Expungement in South Carolina
Having a record expunged essentially means that the conviction will be destroyed (erased from public records) and will not appear on background checks.
To find out if your conviction is eligible for expungement, give the office of Shaun Kent a call today on (803) 433 5368.
Expungement is a complicated area of law and requires expertise in this area. We are happy to discuss your case and book a time for a free consultation.
What Expunging a Record Means in South Carolina
When you have a record expunged in SC, a court order commands that your record is sealed. This means that any municipal, county, or state law enforcement agencies will remove your record from their systems.
If a background check is run by a law enforcement officer, they will not see your expunged record. You are not required by law to disclose it when asked if you have a criminal record.
The record does still exist, however. The FBI and some other federal agencies will still be able to access the record under special circumstances.
However, for the purpose of your day-to-day life, once a record has been expunged you can live your life as if you never had the charge
This can have a positive impact on things like applying for finance, employment, further education, and so on. If you have any charges or records that may be eligible for expungement, it’s always advisable that you have them sealed.
Charges Eligible for Expungement in South Carolina
There are exceptions and whether or not your record can be expunged may come down to your individual circumstances. However, under the SC law, the following charges may be eligible for expungement:
Any misdemeanor convictions that held a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and/or $1,000 in fines may be eligible.
Your conviction must have been more than three years ago, and not had any further convictions since. If the conviction in question was for domestic violence, then you will have to wait five years without subsequent convictions.
Dismissed Charges or Not Guilty Judgements
Expungement happens automatically for charges dismissed after 2009. For prior charges, you will need to apply to have the record expunged.
If you have had a charge dismissed or been found not guilty after 2009, it’s still advisable to work with a lawyer to ensure your record has been successfully expunged.
First Offense Convictions for Fraudulent Checks
First offense misdemeanors for fraudulent check (passing bad checks) charges are eligible for expungement.
You have to wait one year and not have any other convictions during that one year period.
Charges Resolved Through Division Programs (nolle prossed)
If you’ve completed a program as directed by the judge and paid any costs associated with the program, your charge should be marked as not prosecuted or dismissed. This is also called ‘nolle prossed’.
Some of the programs that commonly fall under this umbrella are pre-trial interventions (PTI), alcohol education programs (AEP), and traffic education programs (TEP).
Simple Drug Possession Charges
Some simple possession of marijuana charges that are resolved by a conditional discharge may be eligible for expungement.
It must be a first offense, and three years must have passed with no further convictions before applying for the record to be expunged.
Failing to Stop for Law Enforcement
Failing to stop for a blue light or not pulling over when directed to by law enforcement is an offense that can be expunged.
It has to be a first offense, and you have to wait three years without any further convictions in that time period to be eligible.
Charges That Are Not Eligible for Expungement in South Carolina
There are a lot of criminal charges that are not eligible for expungement. Some of the more common charges that you will not be able to apply for include:
- Driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Motor vehicle violations
- Most serious crimes, such as violent crimes and felonies
- Most hunting, gaming, and fishing charges
If you have charges that are not eligible for expungement and think you’ve been treated unfairly, you do have some other options.
If we can prove that there were errors in your trial or your sentence was unjust, you may be eligible to file for an appeal.
Please contact a member of our team if you want us to review your case and see if you’re eligible for an appeal.
We Can Help You Apply for an Expungement
Applications for expungements need to be sent to the Solicitor’s Office. There are a number of Solicitors Offices across South Carolina. It’s important you file your paperwork with the office that has jurisdiction in the country where your charges were filed.
It can take a number of weeks for the paperwork to be processed. This is why it’s crucial that you work with an experienced attorney to make sure the paperwork is completed correctly the first time.
Our attorneys are experienced in handling expungements in South Carolina, we are happy to discuss your case and talk you through the process in more detail.
Call Our Offices Today
Do you have a conviction or charge on your record that you want to be sealed or expunged?
We’re here to help. Contact our law firm at (803) 433-5368 for a confidential, free consultation. as soon as you can. Our lawyers are experienced in handling expungement cases in South Carolina.