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Holland & Usry, P.A.

Wiping a Dirty Slate Clean: Some Criminal Convictions Can Be Removed From Your Record

South Carolina law allows a little grace in the world for certain people who make a mistake. Even if you are convicted of certain crimes, you can have them removed from your record under the right conditions. The process is called expungement.

Let’s discuss the types of convictions that can be legally removed from your criminal record:

Certain First Offense “Minor Crime” Convictions

This applies to any crime carrying a penalty of up to 30 days in jail or a $1000 fine or both. You are eligible if you meet all the following conditions:

  • It is a first offense,
  • It does not involve a boating or traffic offense (like DUI), and
  • Three years have passed since your conviction date and you have no other convictions since, unless you were convicted for criminal domestic violence (CDV). First offense criminal domestic violence (CDV) can be removed from your record after a five-year waiting period with no other convictions.

You are only eligible once. The state police (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division or SLED) keeps a non-public record to be sure no one takes advantage of this more than once.

Certain Convictions Under the Youthful Offender Act

Expungement of your record may be possible if you were sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act, which generally applies only to folks under age 25 at the time of their convictions.

You are eligible if you meet all the following conditions:

  • It is a first offense,
  • It does not involve a boating or traffic offense (like DUI), or a violent crime as defined by South Carolina law, and
  • Five years have passed since you completed your entire sentence, including probation and parole, and you have had no other convictions during the five-year waiting period.

You are only eligible once. The state police (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division or SLED) keeps a non-public record to be sure no one takes advantage of this more than once.

First Offense Failure to Stop for a Blue Light

We have discussed this in more detail in another essay on this website.

Misdemeanor First Offense Check Fraud

You are eligible for a first offense conviction as long as it wasn’t a felony, one year passed from your conviction date, and you have no other convictions since. As with the other forms of expungement, you are only eligible once, and SLED maintains records to make sure nobody tries for expungement a second time.

Certain Juvenile Offenses

If you were convicted as juvenile in family court, you may be able to request the family court to expunge your record. You are eligible if you meet all the following conditions:

  • You were convicted of a non-violent crime,
  • You have no prior juvenile conviction for an offense carrying at least five years if you had been sentenced as an adult,
  • You are at least 18, have successfully completed your sentence, and have no other charges.

The power of the juvenile expungement is, it gives you the right to lawfully deny the charge or conviction.

Why Expungement Matters

While South Carolina offers limited options to expunge convictions, they are important to keep in mind when you are charged with a crime. At Holland & Usry, our primary goal is always to win. But when we can’t, we work to make sure our clients suffer as little as possible, and that includes preserving their right to an expungement.

If you are facing criminal charges in Spartanburg, Greenville, Gaffney, or Union County and you wonder if you can ever get those charges behind you, call us at 864.582.0416 or toll free at 888.230.1841. We would like to set up a free meeting to discuss your defenses and how we might be able to help you get this crime off your record if you can’t avoid conviction.

If you’ve already been convicted and want to know more about how we can help explain your rights and streamline the expungement process for you, please do contact us so we can start working on getting this stain off your record.