Access Free South Carolina Arrests & Criminal Records

Free South Carolina Arrest Records & Criminal Records Search
Access South Carolina Records: background checks, warrants, probation and parole, court records, and all criminal and arrest records.

Search free South Carolina criminal records today through official channels and learn more about someone’s past or current situation.

South Carolina arrest records and criminal proceedings are readily accessible thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and South Carolina’s own Freedom of Information Act, but knowing where to look is crucial for a stress-free search.1, 2

Whether you’re looking for arrests, mugshots, criminal history or background check reports, probation or parole information, warrant status, prisoner records, or nearby sex offenders, this resource provides the necessary resources to find the information sought.

Written or authored by Attorney Robert Bailey Jr, who possesses a Juris Doctorate in Law from Widener University School of Law and is a Licensed Attorney.

Availability of Criminal & Arrest Records in South Carolina

Yes, as a result of federal and state law, the public is provided access to most criminal and arrest records in South Carolina. However, it can be difficult to find them if you do not know where to look.

South Carolina provides some straightforward ways to find someone’s criminal record. Certain government agencies (both state and local) have online search databases that can serve as a people finder for individuals with a criminal or arrest record in South Carolina.

If you are trying to find out if someone is in jail, this article will instruct you on how to use these search tools to check for daily arrests, charges, and details on their current status. If you need to, you can also reach out to these state and local agencies directly by phone or in person.

The South Carolina government is authorized to host a public repository containing detailed arrest and criminal records through both federal and state FOIA laws. However, both federal and state laws have exemptions on what type of information and under what circumstances these records can be released.

These restrictions are seen most often when releasing those records would cause certain types of negative repercussions. These could be documents that may have an impact on an ongoing law enforcement investigation or a direct impact on an individual’s constitutionally protected rights (e.g., their right to have a fair trial). Federal and South Carolina laws follow similar rules for exemptions to the availability of criminal and arrest records.

It is important to note that while they may seem similar, criminal and arrest records are held by different custodians. As a result, you have to take different steps to access these unique records. To obtain arrest records, you will have to search with law enforcement agencies, which are linked below.

On the other hand, criminal records may be accessed through various state agencies and/or courts. For other types of publicly available information such as marital records, take a look at the South Carolina public information search instructions.

There are further restrictions on when criminal and arrest records are available. In addition to federal and state FOIA laws, South Carolina prohibits access to specific criminal records. Two notable examples are juvenile records and records that have been sealed or expunged.3, 4

These records are not available to be searched for publicly; when records are sealed or expunged, they are considered to no longer exist. More on expunging a criminal record will be discussed towards the end of this article.

Criminal Records vs Arrest Records in South Carolina & What’s Shown on Each

While there is similar information contained in criminal and arrest records, there are also some distinctions as to the type of information they provide.

Arrest records are established at the time someone is arrested or charged with a crime(s) and are usually available immediately.

Criminal records are established at a later date. If an individual has their charges dropped or they are not prosecuted for other reasons, this will be stated on their arrest report. South Carolina arrest records contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Date of Birth
  • Descriptive Characteristics (hair, eyes, height, weight)
  • Arrest date
  • Current Address
  • Charges
  • Arresting Agency
  • Case Number
  • Case Disposition
  • Sentence length and date sentence starts
  • Bail

South Carolina criminal records provide information on an individual’s case. This will start from their initial arrest and include the last court hearing or disposition of the case.

When they are convicted and sentenced, you can also find information on their sentence length, where they are currently incarcerated, or if they are currently released under supervision (e.g., probation or parole).

Criminal records contain the following information:

  • State Identification Number
  • Name
  • Age
  • Ethnicity/Race
  • Sex
  • Descriptive Characteristics (hair, eyes, height, weight)
  • Birth Date
  • Admission Date
  • Current Facility
  • Docket Number
  • Booked Date
  • All Offenses
  • Minimum Sentence
  • Maximum sentence
  • Individual’s history of incarceration
  • Mugshot
  • Alias(es)

How To Check if Someone Was Arrested & Taken to a South Carolina Jail (Free Lookup)

As seen below, South Carolina provides a couple of easy ways to search for recent arrests for free.

