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On February 16th, 2016, Governor Haley signed into law R134/S255 regarding the destruction of booking and arrest records. The law goes into effect 90 days after the Governor’s signature. This serves as a brief overview of the changes to the law. Further information regarding expungements and your courts will be forthcoming well before the effective date, May 16th, 2016.
The Act amended §17-1-40 and §17-22-950 which will impact the expungement process in the summary courts:
· §17-1-40 has been amended to remove the exclusion of Title 50, Title 56, and county and municipal ordinance charges from the expungement process. Therefore, the Act provides for the expungement of these charges when a defendant has been found not guilty or if the charges are dismissed or nolle prossed.
· §17-22-950(A) has been amended to provide for the automatic expungement of criminal charges brought in the summary court when the defendant is found not guilty or if the charges are dismissed or nolle prossed and the defendant was fingerprinted for the charges. “Criminal charges” include violations of Title 50, Title 56, and county and municipal ordinances.
· §17-22-950(B) has been amended to provide that a defendant who was found not guilty or the charges were dismissed or nolle prossed and the defendant was not fingerprinted for the charges may apply to the summary court for expungement of records. Under §17-22-950(B), expungement is only required if the defendant applies to the court. Again, “criminal charges” include violations of Title 50, Title 56, and county and municipal ordinances.
· §17-22-950(E) has been amended to provide criminal charges must be removed pursuant to this section from all internet-based public records no later than 30 days from the disposition date, regardless of whether the defendant applies to the summary court for expungement pursuant to §17-22-950(B). All other criminal records must be destroyed or retained pursuant to the provisions of §17-1-40.
Section 6 of the Act provides this Act will apply retroactively to allow for the expungement of offenses charged, discharged, dismissed, or nolle prossed prior to its effective date, and persons convicted or found not guilty prior to the effective date. A defendant must request an expungement for qualifying offenses disposed prior to the effective date of this Act and do not require automatic expungement.
Other changes to the laws, including the creation of a law regarding “mugshot websites”, will be detailed in a later email.
The Bill can be found in its entirety here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess121_2015-2016/bills/255.htm. For your convenience, the most recent version of the Bill prior to its ratification, which contains strike-throughs and underlines, can be found here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess121_2015-2016/prever/255_20160203.htm. Please note the final Act may have some changes from the marked-up version of the Bill.
D. KEITH BOLUS, ATTORNEY
2127 Dorchester Road
North Charleston, SC 29405
Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m.
NEW DUI EXPUNGEMENT LAWS