Due to necessary and extensive upgrades of the computer system infrastructure, we have scheduled downtime for this weekend.
We expect to have major outages beginning Friday, November 21, 2014, from 6:00 PM until Sunday, November 23rd at 6:00 PM.
During these outages, this website will be unavailable.

1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Unannotated
Updated through the end of the 2004 Session

Disclaimer
This statutory database is current through the 2004 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2005 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2005, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2005 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.

Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses

CHAPTER 17.

OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY

ARTICLE 1.

BARRATRY

SECTION 16-17-10. Barratry prohibited.

Any person who shall:

(1) Wilfully solicit or incite another to bring, prosecute or maintain an action, at law or in equity, in any court having jurisdiction within this State and

(a) thereby seeks to obtain employment for himself or for another to prosecute or defend such action,

(b) has no direct and substantial interest in the relief thereby sought,

(c) does so with intent to distress or harass any party to such action,

(d) directly or indirectly pays or promises to pay any money or other thing of value to, or the obligations of, any party to such an action or

(e) directly or indirectly pays or promises to pay any money or other thing of value to any other person to bring about the prosecution or maintenance of such an action; or

(2) Wilfully bring, prosecute or maintain an action, at law or in equity, in any court having jurisdiction within this State and

(a) has no direct or substantial interest in the relief thereby sought,

(b) thereby seeks to defraud or mislead the court,

(c) brings such action with intent to distress or harass any party thereto or

(d) directly or indirectly receives any money or other thing of value to induce the bringing of such action;

Shall be guilty of the crime of barratry.

The crime of barratry shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment of not more than two years, or both.

SECTION 16-17-20. Persons convicted of barratry shall be barred from practice of law.

Any person convicted of barratry shall be forever barred from practicing law in this State.

SECTION 16-17-30. Liability of corporations and unincorporated associations.

As used in Section 16-17-10 the term "person" shall include corporations and unincorporated associations, and the statutes and laws of this State pertaining to criminal liability and enforcement thereof against corporations shall apply to any unincorporated association convicted of barratry.

SECTION 16-17-40. Corporations or unincorporated associations convicted of barratry shall be barred from doing business in State.

Any corporation or unincorporated association found guilty of the crime of barratry shall be forever barred from doing any business or carrying on any activity within this State, and in the case of a corporation its charter or certificate of domestication shall be summarily revoked by the Secretary of State.

SECTION 16-17-50. Article is cumulative.

The provisions of this article are cumulative and shall not be construed as repealing any existing statute or the common law of this State with respect to the subject matter of any of the provisions hereof.

ARTICLE 3.

DESECRATION OR MUTILATION OF FLAGS

SECTION 16-17-210. Definitions.

The words "flag, standard, color or ensign," as used in Sections 16-17-220 and 16-17-230, shall include any flag, standard, color or ensign or any picture or representation made of any substance or represented on any substance and of any size, evidently purporting to be of the flag, standard, color or ensign of the United States, the Confederate States of America or this State, or a picture or representation upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number or either thereof or by which the person seeing such picture or representation without deliberation may believe it to represent the flag, colors, standard or ensign of the United States, the Confederate States of America or this State.

SECTION 16-17-220. Desecration or mutilation of United States, Confederate or State flags.

Any person who in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall (a) knowingly place or cause to be placed any word, inscription, figure, mark, picture, design, device, symbol, name, characters, drawing, notice or advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, color or ensign of the United States, the Confederate States of America or this State or upon a flag, standard, color or ensign purporting to be such, (b) knowingly display, exhibit or expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, color or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted or otherwise placed or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed or annexed any word, inscription, figure, mark, picture, design, device, symbol, name, characters, drawing, photographs, notice or advertisement of any nature, (c) expose to public view, manufacture, sell, expose for sale, give away or have in possession for sale, to give away, or for use for any purpose, any article or substance, being an article of merchandise or a receptacle of merchandise or article or thing for camping or transporting merchandise upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, color or ensign to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark or distinguish the article or substance on which placed or (d) publicly mutilate, deface, defile, defy, jeer at, trample upon or cast contempt, either by word or act, upon any such flag, standard, color or ensign shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court, and shall also forfeit a penalty of fifty dollars for each offense, to be recovered with costs in a civil action or suit in any court having jurisdiction. Such action or suit may be brought by and in the name of any citizen of this State, and such penalty when collected, less the reasonable cost and expense of action or suit and recovery to be certified by the clerk of court of the county in which the offense is committed, shall be paid into the State Treasury. Two or more penalties may be sued for and recovered in the same action or suit.