However, determining where to start searching depends on which agency made the arrest (e.g., police department) and where someone is incarcerated (e.g., county jail, state prison, etc.). Start by gathering information on the person you are trying to search for in jail.

The more information you have, the higher the likelihood of a successful search.

When trying to find out why someone was arrested, the individual’s first and last name (unless a very common name) should be enough information to find South Carolina arrest records on a particular individual.

If you do not have their name, you may still be able to find the information you are looking for.

Certain search engines will allow you to enter other descriptive information when performing your search. Some local agencies provide a jail roster that you can search for manually. While this may be a time-consuming process, it allows you to conduct a thorough search for an individual’s arrest record.

If you searched with the information you have but cannot find the arrest record online, the law enforcement agency or jail should have a process for providing an arrest record.

Search County Sheriff’s Inmate Rosters To Find South Carolina Arrest Records & Mugshots

When searching to find out if someone was arrested in a particular county, you should be cognizant of the fact that each county operates independently, resulting in differences regarding the specific type of information provided on their arrest logs.

When performing your search, you may have to check multiple counties unless you already know the specific county the arrest took place.

For each county, there may be a different process or certain nuances for obtaining an arrest record. Some counties have their own inmate locator tool with a search engine where you can search for individuals by first or last name. Some will allow you to enter additional information, such as date of birth, sex, or race, to help narrow down your results.

After entering this information, the online directory will populate general information on the individual, including any arrests or charges brought against them. Additional details will be provided regarding where they are currently jailed, if bail is available (including the amount), and their specific charges.

While some counties have free online search tools, some counties only provide a jail roster. Others do not provide any online access to their arrest records. Below is every county in South Carolina along with their phone number, whether or not they show mugshots and a link to their site if they have an inmate lookup tool or jail roster:

County Inmate Roster or Contact Page County Jail or Sheriff’s Office Phone Number Shows Mugshots?
Abbeville County 864-446-6000 X
Aiken County 803-642-1761
Allendale County 803-584-7067 X
Anderson County 864-260-4400
Bamberg County 803-245-3020 X
Barnwell County 803-541-1067 X
Beaufort County 843-255-5200 X
Berkeley County 843-719-4465
Calhoun County 803-874-2741 X
Charleston County 843-529-7300
Cherokee County 864-489-4722
Chester County 803-581-5131
Chesterfield County 843-621-2101 X
Clarendon County 803-435-0364 X
Colleton County 843-549-2211
Darlington County 843-398-4220 X
Dillon County 843-774-1435 X
Dorchester County 843-832-0300 X
Edgefield County 803-637-4000 X
Fairfield County 803-635-4841 X
Florence County 843-665-2121
Georgetown County 843-546-5102
Greenville County 864-467-2330
Greenwood County 864-942-8500
Hampton County 803-914-2200 X
Horry County 843-915-5450
Jasper County 843-717-3300 X
Kershaw County 803-425-1516
Lancaster County 803-283-3388 X
Laurens County 864-683-4055
Lee County 803-428-2800 X
Lexington County 803-785-8230
Marion County 843-423-0121
Marlboro County 843-479-5605 X
McCormick County 864-443-2114 X
Newberry County 803-321-2141
Oconee County 864-638-4117
Orangeburg County 803-539-2090 X
Pickens County 864-898-5541
Richland County 803-576-3000 X
Saluda County 864-445-0286 X
Spartanburg County 864-596-2607 X
Sumter County 803-436-2340 X
Union County 864-429-1677
Williamsburg County 843-355-6381 X
York County 803-628-3083 X

If you still cannot find the arrest record you are looking for, try contacting South Carolina’s Department of Corrections (DOC) to see if they’ve been moved to a state prison or searched with their inmate locator tool, as detailed below.5

Note: Additional guidance and examples on finding jail and prison inmates can be viewed in the steps for looking up anyone incarcerated throughout South Carolina.

How To Get in Touch With a Person in a South Carolina Jail & Bail Them Out

The first step is to figure out what jail the individual is located in.

