2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 44 - Health
Section 44-53-450 - Conditional discharge; eligibility for expungement.

SC Code § 44-53-450 (2012) What's This?

(A) Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any offense under this article or any offense under any state or federal statute relating to marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drugs, pleads guilty to or is found guilty of possession of a controlled substance under Section 44-53-370(c) and (d), or Section 44-53-375(A), the court, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and place him on probation upon terms and conditions as it requires, including the requirement that such person cooperate in a treatment and rehabilitation program of a state-supported facility or a facility approved by the commission, if available. Upon violation of a term or condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him. Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without court adjudication of guilt and is not a conviction for purposes of this section or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime, including the additional penalties imposed for second or subsequent convictions. However, a nonpublic record shall be forwarded to and retained by the Department of Narcotic and Dangerous Drugs under the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division solely for the purpose of use by the courts in determining whether or not a person has committed a subsequent offense under this article. Discharge and dismissal under this section may occur only once with respect to any person.

(B) Upon the dismissal of the person and discharge of the proceedings against him pursuant to subsection (A), the person may apply to the court for an order to expunge from all official records (other than the nonpublic records to be retained as provided in subsection (A)) all recordation relating to his arrest, indictment or information, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this section. If the court determines, after hearing, that the person was dismissed and the proceedings against him discharged, it shall enter the order. The effect of the order is to restore the person, in the contemplation of the law, to the status he occupied before the arrest or indictment or information. No person as to whom the order has been entered may be held pursuant to another provision of law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge the arrest, or indictment or information, or trial in response to an inquiry made of him for any purpose.

(C) Before a person may be discharged and the proceedings dismissed pursuant to this section, the person must pay a fee of three hundred fifty dollars if the person is in a general sessions court and one hundred fifty dollars if the person is in a summary court. No portion of the fee may be waived, reduced, or suspended, except in cases of indigency. If the court determines that a person is indigent, the court may partially or totally waive, reduce, or suspend the fee. The revenue collected pursuant to this subsection must be retained by the jurisdiction that heard or processed the case and paid to the State Treasurer within thirty days of receipt. The State Treasurer shall transmit these funds to the Prosecution Coordination Commission which shall then apportion these funds among the sixteen judicial circuits on a per capita basis equal to the population in that circuit compared to the population of the State as a whole based on the most recent official United States census. The funds must be used for drug treatment court programs only. The amounts generated by this subsection are in addition to any amounts presently being provided for drug treatment court programs and may not be used to supplant funding already allocated for these services. The State Treasurer may request the State Auditor to examine the financial records of a jurisdiction which he believes is not timely transmitting the funds required to be paid to the State Treasurer pursuant to this subsection. The State Auditor is further authorized to conduct these examinations and the local jurisdiction is required to participate in and cooperate fully with the examination.

HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 32-1510.57; 1971 (57) 800; 1974 (58) 2284; 2009 Act No. 36, Section 7, eff June 2, 2009; 2010 Act No. 273, Section 40, eff June 2, 2010.

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