SECTION 16-17-230. Presumption from possession.

It is permissible to infer that possession by any person, other than a public officer as such, of any flag, standard, color, or ensign on which is anything made unlawful at any time by Section 16-17-220 or of any article, substance, or thing on which is anything made unlawful at any time by that section is in violation of that section.

ARTICLE 5.

IMPROPER USE OF NAMES

SECTION 16-17-310. Imitation of organizations' names, emblems and the like.

No person, society or organization shall assume, use, adopt, become incorporated under or continue to use the name and style or emblems of any incorporated benevolent, fraternal, social, humane or charitable organization previously existing in this State or a name and style or emblem so nearly resembling the name and style of such incorporated organization as to be a colorable imitation thereof. When two or more of such societies, associations or corporations claim the right to the same name or to a name substantially similar as above provided, the organization which was first organized and used the name and first became incorporated under the laws of the United States or of any state of the Union, whether incorporated in this State or not, shall be entitled in this State to the prior and exclusive use of such name, and the rights of such societies, associations or corporations and of their individual members shall be fixed and determined accordingly.

Any person who shall wear a badge, button or other emblem or shall use the name or claim to be a member of any benevolent, fraternal, social, humane or charitable organization which is entitled to the exclusive use of such name and emblems under this section, either in the identical form or in such near resemblance thereto as to be a colorable imitation of such emblems and name, unless entitled so to do under the laws, rules and regulations of such organization, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not less than thirty days nor more than one year.

SECTION 16-17-320. Injunction to restrain improper use of name and emblems.

Whenever there shall be an actual or threatened violation of the provisions of Section 16-17-310, the organization entitled to the exclusive use of the name in question, under the terms of said section, shall have the right to apply to the proper courts for an injunction to restrain the infringement of its name and the use of its emblems. If it shall be made to appear to the court that the defendants are in fact infringing or about to infringe upon the name and style of a previously existing incorporated benevolent, fraternal, social, humane or charitable organization in the manner prohibited in said section or that the defendant or defendants are wearing and using the badge, insignia or emblems of such organization, without the authority thereof in violation of said section, an injunction may be issued by the court under the principles of equity, without requiring proof that any person has been in fact misled or deceived by the infringement of such name or the use of such emblem.

ARTICLE 7.

MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES

SECTION 16-17-410. Conspiracy.

The common law crime known as "conspiracy" is defined as a combination between two or more persons for the purpose of accomplishing an unlawful object or lawful object by unlawful means.

A person who commits the crime of conspiracy is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years.

A person who is convicted of the crime of conspiracy must not be given a greater fine or sentence than he would receive if he carried out the unlawful act contemplated by the conspiracy and had been convicted of the unlawful act contemplated by the conspiracy or had he been convicted of the unlawful acts by which the conspiracy was to be carried out or effected.

SECTION 16-17-420. Disturbing schools.

It shall be unlawful:

(1) For any person wilfully or unnecessarily (a) to interfere with or to disturb in any way or in any place the students or teachers of any school or college in this State, (b) to loiter about such school or college premises or (c) to act in an obnoxious manner thereon; or

(2) For any person to (a) enter upon any such school or college premises or (b) loiter around the premises, except on business, without the permission of the principal or president in charge.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction thereof, shall pay a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than thirty days nor more than ninety days.