A lot of times, this can be found by conducting an arrest or criminal record search using the table above or through the agencies below. Once you know which jail they are in, start by contacting the jail or the local sheriff in that county.

They should provide you with the specific steps for how to both contact someone incarcerated in their jail and how to bail them out. Jails usually have specific communication policies, including specific visitation and phone hours.

South Carolina provides for bail proceedings to determine how an individual’s bail should be set.6 South Carolina has two different types of bail that require payment before an individual can be released from jail. The first, cash bail, is used for more serious offenses and usually requires an individual to pay the full amount of the bail set.

The second, surety bail, allows someone to pay a fee to a bondsman who will pay the bail. Often, a bondsman will require some form of collateral in case the individual does not appear in court as they agreed.

When it comes to state prisoners, the South Carolina Department of Corrections has general information on how to contact an inmate.7 In order to make phone calls to an inmate, you must set up an account with Global Tel*Link Corporation. The current rate for phone calls within the United States is 5.5 cents per minute.

How To Access South Carolina Criminal Records

While law enforcement agencies and jails manage arrest records, criminal records are usually located in courts or with South Carolina’s Department of Corrections.

There are other options you may need to consider when searching criminal records, such as contacting the Court of Clerks or using a paid background check service. Start by using the following free options below for searching criminal records in South Carolina:

  • County Courts – For all county courts, one option is to call or visit their courthouse (addresses are located in the next section below) and inquire as to the method for obtaining any specific criminal records in their possession. Each South Carolina county court also has its own individual online search tool for criminal records.
  • South Carolina Judicial Branch Case Records Search – SC’s Judicial Branch provides a link to free online criminal case records searches for every county in South Carolina.8
  • South Carolina Department of Corrections – here, you can conduct a search of criminal records for individuals incarcerated in South Carolina.9

Utilize the County Courts To Conduct a Criminal Record Search in SC

Once you know which county a person was arrested or incarcerated in, you can navigate to the county courthouse’s website and use their online search tool. You can also contact them directly to request criminal records if you do not find the information you are looking for online.

Another option is to visit the county courthouse in person to request criminal records. If you are unsure where to go, you can reach out to the County’s Clerk of Court (or related office) to determine how to access South Carolina criminal records.

When performing a search for criminal records at a county courthouse, make sure you understand that, from one county to another, there may be different processes and ways to gain access to criminal records. Fortunately, all of the county courthouses (district courts) in South Carolina have an online search tool.

When searching for criminal records with a particular county courthouse, you have the choice to either search online or go in person.

South Carolina’s free online search that checks every county allows you to search by court, case number, name, date, and several other options to help narrow down your results.

The table below contains all county courthouses in South Carolina linked with their online search tool and address if you decide to search for criminal records in person:

