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Expungement - FAQs

What is an expungement?

An expungement is a court order that removes criminal arrests/dispositions from your criminal record. It is also called an Order for Destruction of Arrest Records. See S.C. Code Ann. §17-22-910 for the full text of the Uniform Expungement of Criminal Records Act. Expungement means that government records of an arrest/disposition are destroyed or sealed. Follow this link to view more information about expungements and to download the Expungement Application Packet (PDF).

What must I do to apply for an expungement?

Apply in the County where the arrest took place. If applying for expungement of an eligible offense(s) committed in Edgefield, Lexington, McCormick, or Saluda counties you would apply in the Expungement Office of the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor's Office. If you are seeking an expungement of a non-conviction in Magistrate or Municipal Court, you need to contact the clerk’s staff in that court to obtain expungement on this charge. A non-conviction refers to a charge that was dismissed, nol prossed (not prosecuted), no-billed, or not guilty verdicts.

If I successfully completed the Pretrial Intervention (PTI), the Alcohol Education Program (AEP), Drug Court, Traffic Education Program (TEP), or any other diversion program, how do I request an expungement?

If you completed any of these diversion programs, contact your case manager at 803-785-8197 for instructions on the expungement process. DO NOT complete the Expungement Application.

When may I apply for an expungement?

You may apply for an expungement for a charge that has been dismissed, nol prossed (not prosecuted), no-billed, or not guilty verdicts once the disposition is filed in the Clerk of Court’s Office or the Judge’s Office. For a conditional discharge, once you have successfully completed the requirements and the paperwork is available, you may apply for an expungement.

For all other requests for expungements, see pages 9-12 of the Expungement Application Packet for information regarding when you may apply for an expungement.

How long does the expungement process take?

The process may take up to six (6) months from the date the Expungement Office receives the completed Expungement Application. You will NOT receive a confirmation of receipt of your Expungement Application. You WILL receive, by mail, a certified true copy of your filed Expungement Order, agency file list and an instruction letter. Please follow the directions on the letter that is mailed to you with your processed order. If your address changes before you receive your filed expungement order you MUST contact this office.

How do I submit my Expungement Application and where do I submit the Application?

  • You MUST complete the Expungement Application [pages 1, 2, 3 and 4(section 1)].
  • You MUST obtain a copy of your certified disposition(s) for the charge(s) you are requesting expunged.
  • You MUST obtain any other additional required documents as specified or requested.
  • You MUST submit US Postal Money Order fees listed in Section 1 page 4 and Section 2 page 6.
  • You MUST mail or hand-deliver completed expungement application to the Expungement Office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. 

If you have questions, a representative is available on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. for walk-ins and phone calls (first come-first served basis).

The Expungement Services Office is located in the Marc H. Westbrook Judicial Center, 205 E. Main Street, Suite 105, Lexington, South Carolina 29072.

How much does expungement cost?

Please refer to the Expungement Fees chart below for additional information.

Expungement cost is determined by statute and fees are nonrefundable as provided by law. Fees are due for all expungement requests except when waived by law. (Fees are waived, by law, only when defendant is falsely accused of a crime as a result of identity theft. You must provide official documentation.)

For General Sessions charges that were dismissed, nol-prossed (not prosecuted), no-billed, or not guilty verdicts these fees are not applicable. However, if the General Sessions charges are dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea, then the $250 administrative fee is required.

Note that all nonrefundable expungement fees are to be paid by separate US Postal Money Orders and MUST be submitted with your Expungement Application.

Table of Expungement Fees

Statutes from the Code of Laws of South Carolina

 

Disposition

 

Administrative Fee

 

Verification Fee

 

Filing Fee

Section 17-1-40

Dismissed, Nol Prossed (not prosecuted),  No-billed, or Not Guilty Verdicts

NONE

*Unless dismissal is part of plea agreement; then $250

NONE

NONE

Section 34-11-90(e)

Fraudulent Check – First Offense Misdemeanor conviction

$250

$25

$35

Section 44-53-450(b)

Conditional Discharge – First Offense
(drug)

$250

NONE

$35

Section 16-17-530(B)

Conditional Discharge – First Offense
(public disorderly conduct)

$250

NONE

$35

Section 22-5-910

Misdemeanor which carries up to 30 days and/or up to $1000 fine – includes DV 3rd and CDV

$250

$25

$35

Section 22-5-920

Youthful Offender Act – First Offense conviction

$250

$25

$35

Section 22-5-930

First Offense Simple Possession Controlled Substance OR Possession with Intent to Distribute

$250

$25

$35

Section 56-5-750(f)

Failure to Stop Motor Vehicle – First Offense conviction

$250

$25

$35

Section 17-22-1010

SC Youth Challenge and SC Jobs Challenge Program Completion

$250

$25

$35

Section 63-19-2050

Destruction of Juvenile Record- includes Arbitration and DJJ Contract completion

$250

$25

$35

How do I obtain a certified disposition?

