Expungement means the removal of a charge or conviction from the public records. The law in South Carolina regarding what records may be expunged is complicated and there are some unresolved questions about what can be expunged and what cannot. Therefore, I cannot guarantee this information is absolutely accurate so you need to consult with a criminal defense lawyer about your particular case before you proceed. At Cleary Law LLC, we have experienced Sumter, SC Expungement Lawyers working with us. Our lawyers understand the expungement process in detail and they can help you get a clean record.

Before you seek to expunge your records, go HERE to and run a copy of your criminal record from SLED. This will cost you $26. Make sure you save the document with your record on it. Once you do, email it to our office and we can tell you what your options are. Our Expungements Attorney in Fairfield County will review your case in detail to tell you your options.


Generally, if the criminal charges against you are dismissed, nolle prossed (dropped by the State), or if you are found not guilty, the record of these charges is expungeable. These records are now being expunged without requiring you to apply for an expungement. However, older charges will require an application. There should be no fees charged by the State for these expungements. The main exception is when a charge is dropped as part of a plea deal and you pled guilty to other charges. Experienced Calhoun County Expungements Lawyers know how to get your criminal record expunged. Call the Expungements Attorney in Lexington County at our office to discuss your case.

Pre-Trial Intervention Dispositions

If your case is dismissed after you successfully completed a pre-trial intervention program, you can apply for an expungement immediately after completing the program. For that, you will need help and assistance from an Expungements Attorney in Columbia, SC. You will be required to pay fees for the expungement. Such programs include:

  • Traffic Education Program (TEP).
  • Alcohol Education Program (AEP)
  • Pre-trial intervention (PTI)
  • Conditional Discharges (for certain minor drug offenses)


A conviction arises when you (1) plead guilty; (2) are found guilty by a judge after a bench trial; (3) are found guilty by a jury after a jury trial; or (4) forfeited bond by failing to appear in magistrate or municipal court. Some people have convictions without realizing it because they were tried in their absence after they failed to appear for court.

Certain convictions may be expunged. These expungements require that fees be paid to the State of South Carolina. The experienced Columbia Expungement Lawyers at our office can be reached at (999) 999-9999.

Convictions for Crimes Carrying Less than Thirty Days Imprisonment or a Fine of $1000

If you were convicted of an offense which carries no more than thirty days’ imprisonment or a fine of one thousand dollars, the conviction can usually be expunged if you have not had any other convictions (not just arrests) in three years. This includes offenses brought in magistrates court, municipal court, and even general sessions court.

If the conviction was for third-degree domestic violence, you must not have gotten any other convictions in five years.

If you have more than one conviction but it arose out of the same incident, it may be considered one conviction for expungement purposes.

Fraudulent Checks

If you were convicted of a first offense misdemeanor for writing a fraudulent check and you have not been convicted of another criminal charge in one year, you may be eligible for an expungement. You may want to get in touch with the South Carolina Expungements Lawyers at our office.

Recent Changes To The Expungement Law

Convictions for simple possession of certain controlled substances may now be expunged. You must not have been convicted of any offense in the three years from the date of completion of the sentence (including probation and parole).

Convictions for possession with intent to distribute drugs may now be expunged, if it is a first offense, after twenty (20) years. You must not have been convicted of any drug crimes or felonies in the twenty (20) years from the date of conviction.

Youthful Offenders

If you were convicted of a first offense under the Youthful Offender Act (YOA) and you have not been convicted of another criminal charge in the five years since you completed your sentence (including probation and parole), you may be eligible for expungement.

Failure To Stop For Police

If you were convicted of first offense failure to stop your vehicle for the police and you have not been convicted of another criminal charge in the three years since you completed your sentence, you may be eligible for expungement.

Convictions for traffic offenses (including DUI) and wildlife offenses cannot be expunged.

If your conviction is not eligible for expungement, you may consider applying for a pardon. It will not remove the conviction from your record but a pardon restores civil rights. Many employers will not hold pardoned offenses against you when you apply for a job.

Call Ellen Cleary at (999) 999-9999 for a free initial consultation today with a criminal law lawyer. She is an experienced criminal defense attorney who may be able to have your criminal record expunged in Columbia, South Carolina.