Myrtle Beach Horry County South Carolina Expungement Lawyer
Expungement is a legal process that offers a fresh start by clearing one's criminal record. When your record is expunged, it means that your arrests and convictions are no longer accessible through the state's database and will not appear on basic background checks. At The Chambers Law Firm, Attorney Trent Chambers is committed to helping individuals in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas achieve the clean slate they deserve. If you're seeking expungement, reach out to us today at (843) 449-0420 to explore your options.
Understanding South Carolina Expungement Laws
In South Carolina, the general rule is that anything on your criminal record remains there for life. However, like many legal rules, there are exceptions. We'll guide you through some of the key exceptions to expungement in our state:
1. Successful Disposition
Section 17-1-40 of the South Carolina Code states that your arrest can be expunged and your records destroyed if:
Your charge was nol prossed (not prosecuted), dismissed, or if you were found not guilty.
Your case was dismissed after successful completion of a diversionary program.
Section §44-53-450(b) allows for the expungement of a first offense of simple possession of marijuana if you've completed court-imposed requirements for a conditional discharge. Furthermore, Section 17-22-150(a) allows record clearance after the successful completion of Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), and 17-22-530(A) permits expungement for alcohol-related charges following the completion of an Alcohol Education Program (AEP).
2. Fraudulent Check Offense
If you were convicted of a first offense misdemeanor under the Fraudulent Check Law, and one year has passed since the date of your conviction without additional fraudulent check charges, Section 34-11-90 allows for expungement. This provision enables individuals to clear a bad check arrest and conviction, provided it was a first offense misdemeanor, with no subsequent convictions during the one-year period.
3. Municipal or Magistrate Level Offenses
For individuals convicted of a first offense misdemeanor at the municipal or magistrate level, carrying a penalty of not more than 30 days in jail or a fine of $1000 (or both), there's potential for expungement. The following conditions must be met:
Three years have elapsed since the date of conviction.
No additional convictions were incurred during that period.
Please note that if two magistrate or municipal level offenses were charged simultaneously, expungement may not be available. Additionally, certain offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle, offenses in Title 50 ("Fish Game and Watercraft"), or criminal domestic violence are subject to specific rules.
4. Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV)
For individuals convicted of criminal domestic violence, the same rules as above apply, but with one key difference:
You must wait five years from the date of conviction before applying for an expungement.
5. Youthful Offender Act
If you were convicted of an offense sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act, and five years have passed since the completion of your sentence, you may be eligible for expungement. However, this provision does not apply to offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle, criminal domestic violence, or Fish, Game, and Watercraft violations.
At The Chambers Law Firm, we understand the intricacies of South Carolina's expungement laws and can provide you with comprehensive guidance and representation. Our aim is to help you leave your past behind and move forward with a clean record.
If you're seeking expungement for your criminal record in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Conway, or any part of Horry or Georgetown South Carolina, don't hesitate to contact Attorney Trent Chambers at (843) 449-0420 for a consultation.