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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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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