Q: Guilty or Not guilty?
I was recently arrested in SC for malicious damage to property valued under 2,000 after breaking a plate. It was a first time charge, I’ve never, ever been in trouble. Unfortunately; I absolutely cannot afford a lawyer right now as i’m also paying for a divorce lawyer. The incident occurred after I returned home from work to find my very young and very unstable roommate had removed/sold my couch and living room furniture after i broke the news that i would be moving out (mind you, all debts to her had been paid through Venmo, so i have proof that i did everything i was supposed to do). Court is next week and I’m unsure whether to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. I do not anticipate ever having to deal w the court again, as I learned a very valuable lesson but I really just want to take care of the charge as quickly as possible so i can start the process of requesting expungement.
In South Carolina you have to wait 3 years from the date of a misdemeanor conviction before being eligible to apply for an expungement. Your must also have no additional convictions during that three year period while you wait.
You may want to consider asking the court if you could apply for Pre Trial Intervention. If allowed to enter the program and complete then you will not have to enter a plea of guilty and the charge would be dismissed.
best of luck
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