SECTION 16-17-430. Unlawful communication.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to:

(1) use in a telephonic communication or any other electronic means, any words or language of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or an indecent nature, or to communicate or convey by telephonic or other electronic means an obscene, vulgar, indecent, profane, suggestive, or immoral message to another person;

(2) threaten in a telephonic communication or any other electronic means an unlawful act with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass another person;

(3) telephone or electronically contact another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of annoying or harassing another person or his family;

(4) make a telephone call and intentionally fail to hang up or disengage the connection for the purpose of interfering with the telephone service of another;

(5) telephone or contact by electronic means another and make false statements concerning either the death or injury of a member of the family of the person who is telephoned or electronically contacted, with the intent to annoy, frighten, or terrify that person; or

(6) knowingly permit a telephone under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(B) A person who violates any provision of subsection (A) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.

SECTION 16-17-440. Venue for prosecution under Section 16-17-430.

Venue for prosecution pursuant to the provisions of Section 16-17-430 shall be either in the county wherein the telephonic communications originated or the county where it was received.

SECTION 16-17-445. Regulation of unsolicited consumer telephone calls.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Consumer telephone call" means a call made by a telephone solicitor for the purpose of soliciting a sale of any consumer goods or services to the person called, or for the purpose of soliciting an extension of credit for consumer goods or services to the person called, or for the purpose of obtaining information that will or may be used for the direct solicitation of a sale of consumer goods or services to the person called or an extension of credit for these purposes.

(2) "Consumer goods or services" means any tangible personal property which is normally used for personal, family, financial, or household purposes, including any property intended to be attached to or installed in any real property without regard to whether it is so attached or installed, as well as cemetery lots and interests in vacation timesharing plans or vacation ownership plans and any services related to this property. Services sold by institutions licensed and regulated under Title 38 are not consumer goods or services for purposes of this section.

(3) "Prize promotion" means:

(a) a sweepstakes or other game of chance; or

(b) an oral or written representation that a person has won, has been selected to receive, or may be eligible to receive a prize or purported prize.

(4) "Unsolicited consumer telephone call" means a consumer telephone call other than a call made:

(a) in response to an express request of the person called;

(b) primarily in connection with an existing debt or contract, payment, or performance of which has not been completed at the time of the call; or

(c) to a person with whom the telephone solicitor has an existing business relationship or had a previous business relationship.

(5) "Telephone solicitor" means an individual, firm or organization, partnership, association, or corporation who makes or causes to be made a consumer telephone call.

(6) "Department" means the Department of Consumer Affairs.

(B) A telephone solicitor who makes an unsolicited consumer telephone call must disclose promptly and in a clear conspicuous manner to the person receiving the call, the following information:

(1) the identity of the seller;

(2) that the purpose of the call is to sell goods or services;

(3) the nature of the goods or services;

(4) that no purchase or payment is necessary to be able to win a prize or participate in a prize promotion if a prize promotion is offered. This disclosure must be made before or in conjunction with the description of the prize to the person called. If requested by that person, the telemarketer must disclose the no purchase/no payment entry method for the prize promotion; and

(5) remove the called party's name and telephone number from in-house calling lists if the called party asks the solicitor, whether verbally or in writing, not to call again. If the called party prefers to make his request in writing, then the telephone solicitor must immediately provide the called party with the appropriate address to send and make effective his written request to be removed from the in-house calling lists.

(C) Unsolicited consumer telephone calls are prohibited after nine o'clock p.m. or before eight o'clock a.m. on any day.

(D) Unsolicited calls must disclose to the buyer at the time of solicitations:

(1) cost of merchandise or method of estimation;

(2) payment plan; and

(3) extra or special charges such as shipping, handling, and taxes.

(E) Every telephone solicitor operating in this State who makes unsolicited consumer telephone calls shall implement in-house systems and procedures whereby every effort is made not to call subscribers who ask not to be called again. The department has the authority to monitor compliance with this provision. A person or his agent who has an interest in a vacation ownership plan or vacation timesharing plan may have the unit telephone number removed from a solicitor's in-house calling lists by sending written notification to the solicitor.

