South Carolina General Assembly
122nd Session, 2017-2018

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H. 3209

STATUS INFORMATION

General Bill
Sponsors: Reps. Pope, Robinson-Simpson, Crosby, Whipper, Brown, M. Rivers, King, Magnuson, Norrell, Martin, B. Newton, Long, Govan, Henegan, Dillard and Gilliard
Document Path: l:\council\bills\bh\7052ahb17.docx

Introduced in the House on January 10, 2017
Introduced in the Senate on April 11, 2017
Last Amended on April 5, 2017
Currently residing in the Senate

Summary: Expungement of criminal records

HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  12/15/2016  House   Prefiled
  12/15/2016  House   Referred to Committee on Judiciary
   1/10/2017  House   Introduced and read first time
   1/10/2017  House   Referred to Committee on Judiciary 
                        (House Journal-page 112)
   1/12/2017  House   Member(s) request name added as sponsor: 
                        Robinson-Simpson (House Journal-page 112)
   1/18/2017  House   Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Crosby
   3/29/2017  House   Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary 
                        (House Journal-page 40)
   3/30/2017  House   Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Whipper, Brown, 
                        M.Rivers
    4/4/2017  House   Member(s) request name added as sponsor: King, Magnuson, 
                        Norrell, Martin, B.Newton, Long
    4/4/2017  House   Requests for debate-Rep(s). Caskey, Simrill, JE Smith, 
                        West, Pitts, Jefferson, Ott, McCravy, Willis, Atwater, 
                        Ryhal, Johnson, Hart, Tallon, Douglas, Clary, Kirby, 
                        Brown, VS Moss, King, Hosey (House Journal-page 15)
    4/4/2017  House   Debate adjourned until Wed., 4-5-17 
                        (House Journal-page 52)
    4/5/2017  House   Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Govan, Henegan, 
                        Dillard, Gilliard
    4/5/2017  House   Amended (House Journal-page 119)
    4/5/2017  House   Read second time (House Journal-page 119)
    4/5/2017  House   Roll call Yeas-103  Nays-0 (House Journal-page 138)
    4/6/2017  House   Read third time and sent to Senate 
                        (House Journal-page 26)
    4/6/2017          Scrivener's error corrected
   4/11/2017  Senate  Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 1)
   4/11/2017  Senate  Referred to Committee on Judiciary 
                        (Senate Journal-page 1)
   4/18/2017  Senate  Referred to Subcommittee: Hutto (ch), Malloy, Shealy, 
                        Rice, Timmons
    5/3/2017  Senate  Committee report: Favorable Judiciary 
                        (Senate Journal-page 13)

View the latest legislative information at the website

VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

12/15/2016
3/29/2017
4/5/2017
4/6/2017
5/3/2017

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

Indicates Matter Stricken

Indicates New Matter

COMMITTEE REPORT

May 3, 2017

H. 3209

Introduced by Reps. Pope, Robinson-Simpson, Crosby, Whipper, Brown, M. Rivers, King, Magnuson, Norrell, Martin, B. Newton, Long, Govan, Henegan, Dillard and Gilliard

S. Printed 5/3/17--S.

Read the first time April 11, 2017.

            

THE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

To whom was referred a Bill (H. 3209) to amend Section 17-22-910, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to applications for the expungement of criminal records for certain offenses, etc., respectfully

REPORT:

That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass:

BRAD HUTTO for Committee.

            

A BILL

TO AMEND SECTION 17-22-910, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO APPLICATIONS FOR THE EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR EXPUNGEMENT OF OFFENSES SUBSEQUENTLY REPEALED WHEN THE ELEMENTS OF THE OFFENSE ARE CONSISTENT WITH AN EXISTING SIMILAR OFFENSE WHICH IS SUBJECT TO EXPUNGEMENT, AND CLARIFY THAT EXPUNGEMENT PROVISIONS APPLY RETROACTIVELY TO THE OFFENSES DELINEATED.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION    1.    Section 17-22-910 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 22 of 2015, is further amended to read:

"Section 17-22-910.    (A)    Applications for expungement of all criminal records must be administered by the solicitor's office in each circuit in the State as authorized pursuant to:

(1)    Section 34-11-90(e), first offense misdemeanor fraudulent check;

(2)    Section 44-53-450(b), conditional discharge;

(3)    Section 22-5-910, first offense conviction in magistrates court;

(4)    Section 22-5-920, youthful offender act;

(5)    Section 22-5-930, first offense drug convictions;

(6)    Section 56-5-750(f), first offense failure to stop when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle;

(6)(7)    Section 17-22-150(a), pretrial intervention;

(7)(8)    Section 17-1-40, criminal records destruction, except as provided in Section 17-22-950;

(8)(9)    Section 63-19-2050, juvenile expungements;

(9)(10)    Section 17-22-530(A), alcohol education program;

(10)(11)    Section 17-22-330(A), traffic education program; and

(11)(12)    any other statutory authorization.

