Shawn Bible Law Main: (706) 375-2145
Ringgold: (706) 935-8864
Shawn Bible - Lawyer in NW Georgia

Criminal Record Restriction and Expungements

I got a lot of calls about “expungments” or record restrictions. A criminal record can be a hindrance when applying for employment. You don’t necessarily need to hire an attorney to apply for a “record restriction”.  Generally with a few exceptions, if your case was dismissed you will likely be eligible for a record restriction in Georgia.  You do this by filing a request with the law enforcement agency which arrested you.  However, if you were convicted or plead guilty you will likely not be eligible for a record restriction.

With that said, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney before you file any such request.  You should especially consult an attorney if you request a record restriction and your request is denied as you may have only 30 days to appeal the denial.

If you cannot afford to consult with an attorney check out the website for the Georgia Justice Project. Georgia Justice Project

Center for Hope Program

Recently the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit with the encouragement of local law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office began a “pretrial diversion” program.  This program is open to some first time felony drug offenders.  Basically, the program allows a defendant in a felony case to complete a drug rehabilitation program instead of going through the court system and if they successfully complete the program have their case dismissed. The main benefit of the program is that the Defendant who successfully completes the program can have their criminal record “expunged” or restricted and they will not be a convicted felon.

Overall such programs are a great idea and give people a second chance. However, a defendant should always consult an attorney before entering into any such agreement.  Such programs are not unique to this area and are being tried across the United States. While they are not for every Defendant such innovations in the “war on drugs” are welcomed and we hope successful.  Here is a link to the Center for Hope for information.  The Center for Hope

How much child support will I have to pay?

How much child support will I have to pay?  That depends on many factors but I will use the typical post divorce situation as an example to illustrate. A couple with two children gets divorced.  The mother gets primary physical custody of both children and the father gets visitation every other weekend visitation.

In such a scenario the father will pay the mother child support but how much?  The amount will be based on the child support calculator.  Both parties income will be put into the calculator which is basically a excel spreadsheet.  While the parties income will be the primary basis used to determine child support other factors are considered.  For example, the party who provided the children’s health insurance will get credit and have their child support increased or decreased based on the amount they have to pay to have the children covered on their health insurance policy.

That basically is how child support is calculated but of course it can be very much more completed than that based on the facts of your case.  For a rough estimate of how much child support you might have to pay check out the following link:

What is a Uncontested Divorce

What is an Uncontested Divorce?  An Uncontested Divorce is one in which from the beginning the parties are able to agree on all terms.  This agreement between the parties is put into writing in a “Settlement” or “Compromise” Agreement.  That agreement is then filed and announced in court. Sometimes people file uncontested divorces without an attorney however I would strongly advise that you always seek legal counsel when children and property division are involved.

An uncontested Divorce is generally less expensive and quicker than a contested divorce.  However, for it to be uncontested the parties must be in complete agreement.  Also remember that generally the attorney only can represent the interest of one of the parties. So, read carefully anything before you sign and don’t be afraid to consult with an attorney to review any proposed settlement agreement.

Where I practice an Uncontested Divorce generally takes the following course.  One or both parties contact an attorney to set up a meeting.  The attorney meets with the client and based on the information given to the attorney prepares a Complaint for Divorce, A Settlement Agreement and Child Support Worksheets if there are children of the marriage.  Both parties then sign the required documents and consent in writing to the Settlement Agreement.The attorney files the documents with the clerk of court and requests a court date 30 days after the Complaint is filed.At a court date 30 days after the Complaint is filed the parties appear in court to announce their agreement and the Divorce is finalized.