South Carolina Criminal Records

Search for state, county, and municipal criminal records in South Carolina.

Criminal Records Search

South Carolina’s code of laws, title thirty -Public Records- includes the Freedom of Information Act. This law states that any citizen has the right to inspect or copy any public document, including criminal records, with complete freedom. There are, however, a few exceptions to that rule, listed in the section 30-4-40 of the Freedom of Information Act. If the records contain information that can endanger the life of a confident or a witness, they will not be available. If, due to the contents of the report, the subject’s safety could be in jeopardy, these records will also be classified. The section 30-4-40 serves as a fail safe in case the law enforcement agencies determine the necessity of deeming any record as classified. Even though some records may be exceptionally closed, the Freedom of Information Act ensures that most of the criminal records are available to the general public.

The institution responsible for managing the criminal records in the State of South Carolina is the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. As part of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Crime Information Center manages the Uniform Crime Reports Section and the Central Records Repository, both in charge of managing and handling criminal records. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division as an online criminal background checking system: the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division CATCH. Due to budget reasons, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division favors online requests over mail requests, which are only allowed when the requester needs the criminal records certified or notarized. All background checks have a cost of $25, unless the requester has the status of Charitable Organization. In that case, the fee is reduced to $8. Visit the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division CATCH website to learn more about this system.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections has an online inmate search tool that can be helpful when performing criminal background checks. The only downside of this system is that the search engine only returns records of subjects who are actually incarcerated under the supervision of the Department of Corrections. Subjects who have been released or who are on parole or probation are not included on the database. The resulting records are complete and clear, featuring picture, list of offences committed, sentence, parole hearings, physical description and a list of known aliases. The inmate search engine can be found at the website of the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

South Carolina’s sex offender registry is managed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and it has a very strong online presence, with a powerful and comprehensive search engine that can help finding sex offenders by name, proximity to a specific address, city or by internet names, phone number or email address. It also features a complete list of non compliant offenders. The resulting records are complete and easy to read. They include name, short physical description, body markings -including tattoos and piercings-, known addresses, offences committed, legal status, additional comments, offender level (risk of re incidence) and a link to an area map to simplify the task of locating the offender.

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” – Nelson Mandela