South Carolina lawmakers recently passed a new law designed to make it easier for people convicted of “low level” crimes to have their criminal record expunged after a period of good behavior, a decision hailed by South Carolina criminal defense lawyer Matt Bodman.
“This new law gives people who have earned a second chance an opportunity to start their life over with a clean slate,” Bodman said. “People make mistakes. But they should not be punished for the rest of their lives because of a low-level criminal conviction. Hopefully, this new law will allow more people to get jobs they might otherwise have a hard time obtaining due to an old criminal record.”
South Carolina’s House of Representatives and Senate passed the legislation on June 27, according to a WISTV news report about the new law. South Carolina governor Henry McMaster had vetoed the bill on May 19, but the state House and Senate overrode the veto.
Previously, South Carolina allowed people convicted of a first-offense, low-level crime with a prison sentence of 30 days or less to have their crime expunged from their record after a period of good behavior, which varies depending on the charge.
Under the new law, the first-offense requirement has been removed. People convicted of multiple minor offenses stemming from a single incident are now also eligible to have their criminal record expunged after a period of good behavior.
The new law was adopted with the intention of making it easier for people convicted of a low-level crime to search for a job and not have their criminal record be a barrier to employment. “People who have paid their debt to society deserve an opportunity to make a fresh start,” Bodman said. “This new law gives them that chance and it’s a step in the right direction.”
About Attorney Matt Bodman
Columbia, South Carolina attorney Bodman handles a wide range of legal cases, including criminal defense and personal injury matters. A former Assistant Solicitor for Richland County, attorney Bodman brings decades of experience to every case he handles in South Carolina.