When an individual wishes to get his or her criminal record cleared of all arrests and convictions, or sealed so that others cannot view past indiscretions, he or she may be able to do so through the legal process of expungement. Expungement refers to the process of legally eliminating, destroying or obliterating information and records pertaining to an individual's criminal record. The exact laws pertaining to expungements vary from state to state, however once a person's criminal record has been successfully expunged, it will appear that the criminal record is clean. In the state of South Carolina, when an individual has his or her record expunged the law dictates that all booking records, arrest records, mug shots, fingerprints and any other relevant records be permanently destroyed.
Not all criminal offenses will be eligible for expungement. Offenses that are eligible to be expunged under South Carolina law are those non-violent crimes committed by first-time offenders who opted to partake in a Pretrial Intervention program, an alcohol education program or a traffic education program. Any person convicted of a first-time check fraud offense may apply for expungement, providing it has been at least one year since the original conviction was took place, and he or she has not been convicted of any other crimes in that year, and the value of the fraudulent check did not exceed $5000.
Another offense eligible to be expunged is a conviction for a first-time, misdemeanor marijuana possession. Any cases which led to a dismissal of charges, a verdict of not guilty may be eligible for expungement. Many of the convictions issued by municipal or magistrate's courts are eligible for expunction providing at least three years have passed since the date of conviction. Offenses that are not eligible include those which carry penalties exceeding 30 days in jail, fines in excess of $500, any major felony offenses, and those involving the operation of a motor vehicle and any criminal domestic violence offenses.
To find out if your criminal record could be expunged, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC and schedule to meet with a Lexington criminal lawyer as soon as possible. The attorney will review your record and advise you regarding clearing your criminal record. With an extensive knowledge of criminal law and years of experience defending the rights of those facing criminal accusations, the lawyers at the firm are committed to doing everything possible to help you clear your record.