(F) The department shall investigate any complaints received concerning violations of this section. If the department finds that there has been a violation of this section, it may impose a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars for a first violation, two hundred dollars for a second violation, and one thousand dollars for a third or subsequent violation, and may seek other relief, including injunctive relief, as the court considers appropriate against the telephone solicitor. In addition, a person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for a first or second offense, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, and for a third or subsequent offense must be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days. Each violation constitutes a separate offense for purposes of the civil and criminal penalties in this section.

(G) Telephone companies are not responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this section and are not liable for any error or omission in the listings made pursuant to this section.

SECTION 16-17-446. Regulation of automatically dialed announcing device (ADAD).

(A) "Adad" means an automatically dialed announcing device which delivers a recorded message without assistance by a live operator for the purpose of making an unsolicited consumer telephone call as defined in Section 16-17-445(A)(3). Adad calls include automatically announced calls of a political nature including, but not limited to, calls relating to political campaigns.

(B) Adad calls are prohibited except:

(1) in response to an express request of the person called;

(2) when primarily connected with an existing debt or contract, payment or performance of which has not been completed at the time of the call;

(3) in response to a person with whom the telephone solicitor has an existing business relationship or has had a previous business relationship.

(C) Adad calls which are not prohibited under subsection (B):

(1) are subject to Section 16-17-445(B)(1), (2), and (3);

(2) shall disconnect immediately when the called party hangs up;

(3) are prohibited after seven p.m. or before eight a.m.;

(4) may not ring at hospitals, police stations, fire departments, nursing homes, hotels, or vacation rental units.

(D) A person who violates this section, upon conviction, must be punished as provided in Section 16-17-445(F).

SECTION 16-17-450. Refusal to relinquish party telephone line for emergency call.

(1) Any person who shall wilfully refuse to relinquish immediately a party telephone line when informed that such line is needed for an emergency call to a fire department or police department or for medical aid or ambulance service shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

(2) It shall constitute a defense to a prosecution under subsection (1) that the accused did not know of the emergency in question, or that the accused was using the party telephone line for an emergency call.

(3) Any person who requests another to relinquish a telephone party line on the pretext that he must place an emergency call, knowing such pretext to be false, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

(4) As used in this section

The term "party line" shall mean a subscriber's line telephone circuit, consisting of two or more main telephone stations connected therewith, each station with a distinctive ring or telephone number.

The term "emergency" shall mean a situation in which property or human life are in jeopardy and the prompt summoning of aid is essential.

SECTION 16-17-470. Eavesdropping, peeping, voyeurism.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to be an eavesdropper or a peeping tom on or about the premises of another or to go upon the premises of another for the purpose of becoming an eavesdropper or a peeping tom. The term "peeping tom", as used in this section, is defined as a person who peeps through windows, doors, or other like places, on or about the premises of another, for the purpose of spying upon or invading the privacy of the persons spied upon and any other conduct of a similar nature, that tends to invade the privacy of others. The term " peeping tom" also includes any person who employs the use of video or audio equipment for the purposes set forth in this section. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(B) A person commits the crime of voyeurism if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire of any person, he or she knowingly views, photographs, audio records, video records, produces, or creates a digital electronic file, or films another person, without that person's knowledge and consent, while the person is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection:

(1) for a first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; or

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(C) A person commits the crime of aggravated voyeurism if he or she knowingly sells or distributes any photograph, audio recording, video recording, digital electronic file, or film of another person taken or made in violation of this section. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(D) As used in this section:

(1) "Place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy" means:

(a) a place where a reasonable person would believe that he or she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that his or her undressing was being photographed, filmed, or videotaped by another; or

(b) a place where one would reasonably expect to be safe from hostile intrusion or surveillance.

(2) "Surveillance" means secret observation of the activities of another person for the purpose of spying upon and invading the privacy of the person.

(3) "View" means the intentional looking upon of another person for more than a brief period of time, in other than a casual or cursory manner, with the unaided eye or with a device designed or intended to improve visual acuity.

