What Can And What Can’t Be Expunged From Your Record In South Carolina
When a person is convicted of a crime, that person usually acquires a criminal record, which can be accessed by future employers, educational institutions and landlords, among others. A criminal record can have serious implications on a person’s life by limiting career options and educational opportunities. Fortunately, the law allows you to have certain offenses expunged from your record. According to the South Carolina Bar, an expungement, which is also known as an Order for Destruction of Arrest Records, is a court order that removes something from your criminal record.
Over the next several weeks, our blogs will be centered around the expungement process, such as what qualifies, how to begin this process, as well as discussing youth offenders. In this first post, we focus on which offenses can be expunged and under what circumstances. Listed below are just a few examples of when this process can be applied.*
- A non-conviction record, sometimes referred to as a police record, is a listing of an individual’s interactions with police, including charges that have been dismissed by a judge or withdrawn from prosecution by the Solicitor. However, according to the South Carolina Bar website, the state law declares that if the “defendant was not fingerprinted during the arrest or if the defendant was charged with a violation of Title 50 (Fish, Game and Watercraft), Title 56 (traffic) or a county or municipal ordinance,” then the courts are not required to remove these offenses.
- First Offense Conviction as a Youthful Offender
- This conviction is eligible for expungement if it is “the first offense, the defendant was 17-24 years old at the time of conviction, and if the defendant had no other conviction for five years after completion of the sentence.” Lastly, according to the South Carolina Bar, “the defense must have been either a misdemeanor, class D, E or F felony and a felony with a maximum term of 15 years imprisonment.”
- Juvenile Offenses
- Juvenile convictions may be eligible for expungement as long as “the offense was non-violent, the defendant is 18 years or older, and he has completed any sentence and has no additional conviction after this juvenile defense.” Additionally, if the defendant has had no previous conviction that “would carry a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment or more if committed by an adult,” then the charge is eligible for expungement.
- Alcohol and Traffic Offenses
- Charges from either two offenses can be expunged as long as the Solicitor dismisses them after the defendant has successfully completed the Alcohol Education Program and / or Traffic Education Program
To learn about the other types of cases where an expungement may take place, visit the South Carolina Bar Website.
Minor offenses can have major ramifications, notably if it shows up on a background check or must be disclosed to friends, family or places of employment. Depending on the type of offense and the amount of time that has passed, you may be eligible for expungement in the state of South Carolina. With proven legal experience and knowledge, the attorneys at Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC are here to discuss your case and help you move past any mistakes you feel are holding you back. If you are wondering whether or not your conviction can be removed from your record, contact us today or visit our Expungement page to answer your questions.