A criminal conviction can have a serious affect on your life and your future. If you are facing criminal charges or have already been convicted, you may be wondering about expungement. It is important for those facing criminal charges in Greenville, South Carolina, to understand that the possibility of expungement is not likely to be your most plausible option. Rather, you would be wise to attempt to prevent the conviction or minimize the charges with the help of a skilled Greenville, South Carolina, criminal defense attorney like the attorneys at David R. Price, Jr. P.A. However, for those who have already been convicted, we’ll look at how the process of expungement works and whether it may be an option for those who have already been convicted.
What Does Expungement Mean When it Comes to Your Criminal Record?
When we talk about the expungement of your criminal record, we’re talking about destroying and removing the evidence of a conviction from your record. Yet, we’re not just talking about convictions. You may have charges that never resulted in a conviction, but that are still present on your records. Even the arrest record is erased/removed with a successful expungement. Another option is to have the record sealed, which means that it is not erased, removed, or destroyed, but it becomes sealed in such a way that it is only visible in specific situations. For example, an employer may not see a sealed record, but if there is a court order or if law enforcement wishes to look at your record, it will be visible then.
Expungement is not something that happens over time or after you serve your sentence. To get a criminal record expunged, along with the mug shot, the arrest record, and other information, you must specifically request it with the appropriate processes. If you are granted an expungement, then your record will be erased from the public record database within thirty days. Unlike a sealed record, an expungement means that nobody will be able to view that record, because it won’t be there anymore.
Is Your Criminal Record Eligible for Expungement in Greenville, South Carolina?
Now that you have a better idea of what an expungement is and how it works, you need to be aware of the fact that your criminal record may not be eligible for expungement. Certain convictions and records cannot be expunged. In fact, there are only nine types of convictions, charges, and circumstances which are eligible for expungement. One circumstance that is eligible for expungement is a record of a charge that you were not convicted of. The record of arrest and of charges will still exist on your record unless you have them expunged, but they can be expunged. Another example is a situation where you were able to handle your case with a pre-trial intervention program. Once the program is completed, the record can be expunged through the appropriate processes. Similarly, if you completed a traffic education program or alcohol education program, then you may be eligible to have your record of certain charges expunged.
If you were granted a conditional court discharge, then you can also get an expungement after fulfilling your obligations. The same is true if you completed your sentence as part of the Youthful Offender Act. There are also specific types of convictions that allow for expungement, which include fraudulent check convictions and general misdemeanor convictions. You may also be able to get your record expunged for failure to stop for a blue light. In all of these cases, you will have to complete the statutory requirements for your charge, and then go through the process of requesting an expungement through the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s and the Solicitor’s Office.
Regarding convictions that are not eligible for expungement, you need to be aware that no felony conviction can ever be removed from your criminal record. The same is true for DUI convictions or charges that are dismissed through plea arrangements. Further, you cannot get anything expunged while you are facing pending criminal charges or if you are charged with another crime within three years of the given offense. Determining whether or not you are eligible for an expungement can be complicated, so you will want to talk to a knowledgeable Greenville, South Carolina, criminal defense attorney like the attorneys at David R. Price, Jr. P.A.to get more details, information, and advice about your situation.
How Do You Go About Getting Your Criminal Record Expunged in Greenville, South Carolina?
When you meet with a criminal defense attorney in Greenville, South Carolina, to discuss getting your criminal record expunged, you will start by determining whether or not you are eligible for expungement. Different situations and different convictions are subject to different requirements. One example is the Youthful Offender Act, which requires that an offender not get any more criminal charges or convictions within five years of completing the program. Once you’ve established that you are eligible for expungement and that you meet all of the necessary requirements, you will proceed by filing the required documents, forms, and fees. You must keep in mind that you are not necessarily guaranteed an expungement, even if you qualify, meet the requirements, and pay the fees. Every case is subject to its own individual review, and your request may be denied. If this happens, the fees you paid will not be returned.
It Is Better to Prevent a Conviction than to Expunge it Later
In the end, it is far better to avoid conviction by working with a successful criminal defense attorney in Greenville, South Carolina, than it is to focus on expunging your record later. Many people make the mistake of assuming that they can save time and money by accepting a conviction on their record and simply avoid the impact of that conviction on their lives by getting their record expunged. The reality is that getting an expungement is not a guaranteed process, does not work for everyone, and takes time and effort to achieve. Meanwhile, the criminal conviction can have a significant impact on your life and it may end up costing you forever if you cannot get it expunged. Further, it is a mistake to think that you are saving time and money by not fighting your charges. The consequences of a conviction are far more costly than the expense of working with a skilled criminal defense attorney to prevent it. Contact the determined criminal defense attorneys in Greenville at David R. Price, Jr. P.A. to learn more about how you can get the best outcome for your case.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.