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South Carolina Arrest Records: How to Find Arrest Records in South Carolina

South Carolina Arrest Records: How to Find Arrest Records in South Carolina
October 9, 2022

South Carolina is a state on the Southeastern coast of the United States. It shares borders with North Carolina to the north, Georgia to the southwest across the Savannah River, and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. 


With a registered population of 5,124,712, South Carolina is the 23rd most populous and 40th most extensive state in the United States. There are 46 counties in South Carolina. 

The South Carolina arrest record officially summarizes an individual's criminal history. 


It reveals whether someone has been detained, arrested, interrogated, or taken into custody. 


A person may be detained if they are suspected of committing a felony, a misdemeanor, or another crime, according to the South Carolina Code of Laws.

south carolina state flag with handcuffs on it

How to Perform a South Carolina Arrest Records Search?

For those who want to perform a South Carolina arrest records search and no other searches, you can use one of the methods that we have written below. 


However, for a more in-depth search, you will need to use a website that provides access to all public records. 


Aside from arrest records South Carolina files, you can get access to criminal records, mugshots, marriage and divorce records, birth records, and other public records with websites such as


 By entering the name of a particular individual, you will get access to their public records, including their South Carolina arrest records. 

South Carolina Public Arrest Records

Arrest records are made available under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. 


However, the public's access to arrest records and related police documents may be restricted by law enforcement in South Carolina in certain situations, according to Section 30-4-40 (3). 

The arresting agency may refuse to provide the arrest record, for instance, if doing so would endanger the safety of a law enforcement officer or a civilian. 

a woman's hand stamping a paper


The same holds for situations where the arrest is connected to a running criminal investigation into private or governmental issues.

The public can find state-specific crime records in the Crime in South Carolina reports published by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). 


These papers include information on arrest records, rates, and trends for each year since 1993. 

South Carolina has no restrictions on who can obtain arrest records. Therefore, these records are accessible to insurance companies, employers, friends, family, co-workers, and more.

How Do I Access South Carolina Arrest Records?

To get arrest records in South Carolina, interested parties must get in touch with the agency that made the arrest; in most cases, this is the sheriff's office or the neighborhood police force. 


You can visit a local law enforcement agency's physical location to submit requests. 

The parties requesting the record must give specific case information and pay the appropriate fee (if applicable) to the records division or unit to access an arrest record. 


On their websites, particular agencies may include request forms that can be filled out by the requester and sent in person or by mail. The requester can also send the form through email.

The interested party can also ask the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for the record since you might find an arrest record in a criminal background check. 


The records can then be accessed and printed via the SLED's online database, CATCH (or Citizens Access to Criminal Histories). 

Requests by mail are also possible for this alternative. Users of CATCH should be aware that unless they qualify for a reduced rate, a $25 non-refundable fee will be charged to their credit or debit card for each search. 


Charitable organizations can only pay $8 per search per the law. 

The cost is also decreased to $8 if the subject of the document is a bus driver or bus driver assistant. 


a man's finger being fingerprinted

If a prospective or substitute teacher is the topic of the record and the researcher is from a nearby school district, there is no fee for the search. 


However, there is a compulsory $1 convenience fee to use the online system whether or not the total $25 price is regarded for the user or not.

As an alternative, people can mail requests to SLED. To do this, fill out a Criminal Records Check Form and send it to the department's mailing address below:

SLED Records Department
P.O. Box 21398
Columbia, SC 29221-1398

Requests made via letter are subject to the exact cost of those made online. Business checks, certified checks, cashier's checks, and money orders can all be used to pay this fee.

Accessing South Carolina Arrest Records with a Subpoena

When a case party must collect arrest records unavailable under the state's Freedom of Information Act or otherwise releasable, a subpoena duces tecum is often required in legal proceedings. 

The subpoena procedure for civil proceedings is governed by Rule 45 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Contrarily, Rule 13 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure applies to criminal cases. 

A subpoena for an arrest record is typically obtained in two steps. First, the relevant authority must sign and issue a subpoena form. The court clerk or an approved lawyer can serve as the issuing officer. 


On its website, the state judiciary offers subpoena forms approved by the court; to find them, type "subpoena" into the "Search #2: Forms by Title" search box.

a subpoena sticker next to a gavel

The serving procedure comes next once the subpoena is issued (and, if necessary, a copy is served on each party to the case). The person to whom the subpoena is addressed must receive service of it. 


The county sheriff, a sheriff's deputy, or a third person at least 18 years old may provide service. Remember that the sheriff's office requires a $10 service charge (S.C. Code Ann. 23-19-10).

The requester must submit a Proof of Service to the court following service performance as another condition of the service procedure. 


The paper must be signed by the server and include the name of the individual being served and the date and method of service. 


In South Carolina, it is necessary to have legal counsel or a thorough understanding of the law before subpoenaing an arrest record.


South Carolina arrest records are accessible to both resident and non-resident citizens so long as the record is non-confidential and not exempted from public release.

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