County Courts County Courthouse Address
Abbeville County 102 Court Square, Room 103, Abbeville, SC 29620
Aiken County 109 Park Avenue, Aiken, SC 29801
Allendale County Junction of Memorial Drive and Hwy 278, Allendale, SC 29810
Anderson County 100 South Main Street, Anderson, SC 29624
Bamberg County 2959 Main Highway, Bamberg, SC 29003
Barnwell County 141 Main Street, Barnwell, SC29812
Beaufort County 102 Ribaut Road, Beaufort, SC 29901
Berkeley County 300-B California Avenue, Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Calhoun County 902 South F.R. Huff Drive, St. Matthews, SC 29135
Charleston County 100 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401
Cherokee County 125 East Floyd Baker Blvd, Gaffney, SC 29340
Chester County 126 Wylie Street, Chester, SC 29706
Chesterfield County 200 West Main Street, Chesterfield, SC 29709
Clarendon County 102 South Mill Street, Manning, SC 29102
Colleton County 101 Hampton Street, Walterboro, SC 29488
Darlington County 1 Public Square #210, Darlington, SC 29532
Dillon County 301 West Main Street, Dillon, SC 29536
Dorchester County 212 Deming Way, Summerville, SC 29483
Edgefield County 129 Courthouse Square, Edgefield, SC 29824
Fairfield County 115A Congress Street, Winnsboro, SC 29180
Florence County Rm 903 City-Cty Complex Bldg, Florence, SC 29501
Georgetown County 401 Cleland Street, Georgetown, SC 29442
Greenville County 350 Halton Rd., Greenville, SC 29607
Greenwood County 528 Monument Street, Room 114, Greenwood, SC 29646
Hampton County 1 Elm Street, Courthouse Square, Hampton, SC 29924
Horry County 1301 2nd Avenue, Conway, SC 29526
Jasper County 265 Russell Street, Ridgeland, SC 29936
Kershaw County 1121 Broad Street, Room 213, Camden, SC 29020
Lancaster County 104 N. Main Street, Lancaster, SC 29720
Laurens County 100 Hillcrest Square, Suite B, Laurens, SC 29360
Lee County 123 South Main Street, Bishopville, SC 29010
Lexington County 205 East Main Street, Lexington, SC 29072
Marion County 2515 East Highway 76, Marion, SC 29571
Marlboro County 105 Main Street, Bennettsville, SC 29512
McCormick County 133 South Mine Street, Room 102, McCormick, SC 29835
Newberry County 1226 College Street, Newberry, SC 29108
Oconee County 205 West Main Street, Walhalla, SC 29691
Orangeburg County 1406 Amelia Street, Orangeburg, SC 29115
Pickens County 214 East Main Street, Pickens, SC 29671
Richland County 1701 Main Street, 1st Floor West Wing, Columbia, SC 29201
Saluda County 100 East Church Street, Suite 6, Saluda, SC 29138
Spartanburg County 180 Magnolia Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302
Sumter County 215 North Harvin Street, Sumter, SC 29150
Union County 322 East Main Street, Union, SC 29379
Williamsburg County 147 West Main Street, Kingstree, SC 29556
York County 1555 West Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29732

If you cannot find the criminal record you are looking for online, the next step you should take to find criminal records is to call or visit the county courthouse. 

Obtain Criminal Records via the County Clerk of Courts in South Carolina

If the county courthouse doesn’t have the records you’re seeking or you are unsure who to speak with, try requesting to speak with the County Courthouse’s Clerk of Courts.

While they are not responsible for providing criminal records, they may be able to point you in the right direction for finding available criminal records. Here is the contact information for every county’s Clerk of Court:

County Clerk of Court for Criminal Record Searches Courthouse Address Phone Number
Abbeville County PO Box 99
Abbeville, SC 29620-0099
Aiken County PO Box 583
Aiken, SC 29802
Allendale County PO Box 126
Allendale, SC 29810-0126
Anderson County Post Office Box 8002
Anderson, SC 29622
Bamberg County PO Drawer 150
Bamberg, SC 29003-0150
Barnwell County PO Box 723
Barnwell, SC 29812-0723
Beaufort County PO Box 1128
Beaufort, SC 29901-1128
Berkeley County PO Box 219
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Calhoun County PO Box 709
St Matthews, SC 29135-0709
Charleston County 100 Broad St Ste 106
Charleston, SC 29401-2210
Cherokee County PO Drawer 2289
Gaffney, SC 29342-2289
Chester County PO Drawer 580
Chester, SC 29706-0580
Chesterfield County PO Box 529
Chesterfield, SC 29709-0529
Clarendon County PO Box 136
Manning, SC 29102-0136
Colleton County PO Box 620
Walterboro, SC 29488-0028
Darlington County 1 Public Square Room 404
Darlington, SC 29532-3213
Dillon County PO Box 1220
Dillon, SC 29536-1220
Dorchester County 5200 E Jim Bilton Blvd
St George, SC 29477-8020
Edgefield County PO Box 34
Edgefield, SC 29824
Fairfield County PO Drawer 299
Winnsboro, SC 29180-0299
Florence County 181 N. Irby Street MSC-E
Florence, SC 29501
Georgetown County PO Box 479
Georgetown, SC 29442-0479
Greenville County 305 E North St
Greenville, SC 29601-2121
Greenwood County 528 Monument Street Rm #114
Greenwood, SC 29646
Hampton County PO Box 7
Hampton, SC 29924-0007
Horry County PO Box 677
Conway, SC 29528-0677
Jasper County PO Box 248
Ridgeland, SC 29936-0248
Kershaw County PO Box 1557
Camden, SC 29021-8557
Lancaster County PO Box 1809
Lancaster, SC 29721-1809
Laurens County PO Box 287
Laurens, SC 29360-0287
Lee County PO Box 387
Bishopville, SC 29010-0387
Lexington County 205 East Main Street, Suite 128
Lexington, SC 29072
Marion County PO Box 295
Marion, SC 29571
Marlboro County PO Drawer 996
Bennettsville, SC 29512-0996
McCormick County 133 S Mine St Suite 102
McCormick, SC 29835-8357
864- 852-2195
Newberry County PO Drawer 10
Newberry, SC 29108
Oconee County PO Box 678
Walhalla, SC 29691-0678
Orangeburg County PO Box 9000
Orangeburg, SC 29115-9000
Pickens County PO Box 215
Pickens, SC 29671-0215
Richland County PO Box 2766
Columbia, SC 29202-2766
Saluda County 100 Church Street, Suite 6 Saluda Courthouse
Saluda, SC 29138
Spartanburg County PO Box 3483
Spartanburg, SC 29304-3483
Sumter County 215 North Harvin Street
Sumter, SC 29150
Union County PO Box 703
Union, SC 29379
Williamsburg County 125 West Main Street
Kingstree, SC 29556
York County PO Box 649
York, SC 29745-0649

