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Berkeley County Arrest Records

Arrests are a crucial part of any criminal justice system. They are the first step in holding individuals accountable for suspected criminal activity. According to Section 16-25-70 of the South Carolina Code, law enforcement officers have the authority to arrest a person, with or without a warrant, as long as they have probable cause to believe that person has committed a crime. Essentially, they must present evidence to show the arrest was justified. This includes witness statements, physical evidence, or the officer's observations.

Once arrested, individuals are typically taken to the local detention center, where they are booked and processed. In Berkeley County, this process occurs at the Berkeley County Detention Center located at:

Berkeley County Detention Center
300 California Ave,
Moncks Corner, SC 29461

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is responsible for filing arrest records. These records document the arrest, including the individual's name, charges filed, date and time of arrest, and arresting agency. It's important to note that arrest records are part of the broader category of Berkeley County Court Records, which encompasses all legal documents related to court proceedings within the county. These records play a vital role in the legal process, providing evidence and a historical account of the case.

Are Arrest Records Public in Berkeley County?

The South Carolina Public Records Act deems all documents generated by government bodies as available to the public. Anyone can access them, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions are in place to protect individuals' privacy and ensure the integrity of ongoing investigations.

Some of the most common exemptions from public disclosure include:

  • Juvenile arrest records: These records are typically sealed or not publicly available to protect the privacy of minors and prevent potential harm to their future opportunities.
  • Pending investigations: If an investigation is ongoing, law enforcement may withhold specific details from the arrest record to avoid jeopardizing the case.
  • Sensitive charges: Arrest records related to sensitive charges like sexual assault or domestic violence may be partially or fully restricted to protect the victim's safety and privacy.

Note: Even though arrest records are generally public, there may be restrictions on who can access them. For example, the record subject, their legal representative, or authorized law enforcement personnel may have greater access to the complete record.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

While the specific details may vary depending on the circumstances of the arrest, public arrest records typically include the following information:

  • The full name of the individual who was arrested.
  • Details indicating when and where the arrest took place.
  • The charges that the prosecutor filed. That is, the specific criminal offenses the individual is suspected of committing.
  • Details that identify the law enforcement agency that made the arrest.

It's important to remember that an arrest record simply documents the fact that the police have apprehended someone suspected of committing a crime. It does not automatically imply guilt or a conviction.

Berkeley County Crime Rate

Various South Carolina county law enforcement agencies contribute annual crime data compiled and published by the state's Law Enforcement Division. In 2022, the most common crime in Berkeley was larceny, with a crime rate of 12.9 per 10,000 persons. There were 3,037 larceny offenses in 2022. Close behind was simple assault, which had a rate of 103.95 per 10,000 persons. Motor vehicle theft was also a common offense in the county in 2022, with a crime rate of 22.64 per 10,000 persons.

Berkeley County Arrest Statistics

According to the South Carolina 2022 SLED report, Berkeley County had an arrest rate of 233.77 per 10,000 persons. The offense that generated the most arrests was drug law violations, with 1,264 arrests made. This was a 21% increase from the previous year. Simple assault offenses also saw a high number of arrests, with an arrest rate of 25.25 arrests per 10,000 persons. Fortunately, murder arrests and motor vehicle theft arrests dropped from the previous year.

Find Berkeley County Arrest Records

Multiple resources are available to persons looking for information on incarcerated individuals in Berkeley County. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office provides an Inmate Lookup database with a user-friendly interface that enables interested parties to search inmates by name, date of birth, or booking number. It also includes details such as the individual's current status, charges, and bond information.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections maintains an Inmate Search portal at the state level. This statewide database allows people to search for inmates in any South Carolina correctional facility. It provides comprehensive information, including the individual's full name, mugshot, sentence details, and projected release date.

Free Arrest Record Search in Berkeley County

While the official sources are the most reliable, some third-party websites offer free inmate searches. These websites aggregate data from various public records, including arrest and incarceration information. However, it's crucial to note that the accuracy and completeness of information on these sites may vary. Record seekers should cross-check data they find on third-party websites with official government sources.

Get Berkeley County Criminal Records

Criminal records document an individual’s journey through the criminal justice system. It goes beyond their arrests to their convictions, years spent in prison, etc. Anyone interested can contact the SLED CATCH of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to obtain criminal history records or background checks on Berkeley County residents. Criminal history documents usually contain the subject's arrest history, court charges history, and conviction history.

Requestors must fill out a criminal records check form for the office to perform a name-based search. Record seekers must send the completed applications with a $25 non-refundable cheque or money order payment, a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

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

Berkeley County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

While they may seem similar, It is crucial to understand the distinction between arrest records and criminal records in Berkeley County:

  • Arrest Records: These document the fact that someone was arrested for a suspected crime. They typically include details like the individual's name, charges filed, date and time of arrest, and arresting agency. An arrest record does not automatically imply guilt or a conviction.
  • Criminal Records: These reflect the outcomes of the legal process, including convictions and sentences. They may contain information about arrests, trials, and any punishments imposed by the court.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In South Carolina, arrest records typically stay on a person’s record as long as the person does not apply for them to be sealed or expunged. Even if the police drop the charges or the individual is acquitted, the arrest remains on their record.

Expunge Berkeley County Arrest Records

Under South Carolina law, certain arrests, charges, or convictions can be sealed or wholly removed. Once these arrest records have been sealed or removed, they are no longer publicly available. These documents are sealed, and only authorized persons can view them. This is usually for specific law enforcement purposes.

Any other access to them requires a court order. Obtaining an expungement of certain charges or convictions from a criminal record can significantly ease the process of finding employment, securing housing, and overcoming other obstacles related to one's past. Expungement is typically automatic for charges dismissed after 2009. You must file an expungement application for any charge before 2009.

Parties can erase a dismissed charge from their record for free but may still need to go through the application process. Persons can still have their records expunged if the charges are dropped as part of a plea deal, but they are not eligible for a free expungement. An individual is also eligible for an expungement if they have the following charges:

  • Convictions for misdemeanors with a maximum sentence of 30 or a $1000 fine may be eligible for an expungement.
  • People who were convicted for an offense before their 25th birthday.
  • A first-offense misdemeanor fraudulent check charge

Berkeley County Arrest Warrants

In Berkeley County, arrest warrants are legal documents issued by a judge authorizing the arrest of a specific individual. They are used when someone is suspected of committing a crime, poses a potential threat to the community, or is at risk of fleeing.

Law enforcement can request a warrant from a judge based on probable cause, meaning they have enough evidence to believe a crime has been committed. The judge reviews the evidence and, if convinced, signs the warrant authorizing the arrest.

Warrants are often issued for:

  • Failure to appear in court
  • Outstanding criminal charges
  • Suspicion of involvement in a recent crime
  • An arrest warrant typically contains the individual's name and description, the specific charges they face, the issuing court, and any additional information relevant to the arrest.

Overall, arrest warrants are crucial for law enforcement to apprehend individuals suspected of criminal activity and maintain public safety.

Berkeley County Arrest Warrant Search

Interested parties must contact the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office to find active arrest warrants. The office provides interested parties with access to active warrants. All record seekers must call the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office at (843) 719-4000, explain that they are looking for information about active warrants, and provide the individual's name.

Remember, these methods only provide information about active warrants within Berkeley County. For broader searches, you should consult other resources, like the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) web.

Do Berkeley County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Berkeley County arrest warrants are valid until the warrant's granting court or magistrate recalls them. Berkeley police officers can arrest anyone anytime if they have an outstanding warrant. It is important to remember that certain types of warrants, such as search warrants, may have precise expiration dates determined by the court or magistrate who issued them.

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