Having a criminal record can be detrimental in many ways. It can prevent you from getting the job of your choice as well as getting some state and government benefits. DUI arrest records will be included on your criminal record and can be embarrassing at some point in your life. Since arrest records are public knowledge meaning anyone can access it without any prior approval it is important that you know how to find it. Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a violation of the traffic code whereby an individual is found operating a vehicle while over the alcohol limit that is stipulated by the state.
Georgia’s DUI laws states that it is illegal for drivers of all ages to operate a motor vehicle if they have blood alcohol content percentage of:
- 0.08% or higher while operating a passenger vehicle and 21 years or older
- 0.04% or higher operating a commercial vehicle
- And 0.02% or higher if they are younger than 21 years
Intoxicated while driving can result in a “drunk driving” charge and worst if you so happen to injury or kill someone the charge may even be greater. A DUI conviction will be on your driving record for the rest of your life. The penalties for such a charge depend on several things. It depends on the age of the accused, the license type and if the individual have any prior DUI conviction. More generally the penalties are license suspension or revocation, fines and varying court cost as well as a possible jail time.
If you are so unfortunate to have this kind of charge on your police arrest records it will be available for everyone to see since arrest records are public knowledge. This kind of report is made by local law enforcement agencies and is available to individuals in all 50 states. In most states parts of the report are free while in other states there might be a charge of 5 to 10 cents to view a page. The record can also be had from the police departments’ record clerk or sometimes from their online database. Having this kind of information discovered about you can affect you negatively. It might result in you be denied insurance for your car as they would not think that you are responsible enough as a driver and may have a lot of accidents that might cost the company. You may also be denied the opportunity to get a car loan on the basis that you do not have a good driving record.
Knowing whether or not there is an arrest record on you is important in protecting your credibility and your reputation. You can be a victim of identity theft and not even know. Hence knowing how to find arrest records is important. You might be thinking that it is a complicated process but if you have the right information and know where to go to find it then it becomes pretty simple.
Step to finding arrest records.
- You can go to the arresting agency as they will have information on arrest. If you so happen to not know the agency where the arrest took place you can simple call all the different agencies in the state or county of arrest.
- You will also be able to find information from the municipal court. Most times these records go to the court for processing and it depends on the severity of the arrest as well.
- If you do not feel comfortable calling you can go directly to the administration office and ask for a copy of the record. As was mentioned before it is public knowledge so they have the right to give you the information without any resistance. The only problem that might arise is if it is a record involving a minor or information that the department feels is better kept from the public.
- There is several public information online arrest records websites that you can go to that updates their records constantly with such information. The only downside to this is that there is sometimes a fee to access the information and it might not be the most accurate information as well.
Section 35-3-37 (d) of the official code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) makes the provision for criminal records to be expunged. Your arrest record including your fingerprints can be removed. It is only available to an individual in a case where they were arrested and then released without being officially charged or even if they were charged and the prosecutor dropped the charges afterwards. But the big question is can a DUI be expunged in Georgia? Most states will allow an individual to get their DUI arrest record expunged but you cannot get it removed from your GA records. The only exception is if the charge was dismissed or wasn’t prosecuted. However, an expungement does not remove the record totally as agencies such as the Department of motor vehicles keep records of all DUI arrest whether it has been expunged or not. Though you might be eligible base on the exception you still might not get it expunged as the final decision is up to the prosecuting attorney involved in the case.
Arrest records are accessible by the general public whether it is a DUI charge or something else. It is important that you know about the charges that are out there against you so that you can take the necessary steps to have them hidden from the public. Having such information discovered about you can have debilitating effects on your life and future. You may be denied a job on the basis of your criminal record or even state and federal benefit. There are some arrest records that can be expunged or even sealed which would legally make them unavailable to the public eye as well as other state and government agencies.