August 22, 2019

August 22, 2019

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August 21, 2019

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August 20, 2019

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Change in Georgia’s First Offender Act Facilitating Employment to be Applied Retroactively

Legislation overhauling Georgia’s probation system also affects Georgia’s First Offender Act (“GFOA”) (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60 et seq.), which protects certain criminal defendants from being disqualified from consideration for employment based on their criminal record.

Under the GFOA, a criminal defendant who has not previously been convicted of a felony may plead guilty and be placed on probation. Upon completion of probation, the defendant “shall be discharged without court adjudication of guilt.”

House Bill 310 expands GFOA’s protections retroactively. Thus, upon approval of the court and the prosecutor, a defendant who would have been eligible for sentencing under the GFOA may receive first-offender treatment and have the Georgia Bureau of Investigation modify his or her criminal record. However, the courts maintain discretion whether to grant such petitions on the basis that doing so would serve the welfare of society.

Despite the revision, the GFOA still does not protect those convicted of serious violent felonies and certain crimes of moral turpitude, specifically, crimes involving children, the elderly, the disabled, and jobs involving their care.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2019

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About this Author

Todd Van Dyke, Employment Attorney, Sexual Harassment, discrimination, Jackson Lewis Law FIrm
Office Managing Principal

Todd Van Dyke is the Office Managing Principal of the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He litigates all types of employment law claims, including claims alleging sexual harassment, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, age discrimination, race, color, and national origin discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, and state tort issues in federal and state courts and in arbitration.

His practice includes single plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, class and collective action cases and EEOC pattern and practice cases. Mr....

404-586-1814
Emily Borna, Jackson Lewis, business compliance attorney, human resource lawyer
Principal

Emily S. Borna is a Principal in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Since completing law school, she has specialized in labor and employment litigation on behalf of management.

Ms. Borna joined Jackson Lewis after a year of private practice in Savannah, Georgia. She specializes in litigating employment law cases in federal and state courts and labor and employment agencies. She has significant experience with assisting employers in meeting the legal and practical challenges posed by federal and state laws protecting injured and ill employees.

Ms. Borna has extensive experience advising businesses on compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws. She routinely presents and appears as a speaker before numerous business organizations, including the Society of Human Resource Management, and management personnel addressing labor and employment issues and compliance with workplace laws. She has drafted and reviewed employment policies and counseled corporate clients on sensitive disciplinary issues. 

404-586-1817