Most DUI lawyers in Lexington, South Carolina, will have dealt with this one question from their clients at least once in their career: Is it possible for me to expunge my DUI charges? The answer is both Yes and No.
DUI penalty expungement in Lexington, SC can take place, but only if your case has been dismissed or if you have not been found guilty of a DUI offense. The ruling becomes more stringent, however, if you have already been convicted of driving under the influence. In this case, a guilty DUI will not be expunged. A possible alternative course of action is to apply for a pardon from the Probation and Parole Board.
If your DUI charges have been dismissed and you wish to apply for an expungement, consulting with a dedicated DUI attorney will help in simplifying the process.
What is the Expungement Process for DUI Penalties in Lexington, SC?
For several years back in the state of South Carolina, it was impossible to expunge a DUI charge, despite a dismissal or a “Not Guilty” verdict. It was not until an update was made on Section 17-22-950 of the South Carolina Code of Laws that clients and their DUI lawyers could facilitate an expungement on dismissed charges.
When an expungement takes place, the court orders all state agencies to destroy all records and evidence related to the DUI penalties. A judge signs the order, forwards the order to pertinent agencies, and obligates state law enforcement agencies to destroy files on related arrest records, fingerprints, and mugshots of the applicant. Although the FBI will retain the records, these details are often considered confidential or non-available to the prying public. It is also mandated by Lexington, SC laws that a clerk of court should facilitate an expungement procedure for DUI first-time offenders whose charges were either dismissed or acquitted.
A typical application for deleting the records of dismissed DUI charges starts with the applicant acquiring the needed forms from the judicial office where the charge has been made. The applicant fills out the form and returns it to the same judiciary station. In South Carolina, an applicant must pay a fee of $250.
In the case of a minor facilitating an expungement process, the expungement of his DUI penalties will depend on whether he is at least 18 years old, not convicted of a criminal offense resulting in a 5-year imprisonment, or has already completed the requirements of the prior sentence.
Is it Worth it to Expunge My DUI Charges in South Carolina?
Certainly, the benefits of expungement in Lexington, SC far outweigh the work involved in carrying it through to completion.
The consequences of DUI penalties are often extensive and far-reaching. Without expungement, your charges and arrest records will not only be available to the public; these may even be accessible online. This means that this information may be available for access during background checks, and these could, in turn, hurt your employment or career-building prospects as well as any future personal relationships.
Information on your past DUI penalties is especially detrimental to your career if your job requires you to drive a company vehicle. And given that these details will be available for public consumption at any given time, you will have to deal with these consequences on a permanent basis.
By taking steps the proper steps to expunge your dismissed DWI offense, you are making a significant effort in improving your life and the lives of those around you.
Let a Committed DUI Lawyer Handle Your Dismissed DUI Charge and Expungement Application
A DUI offense does not signal the end of the road for you. A trusted defense counsel can look into your case to see whether a dismissal and expungement of your DUI charge is possible.
Despite initially failing in field sobriety tests and chemical tests, individuals may have their charges dismissed due to erroneous results or the incorrect administration of non-standardized sobriety tests. After the dismissal of these DUI penalties, application for expungement can commence. It is important to have a dedicated attorney in Lexington, SC throughout the process to ensure that a seamless procedure is available for you.
Talk to the DUI Attorneys at the Jeffcoat Law Firm for Advice on DUI Penalties Expungement
If you need more advice about whether you are eligible to apply for a DUI charge expungement and how you may do so, get in touch with a dedicated DUI lawyer in Lexington, South Carolina at the Jeffcoat Firm today. Your first step to deleting all records of your dismissed DUI penalties starts here.
Mr. Jeffcoat, a native of the Columbia area, founded the law firm in 1999. Mr. Jeffcoat got his undergraduate degree at Wofford College in 1994, majoring in Political Economy and Philosophy, and then went to the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he received his J.D. in 1997. After working in two law firms following his graduation from law school, Jeffcoat ventured out on his own to launch The Jeffcoat Firm in March of 1999.