Perform a Criminal Record Lookup With South Carolina’s Judicial Branch Case Records Search

South Carolina provides a central location where you can access a free online search tool for every county.

You do not need to register or sign in to use these search tools. Simply click on the county you want to perform a search for criminal records.

You can search criminal records using any of the following information:

  • Case number
  • Court
  • Name
  • Action type
  • Indictment number
  • Beginning and end date from (1) when the action was filed; (2) arrested; (3) case filed; (4) disposed of; or (5) judgment entered

The initial search page will provide you with the following information: (1) name, (2)case number, (3) filed date, (4) case status, (5) disposition date, (6) type of case, and (7) court agency. Once you select a case, you can get detailed information about the case and all events/hearings that have taken place and their result. In addition, you can see the arrest date, charges, sentencing date, address, and descriptive information (race, sex, date of birth) about the individual.

Find Criminal Records via the South Carolina State Department of Corrections (SCDOC)

The South Carolina DOC provides a public records repository to find criminal records information for current inmates.

A screenshot of the South Carolina DOC's public records repository to find criminal records information for current inmates.
Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections9

You can use their search tool by providing an individual’s name, South Carolina Department of Corrections ID, or State Identification Number. The search tool also has a unique feature to search by phonetic match as well.

A screenshot of an inmate's information from the South Carolina Department of Corrections where the user can use the search tool by providing an individual's name, South Carolina Department of Corrections ID, or State Identification Number.
Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections25

This tool from South Carolina’s Department of Corrections provides the following information on incarcerated individuals:

  • Offender Name
  • Gender
  • Mugshot (including the date the picture was taken)
  • Age
  • Date of Birth
  • Citizenship
  • Race
  • Height
  • Hair
  • Weight
  • Eyes
  • Institution Admission Date
  • Projected Release Date
  • State Identification Number
  • Disciplinary sanctions
  • Status (e.g., incarcerated, probation, parole)
  • Current & Past Incarceration Locations
  • Current Offenses (including sentence type, length, county, start date, indictment number, and status)

How To Acquire a Copy of Criminal Records in SC

In South Carolina, you can request a criminal history record check from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).10

A screenshot of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) tool where the user can request a criminal history record check in South Carolina.
Source: South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division26

There are multiple ways you can make a request, but regardless of which method you choose, there is a $25.00 non-refundable fee.11 In order to receive your criminal record, you can submit your request online or mail a Criminal Records Check Form with a self-addressed stamped envelope to the following address:

SLED Records Department
PO Box 21398
Columbia, South Carolina 29221

A screenshot of the criminal record check form the user can use to make a request to receive criminal record.
Source: South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division27

When requesting criminal records (e.g., an individual’s rap sheet) from SLED, you must have the individual’s exact birth date and name; otherwise, you will risk paying a fee and not receiving a copy of the criminal records you wanted.

