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Can a DUI Be Expunged in Columbia, SC?

November 14, 2022

: DUI Defense

DUI defense

Can a DUI Be Expunged in Columbia, SC? Here’s the Inside Scoop

Getting a DUI can be an embarrassing and expensive experience. If you’ve paid all your fines and trying to get to your normal life, you’re probably wondering, “Can a DUI be expunged?” We’re here to walk you through what you need to know.

Can a DUI Be Expunged?

Here at Bernstein and Bernstein, we’re dedicated to providing outstanding legal service to our clients regardless of the case’s complexity or compensation involved. We have a team of experienced DUI lawyers in Columbia, SC, and we’re here to tell you about DUI expungement. 

What Is an Expungement?

To expunge something means to erase or eradicate it. In the legal field, expungement is the process of removing all records related to a criminal conviction.

If something is expunged from your record, the court is directed to treat you as if the arrest and/or conviction never occurred. Many individuals opt to get something removed from their criminal record so future employers, landlords, etc., won’t treat them differently because of a criminal offense. 

Can a DUI Be Expunged in Columbia, SC?

In the state of South Carolina, a DUI conviction can not be expunged from your record. 

A DUI (driving under the influence) or DUAC (driving with unlawful alcohol content) are considered traffic offenses in South Carolina. All traffic offenses in this state can not be expunged. This even includes speeding, unlawful passing, reckless driving, passing a stopped school bus, and more. 

Since a DUI conviction can’t be expunged from your criminal record, it’s essential that you fight the charges and call a lawyer to help you from the start. Your DUI lawyer in Columbia, SC, can walk you through the extensive process and may be able to help you beat the charge. Even if you think your case seems hopeless, it’s always beneficial to consult an attorney. 

Can a DUI Arrest Be Expunged in Columbia, SC?

Here’s the silver lining. Yes, a DUI arrest can be expunged from your criminal record in South Carolina. 

If you were charged with a DUI in the state of SC and were found not guilty, you can opt to get the DUI charge expunged. A DUI arrest can be expunged from your record if:

  • The charges were dismissed
  • You are found not guilty at trial
  • The charges were rewritten as a different or lesser offense and referred to  a diversionary program.
  • Your case is dismissed before trial for any reason (including a plea bargain)

What Is the Expungement Process Like?

To apply for expungement, a standardized expungement order form will need to be completed and go through the court system. While an individual can do this independently, working with an attorney can be highly beneficial. 

Expungements can be complicated and time-consuming, and the process can take up to several months. An experienced DUI lawyer in Columbia, SC, will know the ins and outs of the system and can expunge the record for you – saving you time and stress. 

In South Carolina, it typically costs around $300 to get a charge expunged. However, for charges that are dismissed or you are found not guilty,charges, expungements are free. This is because fees are waived anytime you’re determined to be  not guilty or aren’t prosecuted. (It works this way with DUIs because a conviction isn’t getting expunged – your charge is.)

After you go through the expungement process, you’re probably eager to double-check that the DUI charge isn’t showing up on your record. The best way to confirm that is to order an online copy of your criminal records from SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division).  

Bernstein & Bernstein Is Here To Help

While it’s possible to expunge a DUI charge in South Carolina — it’s not a simple process. You’ll need help from an experienced Columbia, SC, DUI defense lawyer. At Bernstein & Bernstein, our team of attorneys will sort through the details of your case, represent you in court, and help you figure out the best legal solution to get your life back on track. 

If you contact us at the time of your DUI arrest, we’ll work diligently to try and get you the best result before your trial. We’ll extensively investigate your case to find any evidence to help us get the desired result. 

The bottom line is – Bernstein & Bernstein is here for you. For more information, call our office at (803) 799-7900 or contact us online. 

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