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South Carolina
Judicial Branch
CDR Codes - User Instructions

Welcome to the CDR System. This system is designed for use by court officials and staff in processing case files for criminal defendants in summary court and circuit court.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions Section, below for a more complete explanation of the system.

If you are accessing this system for the first time, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with a few features which will enhance your use of the system.

Step 1

Please note you can perform a search by CDR Code, Statute Number (SC Code of Laws citation), or by Keyword. You may limit your search by Statute Number to active codes only or to retired codes or both. Please select the appropriate box found above the Submit button.

There are 395 Keywords. The keywords can be used as a preliminary search for an offense if you do not have the CDR Code or the Statute Number.

As you scroll down, you will note that a Data Download function is available for a comma-delimited file. This feature will typically be used by your information technology office or the vendor of your case management system. Again, a selection of all active, all retired or all codes is available. The next selection available is the Printer-Friendly version of the codes which allows you to print a list of codes alphabetically by offense description or numerically by CDR Code. Use the dropdown box to select your list. Please note the lists may exceed 400 pages.

Step 2

Once you have found the CDR code you need by using one of the three options available to search the database, you will see a page which lists several items pertinent to the specific CDR code. These items include:

  • A brief description of the offense;
  • A list of one or more offenses tied to the CDR code each of which is hyperlinked to the Code of Laws;
  • The statutory citation providing the penalty which is hyperlinked;
  • The offense type (felony or misdemeanor) as designated by the Code of Laws; See SC Code Sections 16-1-90, 16-1-100 and 16-1-110
  • The offense class (A, B, etc. or unclassified) as designated by the Code of Laws; See SC Code Sections 16-1-10 and 16-1-20
  • The status of the offense, active, retired or rescinded;
  • The effective date of the offense if available;
  • The expiration date of the offense if applicable;
  • The date the code was rescinded or retired if applicable; and
  • The date the CDR code was last updated, if applicable.

Note: A retired code is an offense which was amended by the legislature and is no longer used. A rescinded code is a CDR code which is no longer used for administrative reasons. If there are blanks in any of the items listed above, this means the information was not available for data entry.

Step 3

If you are interested in the actual language of the SC Code of Laws creating the offense or the penalty, simply click on the hyperlink seen on the page accessed in Step 2. The hyperlinks will take you to the specific Title and Chapter as maintained by the General Assembly’s website. You will need to scroll down the page of the hyperlink to find the specific section.

If you are researching a drug code, there will also be a hyperlink to the Schedule of Drugs provided in the Code of Laws which lists drugs by name so that you will be able to identify what drug is in Schedule I, II, etc.

Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions

What are CDR Codes?

CDR Codes are four digit numerical codes which represent criminal offenses created by the South Carolina General Assembly and the common law. The actual criminal offenses are found in the Code of Laws of South Carolina and common law developed in court opinions. The elements of a crime, its penalties and other related matters are governed by the Code of Laws and the common law alone.

CDR codes are merely administrative “shortcuts” to actual law. They were created at the time when automated (computerized) systems had very limited memory, and did not have the capacity to maintain references to specific statutes which could contain many digits. For example, a statute could be represented by SC Code of Laws Section 12-12-1234 (A) (1) (ii) (a); the CDR code would have only four digits, 0111. (This example is not an actual statute or CDR code.)

The existence or non-existence of a CDR code does not affect the existence of a crime or its elements. Any errors in a CDR code do not affect the crime, its characterization as violent or non-violent, for example, or even if someone can be prosecuted for a crime. The Code of Laws of South Carolina and law as developed by the courts are the only governing authorities in criminal law.

What Does CDR mean?

CDR is an abbreviation developed many years ago, when paper docket sheets were maintained by criminal justice agencies. It stood for “Criminal Docket Report”. However, since we no longer maintain paper docket sheets, the term has been redefined to mean “Criminal Data Report”. CDR codes are also called “offense codes” by some users of the system.

How can I find the correct CDR code for an offense?

There are a number of ways to find the code you are looking for; there is a Search feature on the website that allows you to enter a citation to the SC Code of Laws, or even a partial citation, or you can use a “keyword” search if you are not sure of the Code cite. For example, if you were looking for all offenses related to Driving Under the Influence, you can enter “DUI”, and the system will list all codes which use DUI in the descriptions.

Are there truncated versions of the offense descriptions?

No, the old system did provide brief (44 character) descriptions of offenses, when systems needed to preserve memory. However, new systems allow for longer descriptions. By providing greater detail, we hope the user will be able to identify the correct CDR code more efficiently.

Can I get a paper copy of the CDR codes?

You can choose to generate your own copy of the codes sorted in numerical order by code or alphabetically by offense description. However, please understand that the system is intended to be used as a web-based system, and system updates occur as needed. If you print a copy of the codes today, they may very well be out-of-date tomorrow. In addition, printing one set by codes by keyword alone takes 400 pages. If you printed both formats, 800 pages would be created.

How will I know the CDR codes I am using are current?

E-mail notice that a change has been made to an existing code, or that a code has been added at the time the change is made to the system will be available to selected users. The automatic notification will not describe the precise nature of the change, but will alert the users to check the specific code(s). It is anticipated that most changes will occur at the end of the legislative session of the South Carolina General Assembly, usually at the end of June.

In addition, there is a listing of changes made to the CDR codes on the website, with a drop-down box allowing you to access the most recent changes made in 30, 60 and 90 day intervals. The drop-down box is found at with the “Printer-Friendly Versions” selection.


The South Carolina Judicial Department (SCJD) has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this public service, however, SCJD makes no warranties or representations regarding the accuracy or completeness of this information, and each user of this product understands that SCJD disclaims any liability for any damages incurred in connection with its use. The South Carolina Code of Laws is the controlling authority for classifications, definitions and penalties for criminal offenses, and the statute itself should always be consulted. The information provided is intended for personal and governmental use, and not for commercial purposes.