South Carolina State Resources
Expungements are available in South Carolina under several circumstances:
- Dismissal or non-conviction of offense
- Successful completion of a pretrial intervention program
- Successful completion of an alcohol education program for convicted DUI offenders
- When three years have passed following a first offense misdemeanor that carries a penalty of 30 days or less or a fine not exceeding $500 (but not crimes based on operation of a motor vehicle; fish, game and watercraft violations; or domestic violence)
- Following a conditional discharge for certain controlled substance possession crimes
DISMISSAL OR NON CONVICTION OF OFFENSE
Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws § 17-1-40, the arrest and booking record, files, mug shots, and fingerprints of any person, who after being charged with a criminal offense and such charge is discharged or proceedings against such person dismissed or is found to be innocent of such charge, shall be destroyed and no evidence of such record pertaining to such charge shall be retained by any municipal, county or State law enforcement agency
SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF PRE-TRIAL INTERVENTION
Pre-trial Intervention is a diversion program for first-time non-violent criminal offenders. Participants are required to perform, among other things, community restitution and make monetary restitution to their victims. South Carolina Code of Laws § 17-22-150 allows offenders, who successfully complete the pretrial intervention program to apply to the court for an order to destroy all official records relating to his arrest. The effect of the order is to restore the person, in the contemplation of the law, to the status he occupied before the arrest. No person, as to whom the order has been entered, may be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge the arrest in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose.
After a first offense conviction of fraudulent intent in drawing check, draft or other written order, the defendant may, after one year from the date of the conviction, apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction. This provision does not apply to any crime classified as a felony (that is, any check valued in excess of Five Thousand Dollars). If the defendant has had no other conviction during the one-year period following the conviction under this section, the court shall issue an order expunging the records. No person has any rights under this section more than one time. See South Carolina Code of Laws § 34-11-90(e).
SIMPLE POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA – First Offense
Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws § 44-53-450(b), any person who has been sentenced to a "Conditional Discharge" for their first offense of simple possession of marijuana, may, upon completion of the sentencing requirements, apply to the court for an order to expunge from all official records all information relating to his arrest, indictment, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this section. 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.
FIRST OFFENSE CONVICTIONS IN MAGISTRATE’S OR MUNICIPAL COURT
Under South Carolina Code of Laws § 22-5-910, a defendant may apply three years after the date of the conviction for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction of a first offense conviction in a magistrate's court or a municipal court. However, this section does not apply to any of the following offenses:
Offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle,
Violations of Title 50 (Fish, Game and Watercraft) or the regulations promulgated under it for which points are assessed, suspension provided for, or enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses authorized,
Offenses contained in Chapter 25 of Title 16 (Criminal Domestic Violence).
If the defendant has had no other conviction during the three-year period following the first offense conviction in a magistrate's court or a municipal court, the circuit court may issue an order expunging the records. No person may have his records expunged under this section more than once.
The office of the South Carolina Court Administration has designed a form Order which must be used for all expungements. The Order must be consented to by the Circuit Solicitor and approved and signed by the Circuit Judge.
The Solicitor will consent to every case in which a properly completed proposed Order is presented to him along with all documentation, certification from the Court, and prior criminal record check necessary to confirm that the defendant is lawfully entitled to the expungement.
Get Your South Carolina Rap Sheet:
Free Local Forms & Instructions:
Aiken, Bamberg, and Barnwell Counties Expungement Application & Directions
Aiken County: Juvenile Records Expungement
Anderson and Oconee Counties: Expungement Instructions
Anderson and Oconee Counties: Pre-Trial Intervention Program
Successful completion of the program requirements allows the offender's arrest record to be expunged.
Charleston and Berkeley Counties: Expungement Information
Charleston and Berkeley Counties: Directions for Expungement
Clemson Municipal Court: Expunging an Arrest Record
Greenville and Pickens Counties: Expungements
Hilton Head Island Municipal Court: Expungement of Arrest Record
Richland County: Expungement Instructions & Forms
Richland and Kershaw Counties: Instructions for Expungement Orders
York and Union Counties: Criminal Record Expungement Procedures
Other Free Legal Resources:
South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) provides free legal services in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina. SCLS is a non-profit corporation, funded by grants from the federally funded Legal Services Corporation, the South Carolina Bar Foundation, the South Carolina Bar, local United Ways, state court filing fees, and other federal, state and local funding.
South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center
SC Appleseed fights for low income South Carolinians to overcome social, economic and legal injustice.
Application for Executive Clemency in re Shawn Paul Humphries
The ABC's of Expungement: Columbia Urban League (printable brochure)