Arrest Warrant Guide

South Carolina Arrest Warrants

We've all seen police mug shots. Whenever a Hollywood star gets into trouble with the law, their police photo soon hits the tabloids. And whenever there's a criminal with a bizarre outfit or wild hair look you can bet those will be passed around through cyberspace as well.

Now imagine for a moment what you might look like in your own personal mug shot. That's not a very pleasant thought. Unfortunately, if a South Carolina arrest warrant has been sworn out in your name, you could find yourself standing before the cameras in your local police station.

The simple fact is that when an arrest warrant has been issued there is no way to avoid the arrest process. Even if you surrender yourself willingly you'll still need to be booked, finger printed and photographed. Only when you stand before the judge who has sworn out the warrant will you ever be able to resolve the matter.

Like the rest of the nation, South Carolina provides residents with the ability to search their public court records to determine the status of any arrest warrant. If the words active should appear by your name then you better find a lawyer and quick. You'll also need to know the difference between a bench warrant and a felony warrant. These two categories carry very different circumstances.

South Carolina Bench Arrest Warrant
Whenever a judge issues an order there isn't a lot of wiggle room with regard to figuring out what they mean. Judges are very specific about the amount of fine, when they have to be paid or any other form of probation. And it's all in writing. That's why they really don't appreciate when a person ignores a court order. When that happens, the judge will swear out a bench warrant for the arrest of the person who has chosen to ignore that order.

That bench warrant becomes part of the statewide database that is accessed whenever a law enforcement official runs a name through a system. Even if that person has been stopped for running a red light, if they have a bench warrant issued from a completely unrelated court case, they can be arrested on the spot.

South Carolina Felony Arrest Warrant
The other type of South Carolina warrant is a felony arrest warrant. This is sworn out when a judge is shown evidence in support of naming a suspect in a major criminal offense. A grand jury can be shown that same evidence issue an indictment for an arrest.

In either case, the police will be notified right away to make every effort to apprehend the suspect as quickly as possible. It's one thing to let someone who hasn't finished a DUI training course to go for months without an arrest, but if someone has been indicted for murder or rape it's a safe bet they'll be arrested quickly.

Remedies for an Arrest Warrant
As mentioned above, the only way to resolve an arrest warrant is to stand before the judge who issued it. There is no expiration date. Even in cases where identity fraud might be involved, if you are name on a warrant you will have to answer that warrant. Having a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side is the best way to proceed. Once you've hit the warrant phase of an incident, you want to resolve it as quickly as possible.