For eligible convicted/conditional discharge cases in Magistrate/Municipal Court, you have to contact the clerk in the Judge’s Office that presided over your case to obtain a copy of the certified disposition. For cases disposed of in General Sessions, you have to contact the Clerk of Court’s Office in the county with jurisdiction over the Charge(s). For completion of SC Youth Challenge and SC Job Challenge, you must include information on the completion of the programs. We cannot accept printouts from the public index or SLED CATCH rap sheets for disposition documentation.

What is eligible for an Expungement?

See pages 9-12 of the Expungement Application Packet for a detailed description of what is eligible for an Expungement and the conditions that must be met for each eligible charge.

What is ineligible for an Expungement?

Certain traffic convictions and convictions classified as violent crimes under Section 16-1-60 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina (1976, as amended) cannot be expunged.

If conditions/requirements are not met, then by law, expungements cannot be processed.

All expungements, through the Solicitor's Office, are done at the Solicitor's discretion.

To apply for the Destruction of Juvenile Records, what do I need to submit along with my application? (includes Arbitration and DJJ Contract completion)

You must be over 18 years of age to request a juvenile expungement, unless you were found Not Guilty in front of a Judge, in that case; you must submit an application and proof of your current age (e.g. Driver’s License). Also, you will need to submit the completed Expungement Application, which is pages 1, 2, 3 & 4 (section 1) of the Expungement Application Packet, dispositional information (arbitration completion document) on charge and all applicable separate US Postal Money Orders.

For expungement requests for a Conditional Discharge, what do I need to submit along with my application?

You must submit certified disposition and documentation from the County Clerk of Court or the Judge’s Office that all of the conditional discharge requirements have been met, along with the completed Expungement Application, which is pages 1, 2, 3 & 4 (section 1) of the Expungement Application Packet. In addition, you must include the separate US Postal Money Orders with the applicable fees.

May charges be combined on one expungement order?

Any number of offenses, which the individual received sentences at a single sentencing proceeding that are closely connected and arose out of the same incident, may be combined on one order.

The Expungement Office personnel will determine this.

How many times may I request an expungement?

For the following, you may receive only one expungement in a lifetime from EACH of the following types of convictions: (charge must meet all eligibility requirements)

  • Fraudulent Check – First Offense conviction
  • Conditional Discharge – First Offense (drug)
  • Conditional Discharge – First Offense (public disorderly conduct)
  • Conviction of a charge which carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000 – includes DV 3rd and CDV
  • Youthful Offender Act – First Offense conviction
  • First Offense Simple Possession Controlled Substance OR Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Failure to Stop Motor Vehicle – First Offense misdemeanor conviction
  • Completion of SC Youth Challenge Academy AND SC Jobs Challenge Program

For the following, you may request multiple expungements for each of the following:

  • Dismissed, no-billed, or nol prossed (not prosecuted) charges, and not guilty verdicts
  • Juvenile Records (Must be eligible and Submit proof of age)

If my expungement request is granted, will history of the charge(s) also be expunged from private and non-government businesses who report my criminal history based on public record?

There are non-government businesses who create their own criminal history file based on public record files. When the expungement process is complete, the expunged charges are removed from the public record files of government agencies and the expunged charges are either destroyed or sealed. However, non-government businesses may not remove the expunged charges from their own criminal history file when the expunged charge(s) is no longer found in the public record files. You should use a copy of your final expungement order to submit to these non-government businesses if their records reflect the charge(s) that was expunged.   

Do I need an attorney to request an expungement?

The Solicitor’s Office will prepare and process the expungement order. You may hire an attorney to prepare and process your expungement request.

Can I get a copy of my South Carolina Criminal History?

Our office legally cannot provide you with a copy of your South Carolina Criminal History. To obtain a copy of your SC Criminal History, go to www.sled.sc.gov to make a request and pay the applicable fee for your SLED Catch. Arrests outside of South Carolina will not show on this SLED Catch. To obtain a copy of your complete Criminal History, please go to www.FBI.GOV and then to Background Checks and follow the directions.

If you have additional arrests either in South Carolina or outside of South Carolina and you are applying for a SC expungement on anything other than a dismissed charge, you MUST supply any missing disposition documentation on all charges before a decision can be made on your SC expungement request.

Can someone apply for an expungement on my behalf?

Yes. You or someone acting on your behalf may apply for an expungement.

Whom do I contact if I have questions about the expungement process?

If you have questions that this packet does not answer, a representative is available on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. for walk-ins and phone calls on a first come first served basis. If you need to schedule an appointment for another day, please contact the Expungement Services Office.