An attorney with more than three decades of legal experience, Michael Kennedy McIntyre is the founder of Michael Kennedy McIntyre & Associates in Atlanta, Georgia. The law firm of McIntyre & Associates is well-versed in Georgia’s laws regarding pardons and record restrictions for prior convictions.
In Georgia, prior to 2021, misdemeanor offenses were permanently on a person’s criminal history unless he or she had been granted an official pardon from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. Georgia’s Second Chance Law, which went into effect on January 1, 2021, allows offenders to petition for their misdemeanors to be restricted as long as the offender and the prior conviction meet certain requirements. The record can be restricted from public view, however, judges, attorneys and criminal justice agencies are still able to view the prior offenses.
Until the passage of Georgia’s Second Chance Law, Georgia has historically been one of the most restrictive states in the United States in regard to criminal histories. Most states allow criminal histories with misdemeanors and some felonies to be erased after a number of years.
Georgia’s Second Chance Law is intended to give Georgians a second chance after a misdemeanor conviction and place them in a better position for employment, for schooling, and for housing.
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Michael Kennedy McIntyre & Associates focuses on representing people who have been convicted of a crime. Michael Kennedy McIntyre & Associates specializes in evaluating a client's postconviction options, including their release on parole. On April 21, 2017, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles participated in the Department of Corrections' Family Day in Forsyth, Georgia. This quarterly event is the correctional system's primary opportunity to provide customer service to some of the people most directly impacted by the Georgia Department of Corrections system. At Family Day, family members and loved ones of individuals who are incarcerated have a chance to learn more about the parole system and ask questions. The goal is to help the loved ones provide support to their incarcerated family member throughout the parole process. In order to participate, family members must be included on their incarcerated loved one's approved visitation list. Most attendees are allowed up to ten minutes to speak with a Department of Corrections official in order to obtain any help they need. At the recent April event, more than 500 people attended so that they could ask parole-related questions.
Focused on post-conviction representation, Atlanta-based law firm Michael Kennedy McIntyre & Associates helps individuals receive relief from their sentences. Many clients rely on the firm’s attorneys during the Georgia parole process. In Georgia, each person convicted of a paroleable offense will be considered for parole at least once through an automatic process. At this point, the parole board can grant parole immediately, establish a tentative parole date, deny parole and demand the rest of the sentence be carried out, or schedule a reconsideration date.
Whenever the Parole Board is reviewing a case, individuals have the opportunity to provide new and pertinent information. Because cases may only receive a few minutes of consideration by the Parole Board, it is important to provide a clear, persuasive, and organized argument for release.
Usually there are no face-to-face meetings conducted with potential parolees in Georgia, so the presented information must be as cogent as possible. Michael Kennedy McIntyre & Associates partners with a former Georgia parole board member, who helps identify what should be included in the information presented to the Parole Board.