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Curious how much jail time a person could receive for a SC violation?

South Carolina laws set out the maximum sentences charges can carry. The more serious the charge, the longer the allowable sentence. Felonies carry stiffer sentences than misdemeanors, and there is further breakdown within both categories. For some felonies, the law also establishes minimum sentences.

The number of times you have been convicted can also bear on the length of your sentence. For instance, drug crimes have harsher penalties as you accumulate convictions.

When you speak with a criminal defense attorney about how to handle your charges, it’s important to understand the potential jail sentence and other punishments you face so you can make an informed decision.

The tables below summarize the jail sentences and fines associated with common criminal charges in SC.

Jail time for assault

If you think a fist fight is the only way to be charged with an assault, think again. “Talking with your fists” is certainly one way to get yourself an assault charge, but assault under SC law encompasses more than physical altercations. It also includes making credible threats of violence, attempting to physically harm someone and unwanted touching of another person’s private areas.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature (ABHAN) Felony Up to 20 years None
Assault, 1st Degree Felony Up to 10 years None
Assault, 2nd Degree Misdemeanor Up to 3 years Up to $2,500
Assault, 3rd Degree (Simple Assault) Misdemeanor Up to 30 days Up to $500
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Misdemeanor 3 to 12 months on, top of the sentence for whichever degree fits the crime At least $200

Jail time for domestic violence

A domestic violence charge is brought when a person causes, offers or attempts to cause physical harm to a person’s own household member. South Carolina’s domestic violence laws got a lot tougher in 2015, including the punishments a judge can hand down upon conviction.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN) Felony Up to 20 years None
Domestic Violence, 1st Degree Felony Up to 10 years None
Domestic Violence, 2nd Degree Misdemeanor Up to 3 years $2,500 to $5,000
Domestic Violence, 3rd Degree Misdemeanor Up to 90 days $1,000 to $2,500

Jail time for theft

Punishment for theft under SC law depends on the value of what is stolen. As the value of the property or services stolen increases so does the amount of jail time possible for the person convicted.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Grand Theft/Grand Larceny ($10,000 or more) Felony Up to 10 years Up to $1,000
Grand Theft/Grand Larceny (more than $2,000 but less than $10,000 Felony Up to 5 years At the discretion of the court
Petty Theft/Petit Larceny ($2,000 or less) Misdemeanor Up to 30 days At the discretion of the court

Fines let to the discretion of the court are precisely what they indicate. The law grants the judge the leeway to decide what an appropriate fine is in each case.

Jail time for DUI

A person is charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, when the police believe that person is operating a vehicle while impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. The more often a person is convicted of DUI, the harsher penalties this person faces with each subsequent conviction.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
DUI, 4th offense Felony 1 to 7 years Up to $10,000
DUI, 3rd offense Misdemeanor 60 days to 5 years $3,800 to $10,000
DUI, 2nd offense Misdemeanor 5 days to 3 years $2,100 to $6,500
DUI, 1st offense Misdemeanor 48 hours to 90 days $400 to $1,000

 

Along with jail time and fines, South Carolina proscribes a driver’s licenses suspension for a DUI conviction. The time of that suspension increases with each new conviction.

Jail time for sex offenders

Part of the punishment for conviction for criminal sexual conduct and other similar offenses is being forced to register with the state as a sex offender. This has implications for where a person can live and work and causes embarrassment when a person is required to reveal his or her sex offender status to others.

The most common crime causing someone to become a registered sex offender is criminal sexual conduct. In addition to registration, sexual conduct offenses have the following punishments.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Criminal Sexual Conduct, 1st Degree Felony Up to 30 years None
Criminal Sexual Conduct, 2nd Degree Felony Up to 20 years None
Criminal Sexual Conduct, 3rd Degree Felony Up to 10 years None
Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, 1st Degree Felony 25 years to life None
Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, 2nd Degree Felony Up to 25 years None
Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, 3rd Degree Felony Up to 15 years At the discretion of the court

Jail time for child support

In addition to administrative penalties, those convicted may endure liens on property and/or loss of professional licenses. Not to mention, failure to pay child support can result in jail time and fines. A judge can order a fine of up to $1,500 and a jail sentence of up to one year.

