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COBB COUNTY, GA (CBS46)—Cobb County officials announced they are opening a help desk to assist  eligible individuals seeking to expunge their criminal records.

A law expanding Georgia’s record expungement process took effect on January 1. Under the previous system, there was a process in place to expunge misdemeanor records and felony arrests that did not result in convictions.

The expanded law, Georgia’s “Second Chance Law,” SB 288, expands eligibility for expungement, also known as record restriction, to include many non-violent misdemeanor convictions.

Agencies involved in the help desk include the Georgia Justice Project, Cobb Circuit Defender Randy Harris, Cobb Solicitor General Barry E. Morgan, and the Cobb Judicial Circuit.

The help desk will be housed in the Cobb Circuit Defender’s Office and will be the first of its kind in Georgia.

It will be staffed by Georgia Justice Project attorneys and the Cobb County Circuit Defender’s Office.

Officials will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 16 at 2 p.m. in front of the Cobb County Circuit Defender’s office at 10 East Park Square in Marietta.

The help desk will open to the public on June 25, and online appointments will be available starting June 21. Appointments can be booked at www.cobbsecondchancedesk.com or https://www.cobbcounty.org/second-chance-desk.

Cobb County Solicitor General Barry Morgan said the resources will help people who cannot afford an attorney.

“Prosecutors and court clerks cannot give legal advice, and many people are in limbo if they can’t afford to pay an attorney to navigate the additional, cumbersome process required for record restriction,” Morgan said. “This service will help fill a gaping hole.”

“Georgia Justice Project helps many Georgians each year with their criminal record, but we can't do this work alone, and we do so with strong partnership support,” says Doug Ammar, Executive Director of Georgia Justice Project.

“Since 4.3 million people have a Georgia criminal history, we need to find creative ways to collaborate with our local institutions to serve as many Georgians as possible. We appreciate District Attorney Broady and Solicitor Morgan for joining us in this effort.”

Georgia Justice Project has served Georgians who have been impacted by the criminal justice system for almost 35 years. Learn more at www.GJP.org.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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