Bill would clarify to agencies how long to keep criminal records - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Bill would clarify to agencies how long to keep criminal records

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Lawmakers debated a controversial bill Thursday in the State House having to do with criminal records and expungement.

The bill would help clarify how long law enforcement agencies keep your case file if you are cleared of a crime.

Jails already do it. If you are found not guilty or your record is expunged, the facility keeps your case files in case there is future litigation.

A bill in front of a senate committee would give law enforcement agencies that same right, but with a three year time limit. After that, those files including incident reports would have to be destroyed.

"We have some girls missing from down in Myrtle Beach, would you want us to throw those investigative files away after three years?" said Jeff Moore with the SC Sheriff's Association. "I don't think their parents would. I don't think their families would. And we don't want to. That's why we want to retain those files."

The expungement bill is one of a few that lawmakers are considering. They are also looking at whether or not to expand the type of crimes that can be expunged.

Lawmakers say there are a lot of changes that need to be made before it can move on.

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