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Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
OFFENSES AGAINST THE PEACE
OFFENSES DURING STATE OF EMERGENCY
Acts considered unlawful in area designated by Governor in proclamation of emergency.
In any area designated by the Governor in his proclamation that a state of emergency exists, and during the duration of such proclamation, it shall be unlawful:
(a) For any person to violate a provision set forth in the proclamation; for any person to violate the provisions of any curfew established by the proclamation; for any unauthorized persons to congregate, except in their homes, in groups of three or more and to refuse to disperse upon order of any law-enforcement officer; or for any person to willfully fail or refuse to comply with any order or direction of any law-enforcement officer. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days.
(b) For any person to enter into the property of another, without lawful authority and with criminal intent; to damage the property of another; or to take possession or otherwise disturb the property of another in any manner. Any of such acts shall constitute the offense of looting, and any person convicted thereof shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine or imprisonment, or both, in the discretion of the court.
Powers of law-enforcement officers.
All law-enforcement officers of the State or any of its subdivisions who may be called to duty in the area designated by the Governor in his proclamation, when engaged in the performance of duties in such area, shall have the full powers of constable at all places within such area and may pursue and arrest offenders against the laws of this State or the provisions of the proclamation.
Powers of national guardsmen.
Members of the South Carolina National Guard shall have the powers of peace officers when they are (1) called or ordered into active State service by the Governor pursuant to Sections 25-1-1840, 25-1-1860 and 25-1-1890, (2) serving within the area wherein military assistance is required, and (3) directly assisting civil authorities. Any person arrested or taken into custody by a member of the Guard, under the provisions of this section, shall be dealt with as required by law of peace officers. No person arrested and taken into custody, under no circumstances, shall be detained or confined at any military installation.
Article is cumulative.
The provisions of this article are cumulative and in addition to existing criminal laws.
OFFENSES TENDING TO BREACH OF PEACE
Wearing masks and the like.
No person over sixteen years of age shall appear or enter upon any lane, walk, alley, street, road, public way or highway of this State or upon the public property of the State or of any municipality or county in this State while wearing a mask or other device which conceals his identity. Nor shall any such person demand entrance or admission to or enter upon the premises or into the enclosure or house of any other person while wearing a mask or device which conceals his identity. Nor shall any such person, while wearing a mask or device which conceals his identity, participate in any meeting or demonstration upon the private property of another unless he shall have first obtained the written permission of the owner and the occupant of such property.
Placing burning or flaming cross in public place.
It shall be unlawful for any person to place or to cause to be placed in a public place in the State a burning or flaming cross or any manner of exhibit in which a burning or flaming cross, real or simulated, is the whole or a part or to place or cause to be placed on the property of another in the State a burning or flaming cross or any manner of exhibit in which a burning or flaming cross, real or simulated, is the whole or a part, without first obtaining written permission of the owner or occupier of the premises so to do.
Exceptions to Sections 16-7-110 and 16-7-120.
The provisions of Sections 16-7-110 and 16-7-120 shall not affect the following:
(1) Any person wearing traditional holiday costume;
(2) Any person engaged in a trade or employment in which a mask is worn for the purpose of ensuring the physical safety of the wearer or because of the nature of the occupation, trade or profession;
(3) Any person using a mask in a theatrical production or masquerade ball; or
(4) Any person wearing a gas mask prescribed in a civil defense drill or exercise or in an emergency.
Violations of Sections 16-7-110 and 16-7-120.
Any person who violates any provision of Sections 16-7-110 and 16-7-120 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed twelve months.
Slander and libel.
Any person who shall with malicious intent originate, utter, circulate or publish any false statement or matter concerning another the effect of which shall tend to injure such person in his character or reputation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction therefor, be subject to punishment by fine not to exceed five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or by both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed to abridge any right any person may have by way of an action for damages for libel or slander under the existing law.
Illegal use of stink bombs or other devices containing foul or offensive odors.
It is unlawful for a person, other than a peace officer engaged in the discharge of his duty, to place or throw a stink bomb, tear-gas bomb, smoke bomb, or similar device which contains foul or offensive odors, may inflict injury, or cause fear sufficient to incite a riot or conditions of panic in or in close proximity to a public building, storehouse, theater, stadium, arena, motion picture theater, private residence, boardinghouse, or other building or structure where people lodge, congregate, or reside.
A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a:
(1) misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than three thousand dollars, or both.
(2) felony if he causes serious bodily harm or injury and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both. The court may order all or a portion of a fine to be paid to persons injured as a result of the violation to recover necessary medical expenses.
Entering public building for purpose of destroying records or other property.
Any person who enters into any private or public school, college or university building, or a public building, for the purpose of destroying records or other property, or destroys or damages records or other property, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years.