Most people in South Carolina can think of at least one time in their life when they would like to have the ability to go back and change what they said or did. This, in some respects, is part and parcel of being human. It is common that these situations do not end up leading a person to being arrested and living with a criminal record yet that can happen, even for relatively minor offenses like being overtly drunk in public.
The legal and judicial system does offer some people the opportunity to have their criminal convictions essentially erased. This is often referred to as receiving an expungement of one’s record. People who are convicted of offenses including cocaine or other drugs may often be able to have these events removed from their records. A person who has been arrested for and convicted of public drunkenness, however, has not had that same opportunity.
According to a report by The State, a new bill was voted into law by the state legislature that rectifies this disparity. Now, anyone who has been charged with disorderly conduct may have the ability to participate in a conditional discharge program. They will initially enter a guilty plea but the conviction is held for a period of time. During that holding time, the defendant must complete certain actions and adhere to specific requirements.
At the end of the stated period, if the court deems the person to have successfully completed the program, the guilty verdict and related conviction are not entered and the person has a clean record.