Expungement of Criminal Offenses in South Carolina

The list of offenses that can be expunged in South Carolina has been tweaked over the years. The following is a comprehensive list of convictions that can now be expunged in South Carolina.

1. Magistrate or Municipal Court Offenses.

These offenses are generally offenses that carry a possible penalty of no more than up to thirty days in jail.

2. Domestic Violence, Third Degree.

3. Possession of Controlled Substances and Possession With Intent to Distribute Controlled


South Carolina law was amended in 2018 to include all first-offense drug possession convictions after three years – including possession of meth, heroin, cocaine, crack and prescription narcotics.

South Carolina law was also amended in 2018 to include possession with intent to distribute drugs. However, the time period before the offense can be expunged is twenty years after the completion of the sentence for such offense.

4. Youthful Offender Act (YOA)

If convicted pursuant to the YOA, the offense of conviction can be expunged five years after the completion of the sentence for such offense. However, not included with respect to a YOA expungement are offenses that:

  • Involved a motor vehicle;
  • Are classified as a Violent Crime
  • Involved Domestic Violence;
  • Require Sex Offender Registry.

To qualify for expungement pursuant to the YOA, the guilty plea must have been pursuant to the YOA.

6. Firearms

Pursuant to South Carolina’s new “constitutional carry” law, a first offense firearm possession with a potential penalty of no more than one year can be expunged after three years.

Anyone who has been convicted for unlawful possession of a handgun before the constitutional carry law was passed can also apply for an expungement, but they must apply within five years of the date the bill was signed into law (March 7, 2024).

5. Additional Expungements.

  • Misdemeanor Check Fraud, First Offense § 34-11-90(e);
  • Conditional Discharge Plea § 44-53-450(b);
  • Failure to Stop for a Blue Light § 56-5-750(f)