georgia law also explicitly makes clear that any fines or fees paid by the survivor must be refunded.
Updated Oct 2022
Georgia State-Specific Resources
Georgia’s Office of the Attorney General Human Trafficking Page (Vacatur Form included at bottom of page).