Having a criminal record can be a significant barrier to achieving your goals, whether it’s finding a job, getting a loan, or renting an apartment. 

Fortunately, South Carolina law allows certain criminal records to be expunged, or erased, from your record, giving you a fresh start. However, the expungement process can be complicated, and not all convictions are eligible. 

That’s where a Rock Hill expungements lawyer can help. 

At Okoye Law in Rock Hill, our attorneys are skilled in helping individuals like you clean up their records and take back their life. If you have a conviction and are curious whether an expungement is possible, contact our office today to discuss your options.

What Is an Expungement?

An expungement is a legal process that allows an individual to have certain criminal records cleared or sealed from public view. This means the conviction or arrest record will no longer appear in background checks and public records searches.

Expungement can provide individuals with a fresh start by removing the negative impact a criminal record can have on their job prospects, housing options, and educational opportunities. However, not all criminal convictions are eligible for expungement, and the process can be complex, so it’s essential to consult a defense attorney.

Qualifying for Expungements in South Carolina

Although expungements are restricted to specific minor offenses, many individuals have charges on their record that are eligible for removal. 

This may be due to the type of charge or completion of a qualifying program. As a result, a significant number of citizens have the entitlement to have their charges expunged. 

The following are the types of convictions that may qualify:

  • A conviction under the Youthful Offender Act
  • A first offense for drug charge for simple possession or possession with intent to distribute
  • A first offense for failure to stop for a law enforcement vehicle
  • Certain alcohol-related offenses
  • A misdemeanor conviction that carried a penalty of not more than 30 days incarceration, a $500 fine, or both

South Carolina Expungements Process

The expungement process in South Carolina can be complicated, and following the correct steps is essential to ensure that your record is cleared properly. 

Here are the general steps involved:

  1. Apply to the solicitor in the circuit where the offense(s) was committed.
  2. Pay the following fees*:
    1. A non-refundable administrative fee of $250 made payable to the solicitor
    2. A non-refundable SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) verification fee of $25 made payable to SLED, if applicable
    3. A filing fee of $35 made payable to the county clerk of court, if applicable

*If the offense(s) was dismissed, discharged, or nolle prossed as part of a plea arrangement, the applicant is exempt from paying the administrative fee.

  1. The solicitor will send the application to SLED for eligibility verification.
  2. SLED will return the application to the solicitor with an eligibility determination.
  3. The solicitor will obtain the necessary signatures if the offense(s) is eligible for expungement.
  4. Once the circuit court judge signs, the solicitor will file the order with the court clerk.
  5. The solicitor will provide copies of the expungement order to all relevant government agencies and the applicant or their attorney.

Expungements Vs. Pardons in South Carolina

When clearing your criminal record, two options exist: expungements and pardons. While they both offer relief, there are significant differences between the two.

Expungements entail removing a conviction from a person’s criminal record, erasing it as if it never occurred. This process is only available for certain convictions and is typically reserved for minor offenses. 

On the other hand, pardons don’t erase the conviction from your record but offer legal forgiveness for the crime. However, the record of the conviction remains on your criminal record, and you must disclose it if asked.

In summary, an expungement removes the record of the conviction, while a pardon forgives the crime but does not remove it from your record. If you want to clear your record, it’s essential to consider which option is best for you, and a criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the pros and cons of each.

Why You Need a Rock Hill Expungements Lawyer

Navigating the expungement process can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the legal system. That’s why it’s essential to have a lawyer on your side. 

Here are some reasons why:

  • Knowledge of the process — A defense attorney has extensive knowledge of the expungement process and can help you understand the eligibility criteria, the required forms, and the necessary steps to complete the process successfully.
  • Assistance with the paperwork — The expungement process involves filling out numerous forms and providing supporting documentation. A lawyer can help you complete the paperwork accurately and ensure you have all the necessary documentation.
  • Increased chances of success — With a lawyer’s guidance, you’re more likely to have your petition granted. They can help you present your case effectively and meet all requirements.
  • Advice on the best course of action — A lawyer can advise you on whether expungement is the best course of action for your situation. If not, they can provide alternative solutions.
  • Protection of your rights — An experienced lawyer can protect your rights throughout the process and ensure that your record is cleared lawfully and ethically.

Hiring a Rock Hill expungements lawyer can make the expungement process easier, increase your chances of success, and provide expert legal advice. Contact the team at Okoye Law today to learn how we can help you clear your record and restore your good name.

Clear Your Record. Restore Your Good Name. Call Okoye Law Today.

If you have a criminal record, it can impact your life in many ways. It can limit your job prospects, affect your housing options, and even impact your relationships. 

Fortunately, expungement offers an opportunity to clear your record and give you a fresh start.

At Okoye Law, we understand the importance of having a clean record. Our experienced Rock Hill expungements lawyers can help you navigate the expungement process and increase your chances of success. We have helped many individuals clear their records and restore their good names, and we can help you too.

Don’t let a criminal record hold you back any longer. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you clear your record and start fresh.


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FAQ: Rock Hill Expungements

How long does the expungement process take?

The expungement process can take several months, depending on the complexity of your case and the court’s backlog. It’s important to be patient and work closely with your lawyer throughout the process.

Can I expunge my record myself, or do I need a lawyer?

While it’s possible to expunge your record yourself, hiring a lawyer is generally recommended to help you with the process. The expungement process can be complicated, and many potential pitfalls could result in your petition being denied. A lawyer can help ensure that your petition is filled out correctly and that you present your case effectively.

How much does it cost to get an expungement in South Carolina?

The cost of expungement in South Carolina varies depending on the type of offense and the county in which the offense was committed. However, several fees are involved, including administrative, filing, and SLED verification fees. Your Rock Hill expungements lawyer can provide you with an estimate of the total cost.

Will an expungement completely clear my criminal record?

While an expungement removes the conviction from public view, certain government agencies and law enforcement officials may still be able to access your record. However, in most cases, you can legally state that you have not been convicted of the offense.