Having a criminal record can haunt you, and it can potentially impact numerous areas of your life. Your criminal record can, for example, potentially prevent you from securing certain jobs, and it may, too, present barriers with regard to where you can live, among other repercussions. You may, however, depending on circumstances, be able to pursue what is known as a criminal record expungement.
Just what is a criminal record expungement, and how can you tell if you are eligible for one?
Understanding the expungement process
An expungement, in its simplest terms, involves essentially erasing your criminal or arrest record so that it no longer works against you. South Carolina allows certain criminal offenders who meet specific criteria to pursue expungements, and there are typically fees involved in seeking them. So, how do you know if your crime and situation make you eligible for expungement?
Understanding expungement eligibility
Currently, there are several situations and circumstances under which you may qualify for an expungement. If your criminal charge ultimately resulted in a dismissal or non-conviction, you may be able to move forward in your pursuit of an expungement. You may, too, find that you qualify for criminal record expungement if you successfully completed a pretrial intervention program, which was the only time you sought an expungement for this reason.
Similarly, you may be able to move forward with expungement if you successfully completed a traffic education or alcohol education program. Again, you can only seek an expungement due to these reasons once in a lifetime. If your crime was a first-time drug offense involving simple possession of drugs or certain substances, you may also be able to move forward with your pursuit of expungement, but again, this can only occur once within your lifetime.
While these are some of the circumstances under which you may be eligible for a South Carolina expungement, please note that this is not a comprehensive list of all ways you could potentially qualify.