dui record expungement

There is no doubt that a DUI conviction in South Carolina comes with harsh penalties. A simple mistake that may be a person’s only interaction with the criminal justice system may result in a jail sentence, a loss of driving privileges, and the payment of severe fines.

People may also be surprised to learn how this conviction can impact their lives even after they pay their debt to society. The plain fact is that a DUI conviction will remain on an individual’s criminal record. Even the process for removing these convictions, known as expungement, which can help some people with minor criminal convictions cannot remove a DUI case. As a result, it is impossible to expunge a DUI in South Carolina.

What Does it Mean to Expunge a Criminal Record?

For the most part under South Carolina law, a criminal record is permanent. This means that if a person receives a conviction through either an admission of guilt or a trial ends with a guilty verdict, that conviction will remain a matter of public record forever. 

The expungement process is the only means to remove these convictions. A conviction that receives expungement will no longer appear on background checks available to the public. This means most potential employers and all possible landlords will not be able to know about the conviction. As a result, expungements are powerful tools that allow an individual to receive a fresh start in life.

Another apparent option may be to seek out a pardon. Unfortunately, pardons do not remove a conviction from a person’s criminal record. They are simply an official statement that an individual has complied with all mandated punishments related to their offense.

Can a Person Seek Out an Expungement for a DUI Conviction?

Expungements are available only under limited circumstances. According to South Carolina Code § 17-22-910, one of the major factors that determines whether an expungement is available is the nature of the criminal offense. Under the statute, minor first offenses where the maximum penalty is a $500 fine, a 30-day jail sentence, or both quality for potential expungement.

Even though many DUI cases fit these criteria, the expungement rules specifically state that motor vehicle offenses except for failures to stop for police officers are ineligible for expungement. As a result, all convictions for DUI will be permanent marks on a person’s criminal record.

Talking with the Team at Truslow & Truslow PA Could Help Individuals Better Understand their Futures after a DUI Case

Expungements can be a powerful tool that allows people to move forward with their lives after taking responsibility for their actions. A successful expungement will remove a conviction from public records allowing for better job and housing opportunities.

Sadly, expungements are never an option after DUI convictions in South Carolina. Expungements are only available after a small set of convictions and DUI is not eligible for this process. As a result, the team at Truslow & Truslow PA is dedicated to helping people avoid damaging DUI convictions. Contact us today to see how a DUI conviction could impact your future and how they are ready to work to prevent this unfortunate outcome.