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South Carolina Arrest Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Look Up Criminal Records in South Carolina

South Carolina arrest records and criminal records are kept in a central repository to easily handle name-based inmate search requests. State law allows the general public access to arrest records upon request. All law enforcement agencies create and keep records and add them into the database. SC repository holds state-level records only, not federal. They don’t use fingerprint-based records for the public. When requesting records, the user will have to pay a small fee for each record request, and the name and information must match exactly.

Are South Carolina Arrest Records Public?

Yes. According to SC state law, they offer arrest and criminal records to the general public. They also keep a sex offender list for anyone to review. Requestors must pay a non-refundable fee when they request records, and they have to have exact match name information.

Victims & Offenders by Gender and Race

Offenders by Gender

Victims by Gender

Offenders by Race

Black or African American58%
Native Hawaiian0%
Offenders w/ reported race3,562

Victims by Race

Black or African American50%
Native Hawaiian0%
Victims w/ reported race3,765

What Information Does South Carolina Criminal Records Report Include?

What Information You Can Find in South Carolina Arrest Report?

A South Carolina arrest record will show demographic information like the person’s name, date of birth, age, race, gender, height, weight, physical description, address, phone number and next of kin. It will also show the booking details, the name of the arresting officer, the location where the arrest took place, the date of the arrest, and vehicle details if one was involved. Other information on it will be mugshots, fingerprints, the arresting agencies details and other information about the crime.

South Carolina Police Reports and Mugshots

Are South Carolina Police Reports Public Record?

Yes, police reports in South Carolina are public records. Many of the local town police departments, such as Lexington, have a section on their website with instructions on how to obtain them. Police reports are available within 48 hours after they have been created, and you can pick them up in person at the police station. They state that if for some reason, you cannot visit in person, you can call 803–359–6260 to make other arrangements. The information contained on most police reports includes:

  • The date and time of the incident.
  • Details of the crime/incident.
  • The name of the suspect or person(s) involved.
  • The person’s age and where they are from.
  • How the officer’s handled resolution (was the person arrested, given a warning or left alone).
  • Other warrants out for the person’s arrest.
  • The jail location they were taken to.
  • The police department that responded to the call.
  • Bail details if available.
  • The charges filed against the suspect.

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) stores and issues state police collision reports. They have a special form called Request for Collision Report (SCDMV Form FR–50) to use when requesting a copy of yours. Each report costs $6.

South Carolina Mugshots Search

South Carolina mugshots may be found in many places online. For example, the Beaufort County website has a jail inmate listing that openly displays mugshots for anyone who was arrested in that area. All South Carolina mugshots have a light or dark gray background. Most inmates are wearing orange jumpsuits. Other places you might find South Carolina mugshots are newspapers, public records websites, and others.

Mugshots became an integral part of the booking process in the late 1800s when Alphonse Bertillon invented them and made it part of his procedure. He devised the layout (a front-facing and side shot), the lighting, and other details. Later, other countries adopted mugshots as part of their standard procedure. Investigators use them, witnesses and victims, alike.

South Carolina Arrest Booking Process

South Carolina police and troopers are allowed to arrest anyone they suspect of having committed a crime, someone they witnessed committing a crime, or as a result of an arrest warrant. After handcuffing and reading the person their Miranda rights, they will take them to the county jail or police station for booking. In most cases, the booking process consists of:

  • Recording your name and the crime you’ve been arrested for.
  • Taking a mugshot.
  • Taking fingerprints.
  • Surrendering your clothing and personal belongings for evidence or to be held until your release.
  • Full body search.
  • Check for outstanding warrants in your name.
  • Health screening.
  • Background and demographic information about you.

Many people will remain in jail until they can pay bail or have an initial hearing with a judge.

Violent Crime Rates for the last 10 years

The crime rate has decreased over the past decade in South Carolina, going from 14,574 crimes in 2006 to 10,123 by 14% lower than it was back in 2006. The largest percentage of violent crimes falls into the Aggravated Assault category, with Revised Rape being the least popular crime in the state.

South Carolina Violent Crime Rate Change

Arrest Law

South Carolina Arrest Laws

SC police officers may arrest someone when they are in possession of a warrant. They can also arrest someone when they witness them committing a crime. They can even arrest anyone who violates parole or probation. An officer can arrest someone when they have information that a felony has been committed or is aware that someone committed one but not in front of them. If someone commits a felony, they can be arrested at night, and deadly force may be used to bring them in or in self-defense.

Who has a Power of Arrest?

All law enforcement officers in this state have the power to arrest you. This list includes local police officers, state troopers, sheriff’s and their deputies. Officers from out-of-state can also arrest someone if they are in pursuit of a suspect who crosses state lines. Any private citizen can arrest someone when they witness someone committing a felony or theft. There are some strict laws concerning the circumstances, and someone would want to familiarize themselves with those before arresting anyone.

How Long Will an Arrest Report Stay on South Carolina Inmate Records?

Arrest reports will remain on South Carolina inmate records for life if they do nothing to have them expunged. However, only first-time offenses and minor charges can be expunged. Most serious misdemeanors and violent felonies will stay on a criminal record for life. Offenders will have to wait three or five years before applying for expungement. They also have to pay a $300 fee and can’t have any additional charges against them when applying.

Can you Expunge your Records?

Yes. First-time offenses, arrests where no charges were filed, and minor offenses can be expunged. All other, dangerous or violent crimes cannot; they will remain on the record forever. SC provides special dispensation for DUI charges and juveniles who complete rehabilitation programs. Offenders must pay at least $300 when applying, and the process will take weeks. If they have a more serious felony charge against them, another option might be to apply to have it pardoned by the governor. Sex offenses cannot be pardoned.

The Arrest Rate in South Carolina

Arrest Rate in South Carolina

For the last year available 2016, SC recorded 27,147 property crimes, 37,615 drug crimes, 4,735 crimes related to weapons, 17,327 simple assaults, 16,925 DUIs, 7,403 liquor law violations, and 8,220 charges for drunkenness.

State Offender and Victim Age Group Statistics

Most of the violent crime offenders in South Carolina were 20-29 and the largest percentage of violent crime victims were 20-29.

Offender Age

Offenders w/ reported age24,699

Victim Age

Victims w/ reported age25,982

Crime Victim Demographics

Residence Home is the place where the majority of crimes in South Carolina were committed, in most of the crime cases the offender was an acquaintance.

Location Type

Residence Home15,126
Parking Garage/Lot1,528
Convenience Store1,038
Department/Discount Store479
Gas Station344

Victim’s Relationship to the Offender

Relationship Unknown6,222
Otherwise Known2,517
Other Family Member913

South Carolina Arrest Records by Type of Crime

The popular arrests for 2017 in South Carolina was for Drug Abuse Violations - 34,356, the same popularity of the arrest type was seen in New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. The least popularity had Curfew and Loitering Law Violations arrests - with only 64 crimes a year.

Arrest TypeUnder 18All agesTotal arrests
Violent Crime6166,5007,116
Property Crime2,88123,84826,729
Murder & Non-negligent Manslaughter17253270

South Carolina Department of Public Safety

Is your State Safer than South Carolina?

Select your state and find out:

South Carolina
Crime rate - 4,821
The crime rate in the last 5 years - up by 14%

5 Safest Counties in the Area

A list of 5 counties in South Carolina that have the lowest arrest rate in 2017

CountyCrime Rate
Horry County1.55
Newberry County711.68
Abbeville County989.06
York County1,035.87
Saluda County1,104.12
South Carolina Arrest Records Search
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