A criminal record can have a lasting impact on your rights and affect your ability to obtain employment or participate in your community. A Summerville expungement lawyer may be able to help you avoid these lingering problems by removing a conviction from your record.

An expungement could remove an offense from your criminal record and allow you to move forward with new opportunities. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, you could put yourself in the best possible position for a new job, new housing, or another opportunity.

What Does an Expungement Do?

An expungement is also known as an Order for Destruction of Arrest Records. A court order for expungement removes a conviction or arrest from a person’s public record. Expungements may be helpful when seeking employment or housing, as well as other situations where a criminal record may be detrimental. Stopping the public from accessing information about the past can also provide a person with an increased sense of privacy.

However, even if a record is expunged, courts and law enforcement agencies may be allowed to keep nonpublic records. Additionally, a person may be legally obligated to disclose an expunged record under some circumstances. A Summerville expungement attorney could further explain the benefits and limitations of removing an item from a person’s criminal record.

Seeking an Expungement

A person should pursue an expungement in the county where the charge occurred and should be aware that counties may have slightly different procedures. South Carolina Code of Laws §17-22-930 states that a person must request an expungement by using the form available in the county solicitor’s office.

In most cases, a person will also need to pay fees and provide notice to prosecutors or law enforcement agencies to obtain an expungement. Failure to notify the correct agencies could result in a denial of the expungement request. Additionally, even if the court orders a record expunged, it may continue to be available if the correct agencies are not notified. A destruction of criminal records attorney in Summerville could guide a person through the correct steps for a successful expungement application.

What Types of Records May Be Expunged?

Many types of minor or first offenses may be eligible for expungement, including:

  • First convictions for offenses with no more than a 30-day jail sentence
  • First convictions for third-degree domestic violence
  • Certain nonviolent convictions as a youthful offender
  • Cases involving the successful completion of traffic or alcohol education program or pretrial intervention program

However, expungements are not available in all cases. A person may not be able to obtain an expungement if an offense was violent, carried a lengthy prison sentence, or if the person has other criminal records. Most traffic offenses, including convictions for driving under the influence, cannot be expunged.

In some cases, a certain amount of time must pass before applying for a record’s removal. For example, a person may only have a domestic violence conviction expunged under S.C. Code §22-5-910(B) after five years have passed. An expungement lawyer in Summerville could help determine whether the court may expunge a particular record.

A Summerville Expungement Attorney May be Able to Provide Assistance

Removing an offense from your public criminal record can allow you to enjoy new opportunities without dwelling on past mistakes. A Summerville expungement lawyer could explain your options for eliminating a negative mark on your record. Call today to start working on your case.

We know these are uncertain times, but we are still ready to assist you with your criminal case.