Jail time for marijuana charges

Getting involved with marijuana can get you several sorts of criminal convictions. Whether you grow it, sell it or just have it, drug charges in SC can get you into trouble.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Possession, 1 ounce or less, first offense Misdemeanor Up to 30 days Up to $200
Possession, 1 ounce or less, subsequent offense Misdemeanor Up to 1 year Up to $2,000
Paraphernalia Civil Citation None Up to $500
Sale or Trafficking, Less than 10 pounds Felony Up to 5 years Up to $5,000
Sale or Trafficking, 10 to 100 pounds, first offense Felony 1 to 10 years Up to $10,000
Sale or Trafficking, 10 to 100 pounds, second offense Felony 5 to 20 years Up to $25,000
Sale or Trafficking, 10 to 100 pounds, third offense Felony At least 25 years Up to $25,000
Sale or Trafficking, 100 to 2,000 pounds Felony At least 25 years Up to $25,000
Sale or Trafficking, 2,000 to 10,000 pounds Felony At least 25 years Up to $50,000
Sale or Trafficking, more than 10,000 pounds Felony At least 25 years Up to $200,000
Sale or Trafficking, to a minor, or within a 1/2 mile of a school, playground, or public park Felony Up to 10 years Up to $10,000
Cultivation, less than 100 plants Felony Up to 5 years Up to $5,000
Cultivation, 100 to 1000 plants Felony At least 25 years Up to $25,000
Cultivation, 1000 to 10,000 plants Felony At least 25 years Up to $50,000
Cultivation, more than 10,000 plants Felony At least 25 years Up to $200,000

Jail time for driving on a suspended license

Driving on a suspended license may seem like no big deal. But the consequences for getting caught are painful. You can even wind up with a jail sentence.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Driving on a suspended or revoked license, first offense Misdemeanor Up to 30 days $300
Driving on a suspended or revoked license, second offense Misdemeanor Up to 60 days $600
Driving on a suspended or revoked license, third offense Misdemeanor 90 days to 6 months $1,000

Jail time for burglary

Burglary is entering a building without consent with the intent to commit a crime. There are several levels of burglary charges.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Burglary, 1st Degree Felony 15 years to life None
Burglary, 2nd Degree, violent Felony Up to 15 years None
Burglary, 2nd Degree, non-violent Felony Up to 10 years None
Burglary, 3rd Degree, 2nd offense Felony Up to 10 years None
Burglary, 3rd Degree, 1st offense Felony Up to 5 years None

Jail time for robbery

Robbery is taking something from a person by force or the threat of force. Robbery is considered a violent crime, but the commission of a robbery does not have to result in someone’s injury.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Robbery Felony Up to 15 years None
Attempted Armed Robbery Felony Up to 20 years None
Armed Robbery Felony 10 to 30 years None

Jail time for manslaughter

Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a person by someone without ill will toward the victim. The charge is not the same as murder; however, manslaughter is a very serious crime with a very serious jail sentence.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Manslaughter Felony 2 to 30 years None
Involuntary Manslaughter Felony Up to 5 years None

Jail time for identity theft

Identity theft is the use someone else’s personal information without that person’s permission for a benefit or to commit other crimes.

Charge Classification Jail Time Fine
Identity Fraud Felony Up to 10 years At the discretion of the court

Commonly asked questions about jail time in SC

If you’re facing jail time, you undoubtedly have questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions from people who may be charged with a crime that can be punished with a jail sentence.

Is jail time mandatory for a felony?

Usually yes, many felonies have mandatory sentences. Some felonies also come with fines, but it is most common for a felony to just have a jail sentence as punishment.

Can you get jail time for misdemeanors?

Yes, many misdemeanors come with jail time, fines or both as potential punishments. The jail sentences are not nearly as harsh as jail sentences for felonies.

Can you pay a fine instead of going to jail?

No. It doesn’t really work like that. The judge determines punishment based on the circumstances of the crime and what is allowable by law. People without a criminal history are more likely to be ordered to pay a fine rather than going to jail.

Get in touch with Kent

If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime, there is no time to waste. Kent Collins is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Lexington, SC who can help you understand the charges and potential jail time associated with those charges.

For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Kent by phone at 803-808-0905 or use this form to reach him online.

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