South Carolina Expungement Laws

This guide provides a detailed overview of South Carolina's expungement process, including official resources, costs, and frequently asked questions to assist individuals seeking a fresh start.

Navigating the complexities of expungement laws in South Carolina can be challenging, but clearing your criminal record can significantly impact your life, opening doors to employment, housing, and educational opportunities.

What is Expungement?

Expungement is the legal process of removing arrests or convictions from an individual's criminal record. In South Carolina, expungement can make it as though the offense never occurred, at least in the eyes of the law, allowing individuals to legally affirm they have not been convicted of a crime on job applications and other important documents, in most cases.

Official Resources for Expungement in South Carolina

To ensure accuracy and reliability, it's crucial to refer to official government resources. Below are key links to South Carolina's expungement laws, guidelines, and application processes:

  • SC Expungement Reference Guide - SC Appleseed: A comprehensive guide detailing the expungement process in South Carolina. Access the guide here.

  • Pardons & Expungements - Governor Henry McMaster - SC.GOV: Provides information on how to contact the governor's office regarding pardons and expungements. Learn more.

  • South Carolina Code §17-1-40: The legal statute outlining expungement eligibility and procedures. Read the statute.

  • Expungement - 5th Circuit Solicitor's Office, SC: Offers specific information on the expungement process within the 5th Circuit. Visit the office's site.

  • Expungement - FAQs | SC Eleventh Judicial Circuit: Answers to frequently asked questions about expungement. Check the FAQs.

  • [PDF] Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Expungements and...: A document provided by South Carolina's courts detailing common queries. Download the PDF.

  • [PDF] EXPUNGEMENT - South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families: A guide focused on assisting individuals with the expungement process. Access the guide.

What Crimes Can Be Expunged?

Not all crimes are eligible for expungement in South Carolina. Generally, first-offense convictions for non-violent crimes can be expunged, along with certain types of juvenile offenses and arrests that did not lead to conviction. The specifics can be found within the South Carolina Code §17-1-40 and through the resources provided above.

The Cost of Expungement

The cost of expunging a record in South Carolina can vary depending on the type of crime and the court system. Fees are often associated with filing the expungement request, and additional costs may apply. For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding expungement fees, it's advisable to consult the official resources linked in this guide.

How to Apply for Expungement

The application process for expungement in South Carolina typically involves obtaining a copy of your SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) criminal record, completing an application form provided by the Solicitor's Office, and paying any applicable fees. Detailed steps and requirements can be found through the SC Expungement Reference Guide and the Solicitor's Office websites.


Clearing your criminal record in South Carolina is a process that requires patience, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of the law. By utilizing the official resources and following the outlined steps, individuals can navigate the expungement process more effectively, moving closer to a future unburdened by a past mistake.

Remember, while this guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview, laws and procedures can change. Always refer to the official resources provided for the most current information.

About the author
Von Wooding

Von Wooding

Counsel Stack develops grounded language models equipped with research, retrieval, and drafting tools. We offer legal leads, pre-built intelligent applications, and white label solutions.

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