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Do Alcohol and Drug Related Offenses Stay on Your Record?

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Do Alcohol and Drug Related Offenses Stay on Your Record?

If you’ve been charged with a drug- or alcohol-related offense, you might be wondering how long the offense will stay on your record. Will a drug-related charge or alcohol-related charge stay on your criminal record forever? Or can you look forward to a time when your record will be clear?

The answer is that it depends on the state and on the specific charge. Here’s what to know about how long alcohol- and drug-related offenses stay on your record in South Carolina.

How Long Drug and Alcohol Offenses Stay on Your Record in South Carolina

In South Carolina, most misdemeanor and felony drug- and alcohol-related offenses stay on your criminal record indefinitely; they are not automatically expunged. These offenses remain on your record even if you have served time or have completed some other punishment.

However, many minor offenses and charges are eligible to be expunged, or removed from your criminal record. Some charges for minor offenses that were dismissed or that ended in a not guilty verdict are automatically expunged by the court. You may seek expungement for other charges like simple possession of marijuana, which is eligible to be expunged after three years. Some charges cannot be expunged no matter how many years have passed.

The rules regarding expungement vary depending on the exact charge. If you have questions about whether a particular charge is eligible to be expunged from your criminal record in South Carolina, speak with a criminal defense attorney like those at The Carolina Law Group.

How Can I Have an Offense Expunged in South Carolina?

The process for having a drug- or alcohol-related offense expunged from your record starts by requesting an application from the office of the solicitor where you were charged. It’s best to work with a lawyer to help you with the process of having your record expunged in South Carolina.

Keep in mind that a request for expungement can be challenged for statutory reasons and other reasons, so having an offense expunged is not a given.

Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group

A conviction, charge, or arrest on your criminal record can hamper your ability to find a good job, secure good housing, obtain professional licenses or credentials, get loans, and much more. If you believe you have an offense on your criminal record in South Carolina that can be expunged, talk to the criminal defense attorneys at The Carolina Law Group. We can help you understand what your options are and how to go about the process of having the offense in question expunged. Call one of the numbers below to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your situation, and take the first step today towards having your record cleared.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Mr. Patel worked for the Greenville County Public Defender’s Office in 2005 after graduating from law school. While there, Mr. Patel handled thousands of cases ranging from low-level misdemeanors to high-profile murders. In March 2011, Mr. Patel and Mr. Desai formed The Carolina Law Group. Mr. Patel practices in the areas of criminal defense, family law, and personal injury. In 2011, Mr. Patel was elected as the President of the Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (GACDL).

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