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Richland County Arrest Records

An arrest in Richland County involves detaining an individual in police custody for a suspected crime. Law enforcement officers can arrest someone if an arrest warrant is issued or, in certain situations, without a warrant. For instance, if an individual commits a crime in the officer's presence per S.C Code, Section 17-13-30, or there is probable cause to believe the individual has committed a misdemeanor or felony offense per S.C Code Section 16-25-70.

After an arrest, the individual is taken to a local police station or the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center for booking. During this process, identifying information, photographs, and fingerprints of the arrestee are recorded, creating an arrest record.

In Richland County, the arresting law enforcement agency generates the arrest record and shares it with other federal, state, and county criminal justice agencies. Arrest records are also shared with the court handling the related case and included in Richland County Court Records for record-keeping purposes.

Are Arrest Records Public in Richland County?

Yes, arrest records in Richland County are public under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), S.C Code Section 30-4. This law grants the general public the right to access and request copies of arrest records from local criminal justice agencies, such as courts and law enforcement agencies.

Yes. The provisions of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, "FIOA" (S.C. Code Section 30-4), establish the general public's right to access arrest records in South Carolina and its counties. As a result, anyone can access and request copies of Richland County arrest records by querying relevant public bodies, such as local criminal justice agencies, such as courts and law enforcement agencies.

However, the FOIA has limitations. In some cases, only select persons or entities are allowed complete access to an arrest record, while only certain elements of the record may be publicly accessible. S.C. Section 30-4-40 outlines situations where public access to an arrest record may be restricted, such as when disclosing the record would:

  • Interfere with law enforcement proceedings
  • Endanger an individual's life or physical safety
  • Reveal personal information constituting an unreasonable invasion of privacy.
  • Expose the identity of a confidential source
  • Deny an individual's right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication

Exempt records are typically accessible only to specific individuals, such as the subjects of the records, their legal representatives, or authorized persons or agencies with a court order.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Public arrest records in Richland County typically contain the following information:

  • Personal Information: Name, Date of birth, Age, and Mugshot.
  • Physical Description: Height, Weight, Hair and eye color, Race, and Identifiable marks (e.g., tattoos, scars, birthmarks).
  • Arrest Details: Location, date and time of arrest, arresting officer and agency, and Bail amount (if applicable).
  • Crime Details: Classification (misdemeanor or felony) of the alleged offense and the charges.
  • Court Details: Next court date and location.

Richland County Crime Rate

According to the 2022 South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division Annual Crime Report, Richland County reported significant crime statistics. Larceny was the most prevalent, with 9,383 incidents, followed by 4,050 incidents of simple assault and 2,552 incidents of aggravated assault. Drug offenses were also notable, with 2,407 incidents reported.

Additionally, the report highlighted a notable 14.21% decrease in the property crime rate, ranking Richland County 4th in the state for the most significant reduction.

Richland County Arrest Statistics

According to the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division Annual Report, 6,861 arrests were made in Richland County in 2022. Offenders were predominantly arrested for drug law violations (1,327 arrests), simple assault (762 arrests), and weapon law violations (752 arrests).

In comparison, 6,394 arrests were made in Richland County in 2021, reflecting a 7.3% increase in arrests in 2022.

Find Richland County Arrest Records

Richland County is served by four primary law enforcement agencies: the Richland County Sheriff's Department and three local municipal police departments. Additionally, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and other federal agencies may operate within the county.

Each agency is responsible for creating and maintaining arrest records for arrests they make. There is no central repository for arrest records in Richland County. Therefore, record seekers must query individual law enforcement agencies to find these records.

Record seekers can request arrest records from the Richland County Sheriff's Department and municipal police departments by submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Depending on the agency, FOIA requests can be made by mail, email, online, or in person. Note that FOIA requests may incur charges. To assist in locating the record, provide details such as the arrestee's name and the date of the arrest. For in-person requests, a valid government-issued photo ID may be required.

Information about individuals arrested and booked at the Richland County jail (Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center) can be accessed through the jail's offender information portal. The jail can also be contacted directly:

Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center
201 John Mark Dial Drive,
Columbia, SC 29209
Phone: (803) 576-3200

For arrests made by state law enforcement agencies, contact the specific agency. State agencies often book individuals in the county jail or the closest jail to the incident location. The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) maintains an online inmate search portal for looking up public information about individuals incarcerated at their facilities.

