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Youthful Offender Act and How You Can Expunge Your Record

When representing clients facing criminal charges, one of my main objectives is to create an opportunity for them to have a clean record in the future. Under South Carolina’s Youthful Offender Act, there is an opportunity for offenders under the age of 25 to clear their record.

South Carolina established the Youthful Offender Act to deal with the influx of younger individuals (under 25 years of age) into the criminal justice system. The purpose of a Youthful Offender Act sentence is to afford a young person certain opportunities that are not available to those individuals entering the Department of Corrections for a period of incarceration, or starting a period of supervision by the Probation Department. Individuals incarcerated under the Youthful Offender Act are required to be housed with others who are less than 25 years old and the amount of time that must be served is dependent upon how the offender conducts himself while incarcerated.

Under the Youthful Offender Act, a young person who has committed a crime has the opportunity to expunge his or her criminal record related to the offense. The most common criminal offenses eligible for expungement are non-violent drug offenses. However, other non-violent offenses may be eligible and it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with this law to help you negotiate a sentence prior to entering a plea.

Following a first offense conviction under the Youthful Offender Act, you may apply for the expungement of your records. You are eligible to apply five years after you complete your sentence (which includes completion of any probationary sentence). DUIs and certain crimes, including those classified as “violent” by section 16-1-60 of the South Carolina Code, are not eligible for expungement.

You cannot be convicted of any other crimes during the five-year waiting period to be eligible for expungement, and only one expungement will be granted.

If you or someone you know under the age of 25 is charged with a non-violent crime, it is important to reach out to an experience criminal defense attorney with a thorough understanding of the Youthful Offender Act and effective at plea negotiations.

Criminal defense attorney, Marcelo Torricos, is here to help. Give him a call at { } or reach out online at marcelobws.com.

More information from the South Carolina Department of Corrections about the Youthful Offender Act can be found at http://www.doc.sc.gov/programs/yoprs.jsp.