An “Expungement” is the obliteration of criminal records relating to an arrest or conviction. South Carolina law allows for the destruction of arrest and/or conviction information under limited circumstances. Please read the following information carefully to see if you are eligible to apply.
Expungement eligibility depends on what is on the record. Any non-conviction can be expunged. Section 22-5-910 allows for the expungement of one’s FIRST conviction in Magistrate or Municipal court IF it is not a Driving or Night Hunting offense, AND is the only conviction on the record for a specific amount of time. A conviction does not necessarily require jail time. If one pays the fine, either voluntarily or as ordered by the Judge – that is considered a conviction, as is a forfeiture of bond. To expunge an eligible conviction will cost the applicant a total of $310.00. No subsequent convictions can be removed from the record. One thing to keep in mind is that a Criminal History is a permanent record, and one cannot choose which convictions are to be removed.
- The applicant will apply to the Solicitor’s Office in the circuit in which the offense was committed.
- The applicant must pay the following amounts to the Solicitor in the form of separate certified checks or money orders:
- A non-refundable administrative fee of $250.00 made payable to the Solicitor’s Office
- A non-refundable SLED verification feel of $25.00 made payable to SLED, when applicable.
- A filing fee of $35.00 made payable to The Clerk of Court, when applicable.
- The Solicitor will send the application to SLED in order to verify that the offense is eligible for expungement, as provided by the South Carolina Code of Laws.
- SLED will return the application to the Solicitor and indicate if the offense is eligible for expungement.
- If the offense is determined to be eligible for expungement by SLED, the Solicitor will obtain all necessary signatures, including the signature of the PTI Director, the summary court judge, and the circuit court judge.
- Once the order is signed by the circuit court judge, the Solicitor will file the order with the Clerk of Court.
- The Solicitor will provide copies of the expungement order to all pertinent governmental agencies as well as the applicant or the applicant’s attorney.
Note: The Solicitor’s Office has no way to track the progress of an application after it has been submitted to other government agencies, such as SLED. Once the process is completed you will be notified by mail.