Conway, SC asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for South Carolina

Q: Should this still be on my record as a misdemeanor?

I went to apply for an apartment recently and was denied due to a misdemeanor on my background check. This came as a shock to me. They informed me that it was "carless operation," and then I remembered. In the beginning of 2018 I accidentally ran a red light in a town that I had never driven through before.

I got pulled immediately and was issued a ticket for around $75 and as long as I paid it I was not required to go to court. I paid it in full on time, and thought nothing of it for years.

I pulled my record on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division website and it is completely clean with nothing listed. Still, I just filed an application for expungement with the county's solicitor.

I guess my question is, should I have even had this charge on my record still? If I paid it shouldn't it have gone away? If it didn't show up in the state records how do they have it on my background check?

How long does an expungement for a misdemeanor take usually?

Thank you!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Licensed in South Carolina

A: When you pay a fine that is essentially pleading no contest, which has the same result as a guilty plea for purposes of your driving and criminal record. So unfortunately the answer is yes, this traffic citation should have been on your driving record.

The expungement process generally takes anywhere from 2-4 months in my experience. The clerk has to submit the request and then it goes through a series of approvals before a Judge eventually signs an order for destruction of records. That order is then sent back to the Court and any law enforcement agencies that issued the charge or ticket, and SLED. (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division)

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