You’ve been convicted of a DUI and you’d love to have it off of your record. You’ve heard that some charges can be removed with an expungement, so you want to know if your DUI can be removed this way, too. The short answer, unfortunately, is no. That’s one of many reasons why it is important to have legal representation from the very beginning of your DUI case to help you fight the charges.
What Is an Expungement?
An expungement is a process that will result in the court ordering public entities to destroy records of your arrest. By obtaining a South Carolina expungement, your record of arrest will be deleted from public databases and law enforcement records. To obtain an expungement, you will need to pursue a court order. The order will only direct public agencies to destroy records but does not direct private entities to do the same. The only way to have a DUI charge removed from your record is:
- You were not found guilty of your charges
- The prosecutor or law enforcement officer dismissed your charges for any reason
You cannot have your DUI charge expunged from your record if you were found guilty at trial or you plead guilty to your charges. A DUI charge, however, will not appear on your driving record after a period of 10 years has passed. This is because the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles only reports a three-year and 10-year driving record report. The conviction remains.
Who Handles Expungements?
An individual or their attorney can prepare the documents needed to file in court for an expungement order. The directions are very clear. Although you don’t need to have an attorney handle the documentation for you, it can be very beneficial to have your attorney do so on your behalf. A lawyer with experience handling expungements can handle the paperwork and save you a lot of time and stress.
How Long Does It Take a Charge to Get Expunged?
If you are one of the lucky people who wasn’t found guilty of your charges and can get your record expunged, it can still be a lengthy process to get the charges off of your record. Although the process of filing for the expungement in court and getting the order approved won’t likely take long, it can take months to get the information cleared off of your record. To find out if your record has been cleared, you can order a copy of your criminal record, or have your attorney do so on your behalf.
Contact an Experienced South Carolina DUI Attorney Today
If you are facing DUI charges, it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting to protect your record. If you have already been convicted of a DUI or other criminal charge and have questions about getting an expungement, contact a Charleston SC DUI Lawyer at the David Aylor Law Offices today. Our attorneys will fight to protect your rights if you are facing charges or can advise you if expungement is an option for the charges you have already been convicted of.