If you are seeking a South Carolina expungement please review the expungement overview below. Check back often or Sign Up for an email alert when the Ohio Expungement Kit is ready.
Requirement(s) to qualify for an expungement in the state:
By State law, there are seven categories of cases in which the defendant is entitled to have all records relating to an arrest or conviction expunged and destroyed:
- The charge was dismissed, nol prossed, or the defendant was found not guilty.
- The defendant successfully completed the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.
- The defendant was convicted under the Fraudulent Check Law and no additional criminal activity has taken place in one year from the date of conviction.
- The defendant was convicted of first offense Simple Possession of Marijuana under the “conditional discharge” provisions of this specific law and has successfully complied with the terms of that sentence.
- The defendant was convicted of a first offense in a magistrate's or municipal court for offenses other than:
- an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle
- a fish, game or watercraft violation under Title 50 of the Code of Laws for which points are assessed, suspension provided for, or enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses authorized
- any offenses under Chapter 25 of Title 16 (Criminal Domestic Violence Offenses) may not be expunged, and no additional criminal activity has taken place within three years from the date of conviction.
- Section 56-5-750. The defendant was convicted of a first offense, non-aggravated violation for Failure to Stop for a Blue Light and Siren, and had no other convictions for any crime for three years following the completion of all terms and conditions of the Blue Light sentence.
- Section 22-5-920. Following the first offense conviction as a youthful offender, the defendant after fifteen years from the date of the conviction may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction.
Additional restrictions on who can qualify for an expungement
Requests arising under Section 17-1-40, where the charge was dismissed, nol prossed, or the defendant was found not guilty on a General Sessions charge in this Circuit will be processed free of charge within 30 days of said disposition provided the applicant fully prepares and submits the proper form to the solicitor who actually handled the case.
Does the law provide for sealing? What are the requirements?
(A) Following conviction of a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor in any court in this state, and five years after the date of the completion of the sentence, a person who meets the eligibility requirements of subsection (B) may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order sealing the records of the arrest and conviction. If the person has had no other conviction during the five-year period following the completion of the sentence, the circuit court may issue an order sealing the records. As used in this section, 'conviction' includes a guilty plea, a plea of nolo contendere, or the forfeiting of bail.
(B) To be eligible for an order sealing a criminal record the person must:
- not have been convicted of a violent crime in any jurisdiction;
- not have been convicted of a sex-related offense other than prostitution;
- not be registered in any jurisdiction as a sex offender;
- not have more than two convictions for offenses other than traffic violations;
- be a high school graduate or obtain a General Equivalency Diploma;
- complete an alcohol or substance abuse treatment and post-treatment monitoring program if convicted of an alcohol or drug related offense;
- make full restitution to all victims for all losses sustained as a result of offenses committed; and
- perform community service for not less than one year in addition to any community service ordered by a sentencing court.
(C) A person may have his record sealed even though the conviction occurred prior to the effective date of this section. No person may have his records sealed under this section more than once.
(D) After sealing of a criminal record, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is required to keep a nonpublic record of the offense and the date the record was sealed to ensure that no person takes advantage of the rights of this section more than once. This nonpublic record is not subject to release under Section 34-11-95, the Freedom of Information Act, or any other provision of law except to those authorized law or court officials who need to know this information in order to prevent the rights afforded by this section from being taken advantage of more than once.
(E) Except as otherwise provided by law, upon a person's criminal record being sealed:
- the person is permitted to respond in the negative to any question inquiring as to whether or not the person has ever been charged or convicted of a criminal offense, or to any question with the same substantive content;
- the person is not required to divulge information pertaining to the sealed record or to any matter contained in the sealed record; and
- convictions for which the records are sealed do not disqualify the person from pursuing or engaging in any lawful activity, occupation, profession, or calling.
(F) This section does not apply to an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle, to a violation of Title 50 or the regulations promulgated under it for which points are assessed, suspension provided for, or enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses authorized, or to an offense contained in Chapter 25 of Title 16."
What does it mean if you have a record expunged or sealed? (i.e., can you legally deny the conviction or arrest? Does anyone have access to the sealed/expunged records? Are they destroyed?)
The destruction or sealing of records in order to restore a person to the status they had previous to their detainment, custody, arrest,indictment, or conviction is expungement.
No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failures to recite or acknowledge such arrest, or indictment or information, or trial in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose.
All official records (other than the nonpublic records to be retained for purposes of confirming first offender status or first expungement in later applications) all recordation relating to his arrest, indictment or information, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge. Juveniles records of adjudication and being taken into custody may also be expunged. Also, DNA records and samples of a conviction or adjudication that has been reversed, set aside, or vacated may be destroyed.
If there is an expungement bill pending in the state legislature, briefly describe how it will change the stateâ€™s expungement law.
All legislation takes effect immediately unless specified otherwise within the legislation. The expungement laws after the due process in the legislature will get amended and enforced.
For example:H 4384
1. Amends existing law to provide that juvenile records may be shared with the Department of Social Services.
2. Authorizes law enforcement agencies to fingerprint a child fifteen years of age or older living in a family childcare home as a means of determining the child's criminal history. Provides that criminal history information determined from the fingerprint review must be shared with the
Department of Social Services.
Referred to Senate
Subcommittee in April 2006.
Are you eligible for a South Carolina Expungement? Most crimes can be expunged. For a description of the crimes that cannot be expunged, click here .
Be sure to check the site often
as we are in the process of adding the Expungement
Kit for the State of South Carolina soon.