If you are making your request at the county level, you will have to contact the courthouse or law enforcement agency to figure out their process for requesting a copy of a criminal record.

Both at the state and local level, there are specific rules when requesting the criminal records of another person.

For instance, if you are making this request for professional reasons, you are required by law to receive the person’s consent. Whether you’re an employer looking to hire a new employee or a landlord screening a prospective tenant, make sure you first obtain consent before requesting their South Carolina criminal records.

How To Search for People on Probation or Parole in South Carolina

Generally, when someone is on parole or probation, that means they are no longer incarcerated for the crime they committed. Probation is reserved for individuals who were convicted of either a misdemeanor or felony and are now released but still under supervision.

Individuals on parole were convicted of a serious crime, such as a felony, and were sentenced to South Carolina state prison and have now been released under certain conditions by the South Carolina parole board.

The following image displays the total number of probationers and parolees in South Carolina and compares it with other states across the United States. Additionally, it showcases the ethnicities of individuals on community supervision in South Carolina, including probation and parole.

An image of the United States map showing all states with their total probationers and parolees population per 100,000 residents highlighting South Carolina and a bar graph in the bottom right corner presenting the number of probationers and parolees in SC by ethnicity.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Certain states, like South Carolina, provide a probation or parolee database to check for individuals on probation or parole. South Carolina’s Department of Probation, Parole & Pardon Services has a probation search that provides detailed information specifically on individuals on probation or parole.12

A screenshot of South Carolina’s Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services' probation search that provides detailed information specifically on individuals on probation or parole.
Source: South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services13

South Carolina’s probation search feature allows you to search for probationers in South Carolina in the following ways:

  • First & Last Name
  • State Identification Number (SID)
  • First or Last Name & Year of Birth
  • County & SID, First or Last Name13
A screenshot of an individual's details on the search tool provides the following information: SID, name, age, date of birth, gender, race, and main offense.
Source: South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services28

Once you conduct a successful search, you can find their supervision type, as well as the beginning and end date for their supervision. In addition, this search tool will provide the following information:

  • SID
  • Name
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Main offense
  • Whether or not they are on South Carolina’s Sex Offender Registry

For any further questions, you can contact the Department of Probation, Parole & Pardon services directly at 803-734-9220.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons provides a free search tool to conduct a search for people who are serving time in federal prison.14, 15

While this is not a specific parole search, the database will show if an inmate was recently released. While not definitive, if an inmate was recently released, there is a high likelihood the individual is currently on parole. More insight on finding this information can be found via the steps for tracking down South Carolina parolee details and records.

A screenshot of the BOP inmate locator offered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, where the user can obtain a parolee database to find a subject’s historical parole details at the federal level.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons15

For individuals convicted of sexual crimes, you can get useful information on an individual’s probation/parole status by searching the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) National Sex Offender registry.16

A screenshot of the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) search tool where registered sex offenders in South Carolina can also be searched on a national scale by either the subject’s name or location (within a specified radius).
Source: Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website29

This search tool allows you to look for convicted sex offenders by name or location. While neither of these are probation/parole searches, they can be used to find this information for free.

How To Expunge or Seal a Criminal Record in SC

In South Carolina, when you have your record expunged, it means that the court issued an order to completely remove a certain offense or arrest from your criminal record.17

This is officially called an Order for Destruction of Arrest Records.18 Here are some important facts if you are trying to expunge your criminal record in South Carolina:

  1. Submit your application for expungement in the county where the South Carolina arrest record(s) originated.
  2. There are different timeframes for when you can apply unless it is for a charge that was dismissed, not prosecuted or had a similar disposition. For those cases, you can apply immediately.
  3. An expungement is not a quick process. Expect for it to take up to 6 months for your expungement to be completed.
  4. If you are seeking expungement for a crime you were convicted of, expect to pay, at a minimum, the $250 administrative fee. Depending on the offense, there may also be a verification and/or filing fee.
  5. Convictions for violent crimes and certain traffic violations cannot be expunged.
A screenshot of the expungement application form to have the court issue an order to completely remove a certain offense or arrest from your criminal record.
Source: South Carolina Solicitor’s Office30

It’s important to remember that an expungement means that government agencies will remove these criminal records. Non-government agencies may still have your criminal record, and you may have to contact them directly to update them regarding your expungement.

