Misdemeanor Guide

South Carolina Misdemeanor

South Carolina Misdemeanor Categories
South Carolina law breaks its justice system in different ways than any other state. The first offense of a crime is a misdemeanor. The second offense of a crime is a Class C Misdemeanor. The third offense of a crime is a Class A Misdemeanor. And the fourth offense or more of a crime is a Class F Felony.

Because South Carolina's sentencing system is so complex, the ability to parole is very expansive. Due to this many defendants find themselves out of incarceration rather quickly. This system can be confusing nonetheless, so it is advisable to have a proper South Carolina Criminal Defense attorney to help in the process.

Felony Categories
Felonies and misdemeanors are placed into separate categories according to the extremity of the crime. Class A Felonies normally begin at the top of the list but can at times be pushed to second in the case of capital felonies. This kind of felony is often punishable by death or life in prison. A Class A Felony on the other hand is punishable by no more than thirty years in prison.

Class B Felonies follow accordingly and are punishably via no more than twenty-five years in prison. Class C Felonies are punishable by no more than twenty years in prison. Class D Felonies are punishably by no more than fifteen years in prison. And Class F Felonies are punishable by no more than ten years in prison.

Misdemeanors less severe
Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies and the sentences served are done in county or local jails rather than state prisons. A Class A Misdemeanor is the most severe of South Carolina misdemeanors and is punishable by no more than three years in a county jail facility. Class B Misdemeanors are punishable by no more than two years in county jail. And the last of South Carolina's categories is the category of Class C Misdemeanors that is punishable by no more than one year in a county jail facility.

South Carolina has many exceptions to their categories, however. Some misdemeanors can carry a ten-year prison sentence, though it is rare. This makes sentencing complex as a misdemeanor may carry a felony conviction.

Some misdemeanors are even charged in city and municipal courts. These often include public intoxication, petit theft, simple battery, assault, shoplifting, trespassing, resisting arrest, simple drug possession, DUI, and criminal domestic violence.

Misdemeanor charges can carry heavy jail time when convicted. South Carolina gives jury trials on any charge, including parking tickets. Because of this, misdemeanor convictions are more likely to have jail time than not.

South Carolina Misdemeanor Expungement
At times some first offense convictions may be expunged by the magistrate's court or the municipal court. After three years from the date of the conviction, a person can then apply for expungement. This does not apply to an offense involving a violation of Title 50, the operation of a motor vehicle, or an offense contained in Chapter 25 of Title 16 -- with the exception to first offense criminal domestic violence.

See also:
South Carolina Expungement External link (opens in new window)
South Carolina Felony External link (opens in new window)
South Carolina Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)