In South Carolina, the public has limited access to juvenile court records. However, you may still benefit from having your record officially expunged, following the guidelines below. An expunged juvenile record is completely destroyed and removed from the juvenile records system. You are not required to disclose information about your expunged juvenile record to anyone -- for instance, to colleges or potential employers.
Does Your Juvenile Court Record Qualify for Expungement?
You may ask a family court judge to expunge your juvenile record if you were taken into custody and charged with or adjudicated delinquent for a status or nonviolent offense. To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:
- you must be at least eighteen years old
- you must not have a prior adjudication for an offense that would carry a maximum prison sentence of five years or more if committed by an adult
- the offense you are seeking to expunge may not be a violent crime
- you must not have been charged with any crimes subsequent to the offense you are seeking to expunge, and
- you must have completed all the terms of your juvenile sentence.
(South Carolina Statutes § 63-19-2050.)
How to File
To expunge your juvenile record, you must file a petition with the family court that handled your juvenile case. Contact the court clerk’s office for more information.
Getting Legal Help
Clearing a juvenile record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for expungement in South Carolina -- or for help completing the necessary paperwork or presenting your case to the court -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.