DUI convictions can NEVER be expunged from your record. Therefore, it is extremely important to fight any DUI charge with an effective defense from the very beginning of your case.
Even if a case seems hopeless or unwinnable, you will almost always be able to get a better result with a lawyer.
But first — What is expungement? Why do I need one?
Simply put, an expungement is a legal process that results in a court order directing those public entities having records of your arrest to destroy them. Obtaining a SC expungement means that the record of your arrest will be deleted from law enforcement and other public databases.
Getting a charge expunged involves pursuing a court order directing the expungement or destruction of your arrest records. That order directs public agencies to destroy these records. The order does not direct private entities to do so. There is no South Carolina law that enables someone to secure such an order applicable to private companies.
Hopefully, this will change in the future.
You can have a DUI charge removed from your record if …
- You were found not guilty at trial.
- The officer or prosecutor dismisses the DUI charge for any reason.
You CAN’T have a DUI charge expunged from your record when …
- You were found guilty at trial or pleaded guilty.
Can a DUI conviction be expunged?
No. These convictions can never be expunged. If you were charged with DUI and then found guilty or you pled guilty, these convictions will stay on your criminal record forever. They will, however, come off of your driving record after 10 years. This is because the SCDMV only reports out 3 and 10 year driving record reports.
Can a DUI not guilty verdict be expunged?
Yes! If you were charged with DUI, and you were found not guilty, you can get the DUI charge expunged. Additionally, you do not have to pay for an expungement if you’re found not guilty or if your case is dismissed prior to trial for any reason, including a plea bargain. It is absolutely free!
Common questions about expunging DUI charges:
Beyond questions about whether or not a charge can be expunged, our clients tend to ask similar questions about scrubbing their criminal records. Here are the most common questions our clients ask us.
Who handles expungements?
Individuals or attorneys can prepare the standardized form for an expungement order. The directions are clear.
Do I need a lawyer to get a charge expunged?
Not necessarily, but an attorney can be very beneficial. Expungements can be complicated and time consuming. A lawyer who has experience getting charges expunged can do it for you and therefore save you the time and stress.
How much does an expungement cost?
An expungement usually costs around $300. But for DUI charges, expungements are free because fees are waived when you’re not guilty or not prosecuted.
And remember: DUI convictions cannot be expunged.
How long does it take to get a charge expunged?
The process can take up to several months but should not. The best way to confirm that your expungement order has been complied with is to order online a copy of your criminal records for SLED.
After the charge is expunged, will anything about it show up on my criminal record at SLED?
It should not. But you should check at the SLED website.
Remember though, an internet industry has arisen that obtains records of arrests and sells this information to national databases and convenience store magazines. It appears that people like to review mugshots and thus, this market is created. The practice is disturbing.
Help along the way
The attorneys at Kulp Law want to help you walk through the expungement process. And if you provide your court documents, we can prepare all the paperwork for you.