Expungement of Your Record in SC: Am I Eligible and How Much Does It Cost?

Something I've noticed as a criminal defense attorney is a lot of people aren't aware that once their charge is dismissed, there is a separate expungement process required in order to have it fully removed from your record. Without going through that process, the charge will show on your record as "dismissed" - but will still be there to see, which isn't ideal. 

This can create issues when applying for employment or housing for example, as even a minor charge can cause alarm bells to ring for future employers/landlords. Some common examples of this might be:
                  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
                  • Check Fraud 
                   Domestic Violence, 3rd degree
                   Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol                    Failure to Stop for Blue Lights                    Malicious Injury to Personal Property

In my opinion, such charges tend to sound worse than what they typically are. The good news is they may be eligible for expungement under the right circumstances, so you might not have to live with it on your record for the rest of your life..!

In addition to how a conviction may appear to others, expungements can sometimes restore certain rights you may have lost as a result of the conviction, and/or even prevent harsher penalties if you find yourself convicted of a crime later on. 

The costs associated with expungement are set by law and will differ depending on the type of charge and case disposition. (I strongly recommend consulting with an attorney before you begin the process because some of those fees are non-refundable - so if it turns out you aren't eligible, you unfortunately won't be getting that money back.)

Expunging something from your record is truly a valuable investment in your future, and I cannot stress enough how worthwhile it can be in the long-term. If you think your record might be eligible, please contact us to ensure your expungement is handled correctly and efficiently. 

For a list of charges eligible for expungement, along with the fees for each, scroll down to the chart below or click here to view/download the (mobile friendly) PDF version. 

Statute

Disposition/Eligible Charges

Requirements

Costs

§17-1-40

Not guilty or dismissed (straight up)

None

None

§17-1-40

Dismissed: part of plea deal

None

$250: solicitor’s office


§17-22-150(1)
§44-53-450(b)
§14-29-20
§17-22-530(A)
§17-22-330(A)

Dismissed: diversionary programs
Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI)
Conditional Discharge
Veteran’s Court
Drug Court
Alcohol/Traffic Education Program (AEP/TEP)

Successful completion/payment of program requirements/fees

$250: solicitor’s office
$35: clerk of court
= $285 total

§22-5-910(A)(C)

Misdemeanors: up to 30 days and/or $1,000 fine
(does not include driving/traffic offenses)

No new convictions for 3 years from date convicted

$250: solicitor’s office
$35: clerk of court
$25: SLED
= $310 total

§22-5-910(B)(C)

Domestic violence, 3rd degree
(CDV 1st if before 6/4/2015)

No new convictions for 5 years from date convicted

$250: solicitor’s office
$35: clerk of court
$25: SLED
= $310 total

§22-5-920

Youthful Offender Act

No new convictions for 5 years from date sentence is completed

$250: solicitor’s office
$35: clerk of court
$25: SLED
= $310 total

§34-11-90(e)

Check Fraud, 1st offense

No new convictions for 1 year from date convicted

$250: solicitor’s office
$35: clerk of court
$25: SLED
= $310 total

§56-5-750(f)

Failure to Stop for Blue Lights, 1st offense

No new convictions for 3 years from date sentence is completed

$250: solicitor’s office
$35: clerk of court
$25: SLED
= $310 total

§16-3-2020(F)

Human trafficking/prostitution for victims of trafficking

Court must find that participant = victim of crime

Must make motion to court

§22-5-930(A)

Drugs: Possession, 1st offense

No new convictions for 3 years from date sentence is completed

$250: solicitor’s office
$35: clerk of court
$25: SLED
= $310 total

§22-5-930(B)

Drugs: Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID), 1st offense
(does not include distribution, which is different)

No new convictions for 20 years from date sentence is completed

$250: solicitor’s office
$35: clerk of court
$25: SLED
= $310 total

§63-19-2050

Juvenile records
(does not include offenses carrying 5+ years and/or violent crimes)

Completion of sentence + no pending charges/further convictions

None, but government may oppose this


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