An "Expungement" is the destruction or obliteration of criminal records relating to an arrest or a conviction. South Carolina law allows for the destruction of arrest and/or conviction information under the following limited circumstances.
SECTION 17-22-150(a), 17-22-530(A), 17-22-330(A)
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.
An individual after being charged with a criminal offense where charges are dismissed, nolle prossed, or the defendant is found not guilty can apply to the Solicitor’s Office to have records of the arrest expunged. This section does not apply to a person who is charged with a violation of Title 50, Title 56, or an enactment pursuant to the authority of counties and municipalities provided in Titles 4 and 5. Any person who applies to the solicitor's office for an expungement of general sessions charges pursuant to Section 17-1-40 is exempt from paying the administrative fee, unless the charge that is the subject of the expungement request was dismissed, discharged, or nolle prossed as part of a plea arrangement under which the defendant pled guilty and was sentenced on other charges.
An individual first offense conviction as a youthful offender, sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19, Title 24 Youthful Offenders Act. If the individual has had no other conviction during the five-year period following completion of his sentence, including probation and parole, for the first offense sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19, Title 24, Youthful Offender Act can be expunged. This section does not apply to an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle, to a violation of Title 50 or to an offense classified as a violent crime in Section 16-1-60, or to an offense contained in Chapter 25, Title 16, except as otherwise provided in Section 16-25-30. A person eligible for a sentence pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19, Title 24, Youthful Offender Act, and who is not sentenced pursuant to those provisions, is not eligible to have his record expunged pursuant to the provisions of this section.No person may have his records expunged under this section more than once. ont
An individual that has been convicted of a first offense misdemeanor under the fraudulent check law (the amount of the instrument is one thousand dollars or less) and has had no additional criminal convictions taken place one year from the date of conviction. After one year from the date of conviction for this offense, the individual may apply to have their record of the arrest and conviction expunged. This provision does not apply to any crime classified as a felony. No person has any rights under this section more than one time.
An individual who has not previously been convicted of any offense under this article or any offense under any state or federal statute relating to marijuana, or stimulant, depressant or hallucinogenic drugs, pleads guilty to or is found guilty of possession of a controlled substance under the Section 44-53-370 (c) and (d), or Section 44-53-375(A). Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceeding against them. Discharge and dismissal under this section may occur only once with respect to any person. Dismissal upon successful completion may be expunged through the solicitor’s office and signed by a Circuit Court Judge. This applies to Magistrate and Municipal Court conditional charges as well.
An individual convicted of a misdemeanor first offense failure to stop motor vehicle, after three years from the date of completion of all terms and conditions of sentence can apply to the Solicitor’s Office to have the records of the arrest and conviction expunged. If the person has had no other convictions during the three years following the completion of the terms and conditions of the sentence the court shall issue an order expunging the record. No person has any rights under this section more than one time. 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.