How To See if Someone Is in a South Carolina State Prison or Federal Penitentiary

For South Carolina State prison, start by using the SC DOC Offender Search. Utilize this search to find someone you are looking for in any state prison throughout South Carolina.

You can search by either name or identification number (i.e., South Carolina Department of Corrections ID and State Identification Number). When you find the individual you are looking for, among other information, it will tell you the inmate’s current location.

In addition, the SC Department of Corrections also provides uniquely specific information such as the dorm, room and bunk of the inmate.

You will have to visit the Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) to locate individuals in federal prison. Here, you can search by inmate name to find their location. If needed, you can also further filter your results by providing the person’s:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Assigned inmate number (e.g., FBI number, BOP Register Number)

How To Check if Someone Has a Warrant Out for Their Arrest in South Carolina

South Carolina does not provide a single warrant list database for individuals with active warrants in its state.

However, some counties have a search tool to allow you to check if someone has a SC warrant out for their arrest. Sumter county and Charleston County are two examples of where you can do an online warrant search in a specific county.19 

The tutorial on accessing Horry County warrant information can also provide detailed guidance to anyone interested. Another example can be found in the resource retrieving records of anyone wanted Charleston County.

In addition, a local wanted persons list is provided by SLED with links to certain individual counties’ most wanted lists.20

A screenshot of Anderson County's most wanted list provided by SLED website.
Source: Anderson County Sheriff’s Office31

The U.S. Marshall is responsible for issuing federal warrants. Unfortunately, you cannot search for federal warrants publicly.

Federal warrant information can be found through the Warrant Information System (WIN), but only for law enforcement individuals and other individuals that need the information to conduct their professional duties.

An Overview of Background Checks in South Carolina

Background checks are used every day for both professional and personal reasons. Many people need a background check to be accepted as a tenant, to purchase a firearm, or when applying to adopt a child. You may also need one for employment reasons.

This may include a request from an employer or, depending on your profession, to comply with certain federal or state laws.

A person requests a professional background check to verify information that someone has provided and to make sure there are not any red flags in a person’s background. There are federal and state regulations when someone wants to use a professional background check, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the protections afforded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision.21, 22

For instance, the Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits discrimination and requires an individual to obtain consent before they can make a request for a background check.

In South Carolina, an individual can conduct their own personal background check using the free search tools described earlier to find arrest and criminal records. You can make a formal request for a South Carolina background check by requesting a criminal history record check from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

If you need a more expansive background check, you can request an Identity History Summary Check from the FBI.23 It is as simple as paying the $18 fee and submitting your request online. You can also requisition your national background check by mail or through an FBI-approved channeler.

The quickest method is online, and you can receive a copy of your background check between 3-5 days.

Note: Unlike professional background checks, Personal background checks do not have many restrictions. The only caveat is that the information cannot be used to commit a crime.

How To Navigate & Search the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry To Find Nearby Predators

South Carolina Sex Offender records and information can be found on their Sex Offender Registry.24

Their sex offender search allows you to conduct either a name search or a geographic search. For geographic searches, you can filter your results based on the distance from the address.

A screenshot of the Sex Offender Registry where the user allows to conduct either a name search or a geographic search.
Source: South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division32

Once you click on an individual, you can get the following information on South Carolina’s Sex Offender Registry:

  • Name
  • Mugshot
  • Aliases
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Date of birth
  • Addresses (including primary, employer, school, and other addresses)
  • Physical description (height, weight, hair color, eye color)
  • Scars, marks, and tattoos
  • Offenses (including conviction date, state, and statute)
  • Vehicle information (make, model, color, and license plate number)
A screenshot of a sex offender's details with the following information on South Carolina’s Sex Offender Registry: name, mugshot, aliases, gender, race, etc.
Source: South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division33

Another option is to check the national sex offender registry operated by the United States Department of Justice. This registry includes sex offenders throughout the United States.