(B)    A person's eligibility for expungement of an offense contained in this section, or authorized by any other provision of law, must be based on the offense that the person pled guilty to or was convicted of committing and not on an offense for which the person may have been charged. In addition, if an offense for which a person was convicted is subsequently repealed and the elements of the offense are consistent with an existing similar offense which is currently eligible for expungement, a person's eligibility for expungement of an offense must be based on the existing similar offense.

(C)    The provisions of this section apply retroactively to allow expungement as provided by law for each offense delineated in subsection (A) by persons convicted prior to the enactment of this section or the addition of a specific item contained in subsection (A)."

SECTION    2.    Section 22-5-910 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 132 of 2016, is further amended to read:

"Section 22-5-910.    (A)    Following a first offense conviction for a crime carrying a penalty of not more than thirty days imprisonment or a fine of one thousand dollars, or both, the defendant after three years from the date of the conviction, including a conviction in magistrates or general sessions court, may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction and any associated bench warrant. However, this section does not apply to an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle.

(B)    Following a first offense conviction for domestic violence in the third degree pursuant to Section 16-25-20(D), or Section 16-25-20(B)(1) as it existed before June 4, 2015, the defendant after five years from the date of the conviction, including a conviction in magistrates or general sessions court, may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction and any associated bench warrant.

(C)    If the defendant has had no other conviction during the three-year period as provided in subsection (A), or during the five-year period as provided in subsection (B), the circuit court may issue an order expunging the records including any associated bench warrant. No person may have his records expunged under this section more than once. A person may have his record expunged even though the conviction occurred prior to June 1, 1992.

(D)    After the expungement, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is required to keep a nonpublic record of the offense and the date of the expungement to ensure that no person takes advantage of the rights of this section more than once. This nonpublic record is not subject to release pursuant to Section 34-11-95, the Freedom of Information Act, or any other provision of law except to those authorized law or court officials who need to know this information in order to prevent the rights afforded by this section from being taken advantage of more than once.

(E)    As used in this section, 'conviction' includes a guilty plea, a plea of nolo contendere, or the forfeiting of bail, including out-of-state convictions. For the purpose of this section, any number of offenses for crimes carrying a penalty of not more than thirty days imprisonment or a fine of one thousand dollars, or both, that are closely connected and arose out of the same incident may be considered as one offense and treated as one conviction for expungement purposes.

(F)    No person may have the person's record expunged under this section if the person has pending criminal charges of any kind. No person may have the person's records expunged under this section more than once. A person may have the person's record expunged even though the conviction occurred before the effective date of this section."

SECTION    3.    Section 22-5-920 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 132 of 2016, is further amended to read:

"Section 22-5-920.    (A) As used in this section, ' conviction' includes a guilty plea, a plea of nolo contendere, or the forfeiting of bail, including out-of-state convictions. For the purpose of this section, any number of offenses for which the individual received a youthful offender sentence that are closely connected and arose out of the same incident may be considered as one offense and treated as one conviction for expungement purposes.

(B)(1) Following a first offense conviction as a youthful offender for which a defendant is sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19, Title 24, Youthful Offender Act, the defendant, who has not been convicted of any offense while serving the youthful offender sentence, including probation and parole, or for a period of after five years from the date of completion of the defendant's sentence, including probation and parole, may apply, or cause someone acting on the defendant's behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction.

(2)    However, this section does not apply to:

(a)    an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle;

(b)    an offense classified as a violent crime in Section 16-1-60; or

(c)    an offense contained in Chapter 25, Title 16, except as otherwise provided in Section 16-25-30; or

(d)    an offense for which the individual is required to register in accordance with the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry Act.

(3)    If the defendant has had no other conviction during the service of the youthful offender sentence, including probation and parole, or during the five-year period following completion of the defendant's sentence, including probation and parole, for a first offense conviction as a youthful offender for which the defendant was sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19, Title 24, Youthful Offender Act, the circuit court may issue an order expunging the records. No person may have the person's records expunged under this section more than once. A person may have the person's record expunged even though the conviction occurred before the effective date of this section. A person eligible for a sentence pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19, Title 24, Youthful Offender Act, and who is not sentenced pursuant to those provisions, is not eligible to have the person's record expunged pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(C)    After the expungement, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is required to keep a nonpublic record of the offense and the date of its expungement to ensure that no person takes advantage of the rights permitted by this section more than once. This nonpublic record is not subject to release under Section 34-11-95, the Freedom of Information Act, or another provision of law, except to those authorized law enforcement or court officials who need this information in order to prevent the rights afforded by this section from being taken advantage of more than once."