(E) The provisions of subsection (A) do not apply to:

(1) viewing, photographing, videotaping, or filming by personnel of the Department of Corrections or of a county, municipal, or local jail or detention center or correctional facility for security purposes or during investigation of alleged misconduct by a person in the custody of the Department of Corrections or a county, municipal, or local jail or detention center or correctional facility;

(2) security surveillance for the purposes of decreasing or prosecuting theft, shoplifting, or other security surveillance measures in bona fide business establishments;

(3) any official law enforcement activities conducted pursuant to Section 16-17-480;

(4) private detectives and investigators conducting surveillance in the ordinary course of business; or

(5) any bona fide news gathering activities.

(F) In addition to any other punishment prescribed by this section or other provision of law, a person procuring photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, digital electronic files, or films in violation of this section shall immediately forfeit all items. These items must be destroyed when no longer required for evidentiary purposes.

SECTION 16-17-480. Section 16-17-470 not applicable to law officers.

Nothing in Section 16-17-470 shall prevent duly constituted officers of the law from performing their official duties in ferreting out offenders or suspected offenders against violating the laws of this State or any municipality therein for the purpose of apprehending such suspected violator. But the provisions of this section shall not be construed as giving such officers any additional rights or powers upon private property but shall be construed as preserving only such powers as they had before.

SECTION 16-17-490. Contributing to delinquency of a minor.

It shall be unlawful for any person over eighteen years of age to knowingly and wilfully encourage, aid or cause or to do any act which shall cause or influence a minor:

(1) To violate any law or any municipal ordinance;

(2) To become and be incorrigible or ungovernable or habitually disobedient and beyond the control of his or her parent, guardian, custodian or other lawful authority;

(3) To become and be habitually truant;

(4) To without just cause and without the consent of his or her parent, guardian or other custodian, repeatedly desert his or her home or place of abode;

(5) To engage in any occupation which is in violation of law;

(6) To associate with immoral or vicious persons;

(7) To frequent any place the existence of which is in violation of law;

(8) To habitually use obscene or profane language;

(9) To beg or solicit alms in any public places under any pretense;

(10) To so deport himself or herself as to wilfully injure or endanger his or her morals or health or the morals or health of others.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall upon conviction be fined not more than three thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than three years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

This section is intended to be cumulative and shall not be construed so as to defeat prosecutions under any other law which is applicable to unlawful acts embraced herein.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any school board of trustees promulgating rules and regulations as authorized by Section 59-19-90(3) which prescribe standards of conduct and behavior in the public schools of the district. Provided, however, that any such rule or regulation which contravenes any portion of the provisions of this section shall first require the consent of the parent or legal guardian of the minor or minors concerned.

SECTION 16-17-495. Custodial interference.

(A)(1) When a court of competent jurisdiction in this State or another state has awarded custody of a child under the age of sixteen years or when custody of a child under the age of sixteen years is established pursuant to Section 20-7-953B, it is unlawful for a person with the intent to violate the court order or Section 20-7-953B to take or transport, or cause to be taken or transported, the child from the legal custodian for the purpose of concealing the child, or circumventing or avoiding the custody order or statute.

(2) When a pleading has been filed and served seeking a determination of custody of a child under the age of sixteen, it is unlawful for a person with the intent to circumvent or avoid the custody proceeding to take or transport, or cause to be taken or transported, the child for the purpose of concealing the child, or circumventing or avoiding the custody proceeding. It is permissible to infer that a person keeping a child outside the limits of this State for more than seventy-two hours without notice to a legal custodian intended to violate this subsection.

(B) A person who violates subsection (A)(1) or (2) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(C) If a person who violates subsection (A)(1) or (2) returns the child to the legal custodian or to the jurisdiction of the court in which the custody petition was filed within three days of the violation, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(D) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if the taking or transporting of a child in violation of subsections (A)(1) or (2), is by physical force or the threat of physical force, the person 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.

(E) A person who violates the provisions of this section may be required by the court to pay necessary travel and other reasonable expenses including, but not limited to, attorney's fees incurred by the party entitled to the custody or by a witness or law enforcement.

