York's Expungements

Criminal Record Expungement Procedures

The procedure for the expungement of criminal records is handled according to the South Carolina Code of Laws:

By State law, there are seven categories of cases in which the defendant is entitled to have all records relating to an arrest or conviction expunged and destroyed:

I. Section 17-1-40. The charge was dismissed, nol prossed, or the defendant was found not guilty.

II. Section 17-22-150. The defendant successfully completed the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.

III. Section 17-22-520. The defendant successfully completed the Alcohol Education Program.

IV. Section 34-11-90 (e). The defendant was convicted under the Fraudulent Check Law and no additional criminal activity has taken place in one year from the date of conviction.

V. Section 44-53-450 (b). The defendant was convicted of first offense Simple Possession of Marijuana under the “conditional discharge” provisions of this specific law and has successfully complied with the terms of that sentence.

VI. Section 22-5-910. Expungement of criminal records.

A. Following a first offense conviction for a crime carrying a penalty of not more than thirty days imprisonment or a fine of one thousand dollars, or both, the defendant after three years from the date of the conviction, including a conviction in magistrates or general sessions court, may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction and any associated bench warrant. However, this section does not apply to an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle.


B. Following a first offense conviction for domestic violence in the third degree pursuant to Section 16-25-20(D), the defendant after five years from the date of the conviction, including a conviction in magistrates or general sessions court, may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction and any associated bench warrant.

C. If the defendant has had no other conviction during the three-year period as provided in subsection (A), or during the five-year period as provided in subsection (B), the circuit court may issue an order expunging the records including any associated bench warrant. No person may have his records expunged under this section more than once. A person may have his record expunged even though the conviction occurred prior to June 1, 1992.

D. After the expungement, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is required to keep a nonpublic record of the offense and the date of the expungement to ensure that no person takes advantage of the rights of this section more than once. This nonpublic record is not subject to release pursuant to Section 34-11-95, the Freedom of Information Act, or any other provision of law except to those authorized law or court officials who need to know this information in order to prevent the rights afforded by this section from being taken advantage of more than once.

E. As used in this section, "conviction" includes a guilty plea, a plea of nolo contendere, or the forfeiting of bail.

VII. Section 56-5-750. The defendant was convicted of a first offense, non-aggravated violation for Failure to Stop for a Blue Light and Siren, and had no other convictions for any crime for three years following the completion of all terms and conditions of the Blue Light sentence.

VIII. Section 22-5-920. Following the first offense conviction as a youthful offender, the defendant after five years from the date of the conviction may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction.


The process for the Expungement of a criminal charge is as follows:

A. Obtain the necessary information for eligibility from the records of the Clerk of Court, Magistrate’s Court, Municipal Court, NCIC, Sheriff’s Department, Police Department, and/or other sources.

B. Prepare and type a proposed Order, acceptable to SC Court Administration.

C. Submit proposed order to SLED to confirm that the criminal charge is statutorily appropriate for Expungement along with the $25.00 fee (not required for 17-1-40, 17-22-150(a), or 44-5-450(b).

D. Obtain the signature of the Solicitor/Deputy Solicitor.

E. Obtain the approval and signature of a Circuit Court Judge.

F. File the original signed Order in the Office of the Clerk of Court (The law provides for a $35.00 filing fee to be paid to the clerk at the time of filing, except when filing 17-1-40.)

G. Obtain certified copies of the Order from the Clerk of Court.

H. Deliver or mail certified copies of the Order to appropriate agencies.


The Solicitor’s Office will process all steps for the applicant and mail (1) certified copy to the applicant if approved.

In exchange for this service, the applicant is responsible for payment of an administrative fee to the Solicitor’s Office, in the form of a money order, in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) per order, which shall be retained by the Solicitor’s Office to defray the costs associated with this process. In addition, SLED shall receive a twenty-five dollar ($25.00) money order, from the applicant, to confirm that the criminal charge is statutorily appropriate for Expungement. Also, where applicable , A ($35.00) Clerk of Court filing fee shall apply. Please understand that this is a research and processing fee and is non-refundable. Payment of this fee does not guarantee an expungement of your charge.

Request arising under Section 17-1-40, where the charge was dismissed, nolle prossed, or the defendant was found not guilty out of identity theft, no fee shall be required unless the dismissal was the result of a plea bargain. Charges dismissed in the magistrate and municipal courts will be expunged by order of the presiding magistrate or municipal judge purusant to statute effective June 2, 2009. Our office will process these for you if you wish to pay the normal $250.00 processing fee otherwise please contact the appropriate court for expungement information.