Conversely, individuals arrested by federal agencies in Richland County are usually held in federal custody pending initial arraignments. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provides the Federal Inmate Locator tool for finding individuals in their custody. Similarly, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offers the Online Detainee Locator System.

Free Arrest Record Search in Richland County

Record seekers may conduct a free arrest record search in Richland County by making an in-person FIOA request at local law enforcement agencies. Most agencies do not charge for inspecting records in person at their physical addresses. However, miscellaneous fees may apply depending on the time taken to search and retrieve the requested record. For instance, the Irmo Police Department charges $4 for the first 30 minutes of searching, and the Richland County Sheriff's Department charges a $37 per hour retrieval/redaction fee. Interested persons can also find information about individuals currently booked in Richland County Jail for free using the jail's offender information portal.

Besides traditional government channels, Richland County arrest records are also accessible through certain third-party websites. These privately run websites consist of a searchable database of public arrest records their operators have compiled and retrieved from relevant government agencies. Most of these third-party websites allow users to search and access basic information found in public arrest records they hold for free. However, users are usually charged a fee per record or a subscription to access a comprehensive and detailed arrest record.

Get Richland County Criminal Records

A criminal record is an official document detailing a complete history of an individual's contacts with the criminal justice system within a specific jurisdiction, including arrests, warrants, convictions, and charges.

In Richland County, local law enforcement agencies like the County Sheriff's Department and municipal police departments generally do not offer criminal records check services. The only way to conduct a criminal record check in Richland County is by requesting a statewide criminal record check through the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). The result of a SLED criminal record check is not limited to criminal records generated in Richland County but the entire state of South Carolina.

Interested persons can request a criminal record check from SLED online or by mail. SLED criminal record checks are subject to a $25 per request fee. In some situations, this fee may be reduced or completely waived. The former is the case for charitable organizations per S.C Codes Section 33-56-170, where these organizations are eligible for a reduced fee of $8. Meanwhile, the latter is the case for local school districts as they are not charged for criminal records checks they conduct on prospective full-time or substitute teachers they are screening for employment.

Interested persons and entities can conduct a criminal record check online through SLED's Citizen Access To Criminal Histories (CATCH) portal. On the portal, requesters must supply certain information about the subject whose criminal record they want to check to facilitate their request. These include the subject's name (first and last name), date of birth, gender, maiden name (optional), and Social Security Number "SSN" (optional). Requesters must also pay the required fees for their request via a credit or debit card.

For by-mail requests, interested persons can complete SLED's Criminal Record Check form and mail it alongside proper payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to SLED. Note that money orders, cashier's checks, business checks, and certified checks are the only acceptable forms of payment for requests sent by mail. The complete request form and other required items should be mailed to SLED at:

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

It is worth noting that interested persons can conduct a nationwide criminal record check through the FBI for a $18 fee.

Richland County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

The inherent distinction between criminal records and arrest records in Richland County is the types and amount of information each record contains. An arrest record only provides information about a specific instance an individual was taken into custody by a local law enforcement agency in the county. Generally, an arrest provides specific details about an arrest, such as the arrestee's name, the alleged offense, the arrest date, the arresting agency, and the arresting officer's details.

On the other hand, a Richland County criminal record is a comprehensive record that provides information about an individual's criminal history within the county's jurisdiction. These include convictions, warrants, charges, and arrests.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In Richland County, there is no single timeframe for how long an arrest remains on a person's record. Instead, relevant agencies follow retention schedules based on the S.C. Code of Regulation Chapter 12. The retention schedules include the General Records Retention Schedules for Municipal Records (for municipal police departments) and the General Records Retention Schedule for County Records (for the County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center).

Here are some specific timeframes for retaining certain types of arrest records:

  • Criminal history records: 75 years or until the subject of the record dies, then the record may be destroyed
  • Juvenile booking record: three (3) years following the subject of the record's eighteenth birthday. After that, the record may be destroyed.
  • Booking reports: 10 years, then the report may be destroyed
  • Arrest cards: five (5) years, then they may be destroyed
  • Fingerprint files: 75 years or until the death of the subject of the record.
  • Mugshots: until the obsoletion of the records, then they may be destroyed.

Expunge Richland County Arrest Records

A record expungement is a process that renders a record inaccessible to the general public. In Richland County, different types of records, such as charges, convictions, and arrest records, may be expunged. Once a record is expunged, it will no longer appear on a criminal record.

