The South Carolina Second Chance Expungement Gap
The following is a summary of the law prepared by law students under the supervision of a professor based on consulting multiple sources. It is only up to date as of the dates shown below and in many cases we had to make judgment calls. Therefore we encourage you to also consult the sources below, as well as the Restoration of Rights Project that include summaries of the law for all 50 states and US territories.
Sources: Restoration of Rights New York Report (August 2020)
Summary of the Law
Primary Sources: South Carolina Code 17-22-910. Applications for expungement; administration » LawServer (2019) | Section 22-5-910. Expungement of criminal records (2019) | Section 22-5-930. Expungement; first offense drug convictions (2019)
Secondary Sources: Apple Tree SC Expungement Reference Guide (2020) | CCRC South Carolina (6/16/20) | SLED FAQs
- Expungement for misdemeanors or summary offenses ($1000 or 30-day sentence), after 3-year waiting-period from date of conviction if clean (no conviction), 5-year waiting-period from conviction if offense was domestic violence if clean. S.C. Code Ann. § 22-5-910(A).
- Expungement if first offense for Simple Possession of a Schedule I-V drug upon petition, after a 3-year waiting-period starting from completion of sentence, if clean. Section 22-5-930(A) (no conviction)
- Expungement if first offense for Possession with Intent to Distribute a drug, upon petition, after 20 year wait-period starting from completion of sentence, if clean of drug or felony convictions. Section 22-5-930(B).
- Expungement if first offense for Simple Possession of a Schedule I-V drug upon petition, after 3-year waiting-period starting from completion of sentence, if clean. Section 22-5-930(A).
- Expungement if first offense for Possession with Intent to Distribute a drug, upon petition, after 20-year waiting-period starting from completion of sentence, if clean of drug or felony convictions.Section 22-5-930(B).
- Youthful Offender Act convictions
- Not Eligible For misdemeanors involving a motor vehicle. S.C. Code Ann. § 22-5-910(A).
- Lifetime or Other Limits:No limit on 30-day offense relief. 22-5-910(D). For Possession and Intent to Distribute, only one per lifetime.
- LFO Payment Required for Sentence Completion: No, or at least neither major code sections (17-22-910 and 22-5-910) impose this requirement.
- Other Unmodeled Criteria or Details: Youthful Offender Act, diversion program completion, fraudulent check, blue light stop.
- Before 2009, Expungement if dismissed or acquitted if applied for after judgment. See S.C. Code Ann. § 17-22-950.
- After 2009, Expungement and destruction of records if charges dismissed, discharged, or acquitted, automatically upon the date of adjudication. Statutes silent on lifetime limits. S.C. Code Ann. 17-1-40(B)(1) and SC Code § 17-22-950(A).