SECTION 16-17-500. Supplying minors with tobacco or cigarettes.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, furnish, give, or provide any minor under the age of eighteen years with cigarettes, tobacco, cigarette paper, or any substitute therefor. Any person violating the provisions of this section, either in person, by agent or in any other way, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon indictment and conviction, therefor shall be punished as follows:

(1) for a first offense by a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars;

(2) for a second offense, by a fine not exceeding fifty dollars; and

(3) for a third or subsequent offense, by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year nor less than sixty days, or both.

One-half of any fine imposed shall be paid to the informer of the offense and the other half to the treasurer of the county in which such conviction shall be had.

SECTION 16-17-501. Definitions.

As used in this section and Sections 16-17-502, 16-17-503, and 16-17-504:

(1) "Distribute" means to sell, furnish, give, or provide tobacco products, including tobacco product samples, cigarette paper, or a substitute for them, to the ultimate consumer.

(2) "Proof of age" means a driver's license or other documentary or written evidence that the individual is eighteen years of age or older.

(3) "Sample" means a tobacco product distributed to members of the general public at no cost for the purpose of promoting the products.

(4) "Sampling" means the distribution of samples to members of the general public in a public place.

(5) "Tobacco product" means a product that contains tobacco and is intended for human consumption.

SECTION 16-17-502. Distribution of tobacco product samples.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to distribute a tobacco product sample to a person under the age of eighteen years.

(B) A person engaged in sampling shall demand proof of age from a prospective recipient if an ordinary person would conclude on the basis of appearance that the prospective recipient may be under the age of eighteen years.

(C) A person violating this section is subject to a civil penalty of not more than twenty-five dollars for a first violation, not more than fifty dollars for a second violation, and not less than one hundred dollars for a third or subsequent violation. Proof that the defendant demanded, was shown, and reasonably relied upon proof of age is a defense to an action brought pursuant to this section.

SECTION 16-17-503. Enforcement; reporting requirements.

(A) The Director of the Department of Revenue shall provide for the enforcement of Section 16-17-502 in a manner that reasonably may be expected to reduce the extent to which tobacco products are sold or distributed to persons under the age of eighteen years and annually shall conduct random, unannounced inspections at locations where tobacco products are sold or distributed to ensure compliance with the section. The department shall designate an enforcement officer to conduct the annual inspections. Penalties collected pursuant to Section 16-17-502 must be used to offset the costs of enforcement.

(B) The director shall provide for the preparation of and submission annually to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services the report required by Section 1926 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300x-26) and otherwise is responsible for ensuring the state's compliance with that provision of federal law and implementing regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

SECTION 16-17-504. Implementation; local laws.

(A) Sections 16-17-500, 16-17-502, and 16-17-503 must be implemented in an equitable and uniform manner throughout the State and enforced to ensure the eligibility for and receipt of federal funds or grants the State receives or may receive relating to the sections. Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation. Nothing herein shall affect the right of any person having ownership or otherwise controlling private property to allow or prohibit the use of tobacco products on such property.

(B) Smoking ordinances in effect before the effective date of this act are exempt from the requirements of subsection (A).

SECTION 16-17-505. Cigarette packages violating certain federal laws; illegal sale or distribution; penalties; seizure.

(1) For purposes of this section, "package" means a pack, carton, or container of any kind in which cigarettes are offered for sale, sold, or otherwise distributed, or intended for distribution to consumers.

(2) It is unlawful to sell, hold for sale, or distribute a package of cigarettes if:

(a) the package differs in any respect with the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. 1331, for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is to be sold within the United States;

(b) the package is labeled "For Export Only", "U.S. Tax Exempt", "For Use Outside U.S.", or similar wording indicating that the manufacturer did not intend that the product be sold in the United States;

(c) the package, or a package containing individually stamped packages, has been altered by adding or deleting the wording, labels, or warnings described in (a) or (b) of this subsection;

(d) the package has been imported into the United States after January 1, 2000, in violation of 26 U.S.C. 5754; or

(e) the package in any way violates federal trademark or copyright laws.

