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Can drunk driving convictions be expunged in South Carolina?

From time to time, everyone makes a mistake. Even a responsible person can have a momentary slip in judgment. Unfortunately, this human trait can result in criminal charges. In the wake of this type of legal trouble, it may be worth wondering what steps can be taken after conviction to clear an individual’s record.

It may not be hard to imagine a situation in which a young person has one too many drinks, misjudges his or her level of sobriety and gets behind the wheel of a vehicle. Of course, this could yield charges for driving under the influence of alcohol. Years after facing this offense, without facing additional legal challenges, it might seem reasonable to look into expunging the DUI conviction.

The unfortunate reality is that South Carolina DUI convictions cannot be expunged from a person’s criminal record, regardless of whether the charges are considered to be a misdemeanor or felony. Although certain convictions for first offenses can be completely removed from a person’s criminal record, any involving the use of a motor vehicle do not fall under this category. In order words, DUI convictions are categorically excluded.

Keeping this in mind, however, motorists who are facing charges for drunk driving shouldn’t feel like they are out of options. Establishing a strong defense could pave the way for the charges to be dropped or reduced. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to prevent a DUI conviction from ever appearing on a criminal record.

At the same time, those who are found not guilty will want to take measures to make sure their reputation is protected. Even though prosecutors may not have had a strong enough case to secure a conviction, a DUI arrest could appear on a person’s record, despite being exonerated.

Of course, defending against DUI charges is a complicated criminal law matter. Keeping this in mind, this blog post shouldn’t be construed as legal advice. Instead, it may be most beneficial to explore all available legal options with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

Source: WestLaw, South Carolina Code 1976 § 22-5-910

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