Note: This registry is limited to searching people convicted of sexual crimes and is not a general felony registry.

South Carolina Laws Regarding Criminal Records, Arrest Records & Your Rights

Both South Carolina and federal law give you the right to access arrest records and criminal records. While there are certain federal and state exemptions, the majority of these records are fairly accessible.

Also, remember there are rules for how you can use these records. Specifically, you cannot use these records to commit a crime. That means someone cannot use your criminal records to try to coerce or blackmail you.

There are also restrictions on professional background checks. While they are widely used on a regular basis, there are specific state rules and requirements provided by the EEOC and FCRA.

If you are worried about your criminal or arrest records, depending on the crime, you have the right to request an expungement. This may afford you a clean start and the ability to restrict others, such as future employers, from finding your criminal records.

In summary, the best way to access South Carolina arrest records is to use the county jail or sheriff’s inmate lookup tool or contact them if they do not have one.

For South Carolina criminal records, your best options are to either use the judicial branch’s county court case search tools or South Carolina’s Department of Corrections offender search.


1The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552. (2022, January 21). Department of Justice. Retrieved May 3, 2023 <>

2Freedom of Information Act. (2023). South Carolina Legislature. Retrieved May 21, 2023 <>

3Section 63-19-2030. (2023). South Carolina Legislature. Retrieved May 22, 2023 <>

4Pardons & Expungements | S.C. Governor Henry McMaster. (2023). Governor Henry McMaster. Retrieved May 22, 2023 <>

5SCDC | South Carolina Department of Corrections. (2023). SCDC | South Carolina Department of Corrections. Retrieved May 22, 2023 <>

6Bail Proceedings. (2023). SC Judicial Department. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

7Telephone Calls. (2023). SCDC | South Carolina Department of Corrections. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

8Case Records Search. (2023). SC Judicial Branch. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

9Incarcerated Inmate Search. (2023). South Carolina Department of Corrections. Retrieved May 22, 2023 <>

10Contact Us. (2023). SLED. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

11SLED Catch. (2023). South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

12Home Page. (2023). SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. Retrieved May 22, 2023 <>

13Offender Search | SCDPPPS. (2023). South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. Retrieved May 22, 2023 <>

14Home. (2023). BOP: Federal Bureau of Prisons Web Site. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

15BOP: Federal Inmates By Name. (2023). Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved May 4, 2023 <>

16National Sex Offender Public Website. (2023). United States Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website. Retrieved May 4, 2023 <>

17Expungement – FAQs | SC Eleventh Judicial Circuit. (2023). 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

18Section 17-22-910. Applications for expungement; administration. (2023). South Carolina Legislature. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

19Sheriff’s Office Contact | Charleston County, SC. (2023). Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

20Wanted/Unsolved. (2023). SLED. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

21Fair Credit Reporting Act. (n.d.). Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved May 4, 2023 <>

22Overview | U.S. (2023). Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved May 4, 2023 <>

23Rap Sheets (Identity History Summary Checks) — FBI. (2023). FBI. Retrieved May 15, 2023 <>

24SLED. (2023). South Carolina Public Sex Offender Registry. Retrieved May 23, 2023 <>

25South Carolina Department of Corrections. (n.d.). Inmate Search Detail Report. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>

26South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. (n.d.). SLED CATCH. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>

27South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. (n.d.). Criminal Record Check. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>

28South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. (n.d.). Offender Details. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>

29Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. (n.d.). National Sex Offender Search. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>

30South Carolina Solicitor’s Office. (n.d.). Expungement Application. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>

31Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. (n.d.). Most Wanted. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>

32South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. (n.d.). Offender Search. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>

33South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. (n.d.). Offender Details. Retrieved June 15, 2023 <>