(3) A person who knowingly sells, holds for sale, or distributes cigarette packages in violation of subsection (2) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned for not more than three years or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(4) In addition to the other penalties provided by law, law enforcement may seize and destroy or sell to the manufacturer, for export only, any packages described in subsection (2).

SECTION 16-17-510. Enticing enrolled child from attendance in school.

It is unlawful for a person to encourage, entice, or conspire to encourage or entice a child enrolled in any public or private elementary or secondary school of this State from attendance in the school or school program or transport or provide transportation in aid to encourage or entice a child from attendance in any public or private elementary or secondary school or school program.

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 22-3-540, 22-3-545, and 22-3-550, a first or second offense must be tried exclusively in magistrate's court. Third and subsequent offenses must be tried in the court of general sessions.

SECTION 16-17-520. Disturbance of religious worship.

Any person who shall (a) wilfully and maliciously disturb or interrupt any meeting, society, assembly or congregation convened for the purpose of religious worship, (b) enter such meeting while in a state of intoxication or (c) use or sell spirituous liquors, or use blasphemous, profane or obscene language at or near the place of meeting shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, on conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than twenty nor more than one hundred dollars, or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year or less than thirty days, either or both, at the discretion of the court.

SECTION 16-17-530. Public disorderly conduct.

Any person who shall (a) be found on any highway or at any public place or public gathering in a grossly intoxicated condition or otherwise conducting himself in a disorderly or boisterous manner, (b) use obscene or profane language on any highway or at any public place or gathering or in hearing distance of any schoolhouse or church or (c) while under the influence or feigning to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor, without just cause or excuse, discharge any gun, pistol or other firearm while upon or within fifty yards of any public road or highway, except upon his own premises, 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.

SECTION 16-17-540. Bribery with respect to agents, servants or employees.

Any:

(1) Person who corruptly gives, offers or promises to an agent, employee or servant any gift or gratuity whatever, with intent to influence his action in relation to his principal's, employer's or master's business;

(2) Agent, employee or servant who corruptly requests or accepts a gift or gratuity or a promise to make a gift or to do an act beneficial to himself under an agreement or with an understanding that he shall act in any particular manner in relation to his principal's, employer's or master's business;

(3) Agent, employee or servant who, being authorized to procure materials, supplies or other articles, either by purchase or contract for his principal, employer or master, receives, directly or indirectly, for himself or for another, a commission, discount or bonus from the person who makes such sale or contract or furnishes such materials, supplies or other articles or from a person who renders such service or labor; and

(4) Person who gives or offers such an agent, employee or servant such commission, discount or bonus;

Shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by such fine and by imprisonment for not more than one year.

SECTION 16-17-550. Bribery of athletes and athletic officials.

(1) Unlawful to bribe athletes or athletic officials or to accept such bribes. --It shall be unlawful to bribe or offer to bribe any player, manager, coach, referee, umpire or any other participant or official of any athletic contest with intent to influence the play, action, conduct, or decision of any such person or for any such person to accept or agree to accept such bribe or offer for the purpose of losing, trying to lose or trying to limit the margin of victory or defeat in any athletic contest or to aid or abet or assist in any manner whatsoever in any such bribe.

(2) Section to be cumulative to other laws. --This section shall not be construed as repealing or modifying any other provisions of law but shall be cumulative to such other provisions of law.

(3) Penalties. --Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or be imprisoned for not more than ten years or both in the discretion of the court.

SECTION 16-17-560. Assault or intimidation on account of political opinions or exercise of civil rights.

It is unlawful for a person to assault or intimidate a citizen, discharge a citizen from employment or occupation, or eject a citizen from a rented house, land, or other property because of political opinions or the exercise of political rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution and laws of the United States or by the Constitution and laws of this State.

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

SECTION 16-17-570. Interference with fire and police alarm boxes; giving false alarms.

