(A) A person arrested by virtue of process or taken into custody by an officer in this State has a right to know from the officer who arrests or claims to detain him the true ground on which the arrest is made. It is unlawful for an officer to:

(1) refuse to answer a question relative to the reason for the arrest;

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 17-13-50

  • Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.

(2) answer the question untruly;

(3) assign to the person arrested an untrue reason for the arrest; or

(4) neglect on request to exhibit to the person arrested or any other person acting in his behalf the precept by virtue of which the arrest is made.

(B) An officer who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.