BLUFFTON, SC (March 1, 2023) – The 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office will host a free community expungement clinic on from noon to 3 p.m. March 27 in Old Town Bluffton’s Campbell Chapel AME Church.
Solicitor’s office expungement coordinating staff will be available at the event at 25 Boundary St. to answer questions and begin the application process.
Anyone charged with qualifying crimes in Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton, Hampton and Allendale counties are encouraged to attend. Expungements allow qualifying arrest and charging records to be destroyed, provided they meet specific circumstances outlined in state law. Additional information, eligibility requirements and an application can be found on the Solicitor’s website at https://scsolicitor14.org/court-alternatives/expungements/.
Please note that traffic offenses and crimes classified as violent are not eligible for expungement. Also, in some cases, fees apply.
“There are a lot of myths surrounding the expungement process,” said Shannon Horton of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. “Knowing fact from fiction will help you understand what to expect in the process.”
Horton cites the following examples:
- You might have a criminal record even if you were never put in handcuffs and booked at the local detention center.
- You might still have a criminal record if you have never been to court.
- Dismissed charges are not automatically removed from criminal records and might still need to be expunged.
- A criminal record includes both arrests and court dispositions.
Additional legal and health care community resources will be on hand during the clinic, to include 14th Circuit Family Justice Center community partner and nonprofit Lowcountry Legal Volunteers and forensic nurse Jennifer Talley with the 14th Circuit SAFE Program.
Lowcountry Legal Volunteers provides free legal services to those who financially qualify and can assist with adoptions, child custody, visitation, guardianships, divorce, name changes, simple consumer matters, eviction actions, lease termination, non-refund of security deposits, simple wills and probate.
Talley will be available to answer questions about local pediatric and adult sexual assault services.
This is the second expungement event Campbell Chapel AME Church and its Social Justice Committee has coordinated with the Solicitor’s Office. A third event is tentatively planned for the fall.