SECTION    4.    Article 11, Chapter 5, Title 22 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 22-5-930.    (A)    Following a first offense conviction of any offense under Title 44, Chapter 53, Article 3 involving the possession of a controlled substance, including those charges for which the person would now be eligible for a conditional discharge pursuant to Section 44-53-450, the defendant after three years from the date of the conviction, including a conviction in magistrates or general sessions court, may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction and any associated bench warrant.

(B)    If the defendant had no other convictions during the three-year period as provided in subsection (A), the circuit court may issue an order expunging the records including any associated bench warrant.

(C)    No person may have the person's record expunged under this section if the person has pending criminal charges of any kind. No person may have the person's records expunged under this section more than once. No person may have the person's records expunged if the person had a conditional discharge with the prior five years from the date of arrest for underlying conviction if for marijuana, and the prior ten years from the date of arrest for the underlying conviction if for any other controlled substance. A person may have the person's record expunged even though the conviction occurred before the effective date of this section.

(D)    After the expungement, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is required to keep a nonpublic record of the offense and the date of expungement to ensure that no person takes advantage of the rights of this section more than once. This nonpublic record is not subject to release pursuant to Section 34-11-95, the Freedom of Information Act, or any other provision of law except to those authorized law or court officials who need to know this information in order to prevent the rights afforded by this section from being taken advantage of more than once.

(E)    As used in this section, 'conviction' includes a guilty plea, a nolo contendere, or the forfeiting of bail, including out-of-state convictions. For the purpose of this section, any number of offenses that are closely connected and arose out of the same incident may be considered as one offense and treated as one conviction for expungement purposes."

SECTION    5.    Section 63-19-2050(C)(2) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(2)    If the person has been taken into custody for, charged with, or adjudicated delinquent for having committed a nonviolent crime, as defined in Section 16-1-70, the court may grant the expungement order. For the purpose of this section, any number of offenses for which the individual received a youthful offender sentence that are closely connected and arose out of the same incident may be considered as one offense and treated as one conviction for expungement purposes."

SECTION    6.    Section 17-22-940(E) and (F) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 276 of 2014, is further amended to read:

"(E)    In cases when charges are sought to be expunged pursuant to Section 17-22-150(a), 17-22-530(A), 17-22-330(A), 22-5-910, or 44-53-450(b), the circuit pretrial intervention director, alcohol education program director, traffic education program director, or summary court judge shall attest by signature on the application to the eligibility of the charge for expungement before either the solicitor or his designee and then the circuit court judge, or the family court judge in the case of a juvenile, signs the application for expungement.

(F)    SLED shall verify and document that the criminal charges in all cases, except in cases when charges are sought to be expunged pursuant to Section 17-1-40, Section 17-22-150(a), Section 17-22-530(A), Section 17-22-330(A), or Section 44-53-450(b), are appropriate for expungement before the solicitor or his designee, and then a circuit court judge, or a family court judge in the case of a juvenile, signs the application for expungement. If the expungement is sought pursuant to Section 34-11-90(e), Section 22-5-910, Section 22-5-920, Section 63-19-2050, or Section 56-5-750(f), the conviction for any minor traffic-related offense which is punishable only by a fine or loss of points that is not related in any way to driving under the influence of alcohol will not be considered as a bar to expungement.

(1)    SLED shall receive a twenty-five dollar certified check or money order from the solicitor or his designee on behalf of the applicant made payable to SLED for each verification request, except that no verification fee may be charged when an expungement is sought pursuant to Section 17-1-40, Section 17-22-530(A), Section 17-22-330(A), Section 17-22-150(a), or 44-53-450(b). SLED then shall forward the necessary documentation back to the solicitor's office involved in the process.

(2)    In the case of juvenile expungements, verification and documentation that the charge is statutorily appropriate for expungement must first be accomplished by the Department of Juvenile Justice and then SLED.

(3)    Neither SLED, the Department of Juvenile Justice, nor any other official shall allow the applicant to take possession of the application for expungement during the expungement process."

SECTION    7.    Article 9, Chapter 22, Title 17 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 17-22-960.    Any employer that employs a worker who has had an expungement shall not, at any time, be subject to any administrative or legal claim or cause of action related to the worker's expunged offense. Employers shall not use expunged information adversely against an employee. No information related to an expungement shall be used or introduced as evidence in any administrative or legal proceeding involving negligent hiring, negligent retention, or similar claims."

SECTION    8.    This act takes effect six months after approval by the Governor.

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This web page was last updated on May 4, 2017 at 9:09 AM