Expunging your criminal record is imperative, even if you were never convicted of a crime. Any arrest, including those when you were not convicted, may still have a negative impact on your life. For example, if you apply for a job, your potential employer could see the arrest through a background check. This being said, keeping your record clean is extremely important.
An expungement is a Court Order signed by a Judge and sent to municipal, county, and state law enforcement agencies to destroy the record and evidence of the charge.
What are some charges that are eligible for expungement in South Carolina?
Any dismissed charge
Defendant found not guilty
First offense conviction for writing a fraudulent check
Drug charges handled via Conditional Discharge
First offense convictions in Magistrate/Municipal Court if defendant has no other convictions for a certain amount of time (including Domestic Violence)
Charges resolved by pre-trial intervention or alcohol education programs
How do I obtain an expungement?
Determine whether the offense is eligible for expungement.
Determine where you need to file your request. If it’s a non-conviction, you will file in the municipal or magistrate court in which your case was handled, otherwise it will go to the county solicitor’s office.
Your request will end up with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) who will verify the offense is eligible for expungement.
If your request goes through it will go to the circuit judge for final approval or denial.
The process to get your record expunged can be lengthy and confusing. Different crimes call for different requirements. If you have any question about getting your record expunged, please contact me, Chris Skipper, for a free consultation. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (843)723-7177.