Greenville, SC Expungement Attorneys

Get Help Clearing Your Criminal Record

An expungement is a legal process involving a court order removing information from a person's criminal record. Whether someone has been arrested, charged, or convicted, that information shows up on their criminal record. This remains true even if the case is dismissed or the individual is found not guilty. The purpose of an expungement is to erase these details so that they don't appear in public records or background checks.

A criminal record can create barriers in various aspects of life, such as job opportunities, housing applications, and even educational pursuits. An expungement can give people a fresh start by removing the legal history that might hold them back. In essence, it allows them to move forward without the weight of a criminal record. This can be especially crucial for those who have turned their lives around and are seeking a better future.

While it may seem straightforward, the process can be complicated and involve multiple steps, including preparing paperwork and getting court approvals. A Greenville expungement lawyer who understands the ins and outs of the system can be invaluable in navigating these complexities. They can assist in completing forms accurately, ensuring the appropriate procedures are followed, and directing the request to the correct agency.

For a tailored approach to your situation, consult Fedalei & Reid Law LLC. Our team can guide you through the expungement process, offering advice at every turn to help seek record clearing.

Contact our expungement attorneys in Greenville by calling (864) 668-1661 today.

What Is an Expungement?

criminal record expungement papers under gavel on desk

Expungement is a legal process culminating in a court order that removes records of a criminal arrest, charge, or conviction from public view. In practical terms, state, local, and county agencies are required to eliminate these records. This court order is sometimes called an "Order for Destruction of Arrest Records."

After completing a pretrial intervention or receiving conditional discharge for simple possession, an expungement restores you to the legal status you had prior to the arrest. In other words, it's as if the arrest or charge never happened. 

One of the most significant implications is that you may no longer be obligated to disclose the expunged charges or convictions when asked, whether on job applications, housing forms, or other background checks.

General Benefits of Pursuing Expungement

The advantages of having an expungement are manifold. Most importantly, the expunged records become inaccessible to employers, landlords, financial institutions, and any other organizations that may conduct background checks. This has immediate and long-term benefits for your personal and professional life, enhancing your ability to secure employment, housing, and loans. It removes a significant hurdle, allowing you to engage in various life activities without a criminal record.

What Records Can Be Expunged?

In most cases, expungement is only available for first-time misdemeanors or minor violations.

Examples of offenses that may be eligible for removal include:

  • First misdemeanor writing a fraudulent check
  • First conviction for a crime with a maximum jail term of 30 days and/or fine of $1,000
  • First offense of simple possession or possession with intent to distribute
  • First offense of failure to stop when signaled by a law enforcement officer

Waiting Period for Expungement

Eligibility for expungement often involves waiting a specific amount of time before applying. The waiting period varies depending on the type of offense committed. For instance, if you have a record for a fraudulent check, you'll generally need to wait one year after the conviction to apply for expungement. For crimes carrying a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000, the waiting period typically extends to three years post-conviction.

Factors that May Disqualify an Applicant

Several circumstances can disqualify an individual from being eligible for expungement.

These factors can include the following: 

  • The offense involved driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • One or more prior convictions
  • An additional conviction within a certain time after completing the sentence for the record requesting to be expunged
  • A failure to meet conditions or requirements mandated by law

The Expungement Process

The expungement process involves several key steps that must be followed carefully. First, you must complete an "Order for Destruction of Arrest Records" form. Once completed, submit this form to the Solicitor’s Office of the circuit where your case was initially handled. For matters that ended in non-convictions—such as not-guilty verdicts or dismissed charges—you can submit your paperwork to the Magistrate or Municipal court.

Along with the application, you'll be required to pay a $250 administrative fee and a $25 SLED (State Law Enforcement Division) verification fee.

After these steps, the solicitor sends your application to SLED for review. SLED will then determine whether your offense qualifies for expungement. If it does, the solicitor obtains a judge’s signature, and the judge orders the destruction of the relevant records.

Timeframe for An Expungement

The process can be time-consuming owing to the multiple steps, verifications, and approvals needed. While the duration can vary from case to case, some expungements can take up to six months to be completed.

How Fedalei & Reid Law LLC Can Help

Attorney Alex Reid
Alex Reid, Expungement Attorney in Greenville, SC

Navigating the process can be complicated, but assistance from our Greenville criminal defense lawyers can make it considerably more manageable. We assist in preparing and processing expungement applications from start to finish. 

Our services extend beyond just paperwork; we also help clients understand whether they are eligible for expungement. If additional documents are required, we can guide individuals through locating and submitting these necessary items. We aim to make the expungement process as straightforward as possible, offering peace of mind.

For tailored guidance and a comprehensive understanding of your options, contact us at (864) 668-1661 for a free consultation.