In South Carolina, expungement restricts public access to the record but does not destroy it. Custodial agencies are not required to erase expunged records, so certain entities, such as criminal justice agencies, may still access them for law enforcement purposes or other eligible reasons. An expunged record may also be accessed pursuant to a court order.

The Uniform Expungement of Criminal Records Act (S.C. Code Ann. § 17-22-910) governs the expungement process in South Carolina and its counties. Under the act, only specific types of records with qualifying offenses are eligible for expungement. Furthermore, eligible records and their subject must meet certain criteria to qualify for expungements. These include and are not limited to:

  • A first-offense misdemeanor fraudulent check conviction. if within one (1) year of receiving the initial conviction, the offender does not receive any additional convictions.
  • A conviction for a crime whose legal punishment is imprisonment for 30 days or less, a fine of $1000, or both. Given that, three (3) years or five (5) years (for a 3rd-degree domestic violence conviction) have passed since the initial conviction, and no additional convictions have been imposed on the offender.
  • A first-offense conviction of a juvenile offender per the Youth Offender Act. Provided the offender did not receive any additional conviction within five (5) years after completing their sentence, including probation and parole, for the initial conviction.
  • A first offense for failing to stop when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle. Provided the offender does not receive any additional conviction within three (3) years after completing the terms and conditions of their initial sentencing.
  • A first-offense conviction for simple possession of a controlled substance or unlawful possession of a prescription drug. Provided the offender did not receive any additional convictions within a three (3) years timeframe after completing their sentence, including probation and parole, of their initial offense.
  • A first-offense conviction for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Provided the offender did not receive any additional convictions within a 20-year timeframe after completing their sentence, including probation and parole, of their initial offense.

Individuals must go through the 5th Circuit Solicitor Office to apply for expungement in Richland County. A complete list of offenses eligible for expungement and details about the entire process is available on the Solicitor office's expungement page.

Note that there are certain fees associated with applying for expungement. These fees are usually waived if charges were dismissed, not prosecuted, or if the individual was found not guilty. However, fees may apply if charges were dismissed in plea negotiations. Otherwise, the total cost for applying for expungement is $310, broken down as follows:

  • $25 SLED (verification fee)
  • $35 Clerk of Court (filing fee)
  • $250 Solicitor's Office (administrative fee)

Payments must be made using separate certified checks or money orders payable to the different agencies.

To apply for expungement in Richland County, applicants can complete the Application for Expungement form and submit it along with relevant fees (if applicable) to the Solicitor Office. The Solicitor's office's mailing address and contact information are provided on the form. Note that the expungement process can take up to six (6) months.

Richland County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is a legal document signed by a judge that authorizes a law enforcement officer to arrest an individual and bring them before a court for an offense they are alleged to have committed.

In Richland County, an arrest warrant is typically issued when a law enforcement officer can convince a magistrate or municipal judge of its need. This can be done when the officer submits a warrant affidavit establishing that there is "probable cause" to believe the individual named in their affidavit has committed a crime. Per S.C. Code Regs. 12-608.8, common information an arrest contains includes:

  • The warrant number
  • The full name of the warrant's subject (the person to be arrested)
  • Charge
  • The date of the alleged offense was committed
  • A description of the offense
  • Date sworn
  • The signature of the issuing official
  • The name of the affiant

Richland County Arrest Warrant Search

Record seekers can find information about active arrest warrants in Richland County by querying local law enforcement agencies such as the County Sheriff's Department and municipal police departments. These agencies may be able to provide inquirers with information about active arrest warrants they are responsible for executing.

Alternatively, record seekers can query the county Clerk of Court's office to find information about arrest warrants issued by the county court system. Fortunately, the clerk's office maintains a dedicated phone number ((803) 576-1939) that inquirers can contact for information on warrants, indictments, sentencing, and tickets. Record seekers can also use the court's Public Court Records Search portal to look up a court case's records, which may include information about arrest warrants issued in the case.

Do Richland County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Upon an arrest warrant issuance in Richland County, the warrant becomes legally enforceable indefinitely. As a result, individuals are generally advised to turn themselves into police custody as soon as they discover they have an arrest warrant against them. Voluntarily turning oneself in would reflect well at their bond hearing, giving them a better chance of getting a bond as they would be viewed as less of a flight risk. However, suppose an individual believes that the warrant is unlawful. In that case, they can consult with an attorney to ascertain if there is sufficient ground to fill a motion to the issuing court to recall the warrant.

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