Can I get my criminal history erased or expunged?

by | Nov 10, 2016 | Firm News

An expungement is a court ordered destruction/sealing of a person’s legal records related to an arrest, charges filed, or of eligible convicted crimes. Statutory law governs the circumstances under which offenses may be removed from an individual’s criminal history. How do you find out if charges can be expunged from your record?  Schedule a meeting with an attorney to review your criminal record.

You may be eligible to receive an expungement under the following circumstances:

  • When your arrest/charge resulted in a non-conviction.
  • When your arrest/charge was disposed via a diversion program (e.g. PTI, AEP, etc.)
  • When your arrest/charge/conviction qualifies for expungement under circumstances specifically articulated in a statute (e.g. conditional discharge, YOA sentences, etc.)
  • When your arrest/charge/conviction is noted in the South Carolina code as an offense that may be expunged after a specified waiting period if the defendant has no additional convictions.

There are some charges that cannot be expunged, including:

  • Any conviction with a maximum penalty of more than 30 days and/or $1,000.00 fine
  • Any offense in Chapter 25, Title 16, except criminal domestic violence (Section 16-25-20, which may be expunged five years from the date of the conviction).
  • Any felony, unless eligible under a YOA sentence.
  • All traffic and minor vehicle convictions (with some exceptions)
  • Any fish, game, and watercraft convictions
  • Any conviction for a violent crime

In addition to legal fees to review your record and submission of your expungement application, the expungement itself requires applicants to pay an out-of-pocket cost of approximately $310.00.  This is comprised of three payments–$250.00 paid to the solicitor’s office in the county where you were convicted, $25.00 paid to SLED for a verification fee, and $35.00 paid to the Clerk of Court in the county where you were convicted. 

Schedule an appointment today to have Attorney Blackwelder review your case to see if you can have your charges expunged.