South Carolina Drunk Driving DUI Expungement
Expungement or expunction is a process by which records of a criminal arrest may be destroyed in limited circumstances. Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws §17-1-40:
“Destruction of records where charges dismissed; fee.
(A) A person who after being charged with a criminal offense and the charge is discharged, proceedings against the person are dismissed, or the person is found to be innocent of the charge, the arrest and booking record, files, mug shots, and fingerprints of the person must be destroyed and no evidence of the record pertaining to the charge may be retained by any municipal, county, or state law enforcement agency.
In South Carolina, in order to have a DUI/DWI expunged from your record you must, in most cases, be found innocent of the charge of DWI/DUI. While South Carolina may not charge a fee (other than an administrative fee) for expunction, you must first be found innocent of DWI/DUI and subsequently navigate the sometimes technical details of properly filing a motion of expunction. A criminal defense attorney from Everett Law Firm would be honored to assist you in attempting to complete this two step process.
There are seven avenues to expunction in South Carolina. The first way in which an expungement may be granted is if you are found innocent of the charges, discussed above. Another method is entering into a Pre-Trial Intervention Program. The Pre-Trial Intervention Program is designed to provide relief to the courts to hear more serious cases and is only available to first time offenders; however, driving under the influence or driving while impaired is not an offense which is given acceptance to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. The third method in which an expunction may be granted is if you were convicted for writing fraudulent checks and no criminal activity has taken place for one year since the date of conviction. The fourth avenue to expunction is a “conditional discharge” which is only available to first time simple possession of marijuana convictions. The fifth exception for expunction is that an expunction will be allowed for a first offense in a magistrate’s court other than an offense involving a motor vehicle (DWI/DUI), and domestic violence offenses. The sixth exception is if the defendant was convicted of a first offense, non-aggravated violation for Failure to Stop for an officer who has engaged his emergency lighting and sirens, and had no other convictions for any crime for three years following the completion of all terms and conditions of the Blue Light sentence. The last exception is if you were convicted as a minor. If, fifteen years later after being convicted as a minor, you may apply for expunction, but once again, DUI/DWI convictions are not eligible.
In order to have a DWI/DUI expunged from your criminal record, you must be found innocent of the charges. The criminal defense attorneys of Everett Law Firm will work diligently towards that goal. The experienced attorneys at Everett Law Firm, P. A. can assist you in handling your criminal charges and determine whether you are eligible for an expunction. For a free case evaluation, call Everett Law Firm, P. A. located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and serving clients in Pawley's Island, Garden City, Georgetown and most surrounding counties. Our toll free phone number is 800-942-8048.