Many seek criminal record expungement in Florence

More than 500 people took part in a pardon expungement workshop at Wayside Chapel Baptist Church in Florence, Monday morning.

Many people said they came out because their minor run-ins with the law are holding them back from many opportunities.

Nathan Goodman, of Florence, says he was arrested for DUI and Assault and Battery more than 20 years ago and it continues to follow him.

"I want this off my record bad because it's hard to get a job because they go back and check and make me look bad," said Goodman.

State Representative Terry Alexander,D-District 59 Florence and Marion counties, sponsored the workshop along with members of the black clergy in the Pee Dee.

"Over the past couple of years, not a week has gone by that I have not received a call from someone trying to get some type of assistance with their expungement record, with their pardon record, " said Alexander.

Representatives from the SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services talked with people about the details and processes of getting a pardon.

Officials say a pardon is the forgiveness of a crime that clears any legal impediments for a person who wants to get certain jobs and professional licenses. You can apply for a pardon by clicking here.

Twelfth Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements explained how to get an expungement.

An expungement clears the criminal record of convictions in South Carolina.

You can apply to have your conviction expunged through the solicitor's office where the crime was committed. That office then sends your application to the State Law Enforcement Division to determine if the offense is eligible for expungement.

Representative Alexander says he hopes the workshop will be of benefit to many who are haunted by their criminal records.

"They're having problems trying to obtain employment and they wanted to figure out what can we do and I got to the point so many of these calls and members of the black clergy wanted to do something to start our organization off," Alexander explained.

He says they couldn't help everyone at the workshop, but he's thankful for the ones who could get their records cleared.