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South Carolina Sex Offender Registry is for Life

Many states have sex offender registry systems which separate offenders based on the severity of the offense and the likelihood of reoffending. Many registries have a “tiered” system which allows for an offender to petition for removal from their registry after a certain period of time. South Carolina is not one of those states. South Carolina law mandates that people who are on the sex offender registry are on the registry for life, regardless of the circumstances of the offense or any prediction of future behavior. The only way an offender can be removed from the South Carolina sex offender registry is by having their conviction reversed, overturned, or vacated on appeal by an appellate court. Having one of these occur not only wipes the conviction from the individual’s criminal record, it also signifies that the individual should have never been convicted in the first place. This is different from an expungement, which simply removes the criminal conviction from an individual’s record. An expungement, however, will unfortunately not help that individual get off the South Carolina sex offender registry..

2008 Amendments to South Carolina Sex Offender Registry Laws

Questions have often been raised about what the effect of a governor’s pardon would have on the requirement to register for sex offense convictions. South Carolina law states that a pardon removes all legal consequences of the crime and conviction, direct and collateral and including the punishment for the crime. Up until 2008, a governor’s pardon would be enough to warrant removal from the South Carolina sex offender registry. In 2008, the South Carolina state legislature changed the sex offender registry law to say that an offender cannot be removed from the registry due to a pardon unless that pardon is based on a finding of innocence and the pardon must specifically state that the individual is not guilty of the crime he or she was convicted of. An individual must have been pardoned before the 2008 changes were approved in order to be removed from the sex offender registry. Any pardon awarded after 2008, even for crimes that occurred before 2008, will not result in removal from the South Carolina sex offender registry. Your only legitimate option towards removal from the South Carolina sex offender registry is to win your case on appeal. If you are considering your legal options relating to an appeal for a sex offense conviction, then call us at Snow Legal so we can help answer your questions.

Call Today for a Free Consultation with Snow Legal

If you are considering attempting to be removed from the sex offender registry in South Carolina, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. As an appeal is likely necessary to win your removal from the registry, the time to file an appeal is limited. The attorneys at Snow Legal are proud to offer a free initial consultation to anyone inquiring about the possibility of being removed from the state sex offender registry. Call us today at (704) 358-0026 or contact us online.