Having a criminal record of any kind can be difficult on a person, especially when it comes to things like finding employment, securing housing and obtaining professional licenses. Due to this, many people in South Carolina look into a record expungement. Getting misdemeanor charges expunged from a criminal record is possible by going through the right channels and meeting the requirements.
According to the Fifth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office, expungement simple means removing all traces of a criminal charge from a person’s official record. This includes all associated arrests. Only certain charges can be removed, though. Any charges related to a not guilty verdict or a dismissed case can be removed, along with charges for many 1st degree offenses. Youthful Offender Act convictions and most juvenile offenses can also be taken off a person’s record. Crimes that cannot be removed include fish and wildlife charges and almost all traffic violations.
The South Carolina Bar reports that in order to obtain a record expungement, a person must contact the Magistrate or Municipal Court in which he or she was convicted or the Solicitor’s Office for the location of the conviction, depending on the crime being removed. These offices will have the paperwork that will need to be fully filled out and returned. The personnel at the office can also answer questions and assist if needed.
A person may need to have copies of his or her court papers in some districts. In addition, getting this process completed requires a fee unless the charges were dismissed or never prosecuted. Fees typically total $310, which includes money towards administrative fees, filing fees and payment to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Refunds are not given on these fees.