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Criminal Record Erased | Criminal Attorney Myrtle Beach SC | Horry County

As a Myrtle Beach Criminal Defense Law Firm, we are always working to achieve the best possible result for our clients.  Part of that process is minimizing any negative effects their bout with the criminal justice system could have on their future.  One way we do that is through informing our clients about expungements.  

It is well known that having a criminal record can negatively impact a person’s life.  Background checks are often required when applying for a job, housing or even a professional license.  If you have been convicted of a criminal offense in South Carolina, you owe it to yourself to look into whether or not an expungement would be in your best interest.

What is expungement?

Expungement refers to the process of erasing, destroying or sealing eligible arrest or conviction records.  In South Carolina, the county solicitor’s office is generally responsible for processing all expungement applications. SCCode (SECTION 17-22-10)

What is eligible for expungement?

Prior to 2018, the following is a summary of matters eligible for expungement:

  • First offense misdemeanor convictions that carry a maximum sentence of 30 days and/or $1000 fine after a 3-year waiting period with no other convictions (Exception: Traffic offenses are not eligible)

  • CDV 1st offense and Domestic Violence (SECTION 16-25-10) 3rd Degree convictions after a 5-year waiting period with no other convictions

  • Not Guilty, Dismissed and Nolle Prossed charges are generally required to be automatically expunged.  However, for charges prior to 2009, you will likely need to apply for an expungement.

  • Successful completion of a diversion program such as Pre-Trail Intervention (SECTION 17-22-10)

  • should result in the underlying charge being eligible for expungement

  • Completion of all the requirements of a Conditional Discharge plea should result in the underlying first offense drug possession charge being eligible for expungement

  • A first offense failure to stop for a blue light conviction is eligible for expungement after a 3-year waiting period with no other convictions

  • A first offense conviction under the Youthful Offender should be eligible for expungement after the passing of a 5-year conviction free waiting period following the completion of the sentence

In 2018 the South Carolina legislature passed a new bill (SC-NewBill) expanding the scope of charges eligible for expungement were expanded to include:

  • First offense drug possession (SECTION 44-53-10) charges are now eligible after a 3-year waiting period with no other convictions

  • First offense Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID) offenses are now eligible after a 20-year waiting period with no other convictions

  • Anyone sentenced prior to 2010 who would have been eligible to plead guilty under the Youthful Offender Act are now eligible if they meet certain other requirements

  • Non-first offense misdemeanor convictions that otherwise meet the pre-2018 bill requirements

If you have ever been charged with a criminal offense in South Carolina, please give the criminal defense lawyers at Grooms & Thomas, LLC a call to see if they can help you clear up your record.

The purpose of this article is intended to provide a brief overview of Expungements in South Carolina.  There are many other factors that determine a person’s eligibility for expungement and I would advise that you consult with a South Carolina criminal defense lawyer in order to determine whether or not your particular South Carolina charge or conviction is eligible.

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