If you’re asking yourself, “How long does expungement take in SC?” you’re not alone. The laws governing expungements have changed considerably over the years. You can either apply in person or send an application through the mail. You’ll need to provide current picture identification, a copy of your final disposition from the arresting agency, and a $25 US Postal Money Order. The fee is nonrefundable. The rules regarding the procedure also change frequently, so you may want to contact a lawyer to make sure you are following the correct steps.
Expungement can only be done if the conviction was for a misdemeanor. In SC, you can only be granted expungement if you have no other convictions and the charge was a misdemeanor. You may have to wait five years from the time you were convicted. The wait time may be longer if the case was for a felony, but if it is a misdemeanor, you are probably eligible for expungement.
If your case was convicted or conditionally discharged, you must contact the judge’s office or the clerk of court in the county where the Charges were filed. Then, you’ll need to provide proof of the programs that you’ve completed since your arrest. The SC Department of Corrections cannot accept printouts from public indexes or SLED CATCH rap sheets. You may also need to pay a fee for the expungement attorney.
South Carolina has a new law that makes it easier for certain convictions to be expunged. First offenses of drug possession and intent to distribute will be expunged after 20 years if the person has no other convictions in the past. If not, the case will remain on their record for life. For first offenses, you’ll have to wait five years after your conviction to apply for an expungement.
In addition, there are a number of conditions that must be met for an expungement to be successful. In SC, for example, you need to be found not guilty of a drug crime. If you get a conditional discharge, you cannot have any other criminal convictions in your history. It’s important to remember that expungement is only available once in your lifetime, and you must pay all court fines that accompany your conviction.
Aside from the time it takes for the entire process to be completed, the court system can be difficult. Even if you know the rules for expungement, you should consider hiring an attorney to help you navigate the process. An attorney can save you a lot of trouble and hassle. An expungement order will remove your arrest record from public record, including the booking record, mug shots, DNA profile, and fingerprints. Additionally, you should be eligible for expungement thirty days after your disposition date.