Arrested? What can I do to keep this off my record??
Updated: Apr 1
The State of South Carolina provides many programs for non-violent offenses to be removed from your record through the completion of certain Diversionary Programs. These are programs such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), Traffic Education Program (TEP), Alcohol Education Program (AEP), and Drug Court are all programs offered by solicitor’s offices around the state. When you complete these programs, your case is dismissed, and you are eligible to have the record of your arrest expunged or erased from your record.
What is Pretrial Intervention?
PTI (Pretrial Intervention) is a State legislated diversion program designed for first time offenders of eligible crimes. Only participants who do not pose a threat to society and who have no significant prior criminal history are allowed this “second chance.” PTI is an alternative to traditional prosecution in the criminal justice system. The program allows the offender to be diverted from court and enter a program consisting of counseling, guidance, community service work and restitution. After successfully completing the program, the offender’s arrest record can then be expunged. The time frame of PTI is a minimum of 90 days to 1 year depending on the offender’s participation.
While in PTI, you will be assigned requirements. They will include counseling or education and community service. You may also have restitution to pay, attend a prison tour, provide urine drug screens, make monthly contact calls and/or written reports.
If you fail to successfully complete the Program, or if you are charged with a new criminal offense, you will be terminated from PTI. Upon termination, your case will be returned to court for prosecution. If you complete the program requirements, the court that handled your case is notified and the charges against you are dismissed. At that time, you are eligible, under the South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 17-22-530, to clear your arrest record of the dismissed charges.
Some PTI eligible criminal charges include:
And many more
Charges that do not qualify for PTI:
Traffic Offenses punishable with only points and/or a fine
Certain Fish and Game offenses
What is the Alcohol Education Program (AEP)?
Alcohol Education Program is a State Legislated Diversion Program designed for persons between the ages of 18 and 20 years of age at the time of arrest/charge for an alcohol-related offense (excluding DUI and DUAC charges) with no prior criminal history. This AEP program is designed for first-time offenders of magistrate/municipal court alcohol offenses. This system allows the defendant to be diverted from court and enter into a program consisting of education/counseling, community service and guidance. After successfully completing the program, the offender’s arrest record can then be expunged. The goal of this program is to give first-time offenders an educational opportunity to change illegal behavior. Offenders may participate in this program only one time.
Some AEP eligible criminal charges:
Other alcohol offenses similar in nature
If you fail to successfully complete the Program, or if you are charged with a new criminal offense, you will be terminated from AEP. Upon termination, your case will be returned to court for prosecution. If you complete the program requirements, the court that handled your case is notified and the charges against you are dismissed. At that time, you are eligible, under the South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 17-22-530, to clear your arrest record of the dismissed charges.
What is the Traffic Education Program (TEP)?
The Traffic Education Program is a program designed to dispose of traffic charges prior to a trial. TEP was established by legislation in South Carolina with the primary goal of educating drivers with minor traffic citations. TEP provides the opportunity to have eligible tickets dismissed by the court and maintain good driving records.
Eligible applicants must have:
Four or less points currently on their driving record.
TEP referred ticket must be a four point or less violation
Per state law applicants must have no current CDL Program Requirements
Documentation of four hours completed community service
Attend a TEP approved four hour defensive driving class
No new traffic citations for 6 months from TEP violation
What is Drug Court?
Drug Court is a court-supervised, multi-agency, community-based program for non-violent defendants with an alcohol and/or drug addiction. The Drug Court coordinates the efforts of the judges, prosecutor, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the treatment providers to break the cycle of addiction and crime. Drug Court cuts costs by reducing recidivism and using coercive power of the court to force behavior changes of the alcohol/drug-addicted person. The Drug Court Program requires mandatory drug testing, intensive treatment, strong aftercare, and sanctions for non-compliance with court orders. To be eligible for the Drug Court Program, a person must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and be assessed as alcohol and/or drug dependent. Each Drug court throughout the state is set up differently and this program is not offered in all counties. The benefit of these programs are that they give a second chance to people with severe alcohol and/or drug problems to get the treatment that they need along with the opportunity for charges to be dismissed and expunged if they successfully complete the program.
Each of these programs have certain requirements, costs, and application requirements.
If you or your loved one has been charged with a crime the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Templeton Mims & Ward are here to help. Our experience in Criminal law will help to make sure that you get the best possible results in your case.