Any person who shall wilfully, maliciously or mischievously interfere with, cut or injure any pole, wire, insulator or alarm box, give a false alarm from such box or by use of a telephone or break the glass in such box of any fire or police alarm system in this State or any of the appliances or apparatus connected therewith shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to hard labor in the State Penitentiary or on the chain gang in a county having a chain gang for a term of not less than sixty days or the payment of a fine of not more than two hundred dollars.

SECTION 16-17-580. Removing State line marks.

Any person who shall deface, disturb or remove any granite post or marking, whether wood, stone or metal, duly placed by competent authority on the State line of this State shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than six months.

SECTION 16-17-590. [1962 Code Section 16-562; 1952 Code Section 16-562; 1942 Code Section 1265; 1932 Code Section 1265; Cr. C. '22 Section 160; Cr. C. '12 Section 245; 1910 (26) 748]Repealed by 1989 Act No. 74, Section 3, eff May 10, 1989.

SECTION 16-17-600. Destruction or desecration of human remains or repositories thereof; liability of crematory operators; penalties.

(A) It is unlawful for a person wilfully and knowingly, and without proper legal authority to:

(1) destroy or damage the remains of a deceased human being;

(2) remove a portion of the remains of a deceased human being from a burial ground where human skeletal remains are buried, a grave, crypt, vault, mausoleum, or other repository; or

(3) desecrate human remains.

A person violating the provisions of subsection (A) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than ten years, or both.

A crematory operator is neither civilly nor criminally liable for cremating a body which (1) has been incorrectly identified by the funeral director, coroner, medical examiner, or person authorized by law to bring the deceased to the crematory; or (2) the funeral director has obtained invalid authorization to cremate. This immunity does not apply to a crematory operator who knew or should have known that the body was incorrectly identified.

(B) It is unlawful for a person wilfully and knowingly, and without proper legal authority to:

(1) obliterate, vandalize, or desecrate a burial ground where human skeletal remains are buried, a grave, graveyard, tomb, mausoleum, or other repository of human remains;

(2) deface, vandalize, injure, or remove a gravestone or other memorial monument or marker commemorating a deceased person or group of persons, whether located within or outside of a recognized cemetery, memorial park, or battlefield; or

(3) obliterate, vandalize, or desecrate a park or other area clearly designated to preserve and perpetuate the memory of a deceased person or group of persons.

A person violating the provisions of subsection (B) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(C)(1) It is unlawful for a person wilfully and knowingly to steal anything of value located upon or around a repository for human remains or within a human graveyard, cemetery, or memorial park, or for a person wilfully, knowingly, and without proper legal authority to destroy, tear down, or injure any fencing, plants, trees, shrubs, or flowers located upon or around a repository for human remains, or within a human graveyard, cemetery, or memorial park.

(2) A person violating the provisions of item (1) is guilty of:

(a) a felony and, upon conviction, if the theft of, destruction to, injury to, or loss of property is valued at two hundred dollars or more, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both, and must be required to perform not more than five hundred hours of community service;

(b) a misdemeanor triable in magistrates court if the theft of, destruction to, injury to, or loss of property is valued at less than two hundred dollars. Upon conviction, a person must be fined, imprisoned, or both, pursuant to the jurisdiction of magistrates as provided in Section 22-3-550, and must be required to perform not more than two hundred fifty hours of community service.

SECTION 16-17-610. Soliciting emigrants without licenses.

No person other than the South Carolina Employment Security Commission shall carry on the business of emigrant agent in this State without having first obtained a license therefor from the State Treasurer and the county treasurer of each county in which he solicits emigrants. The term "emigrant agent," as used in this section, shall be construed to mean any person engaged in hiring laborers or soliciting emigrants in this State to be employed beyond the limits of the State. Any person shall be entitled to State and county licenses, which shall be good for one year, upon payment into the State Treasury for the use of the State of five hundred dollars for each county in which he operates or solicits emigrants for each year so engaged and upon payment into the county treasury of each county in which he operates or solicits emigrants, for the use of each such county, of two thousand dollars for each year so engaged. Any person other than the South Carolina Employment Security Commission doing business as an emigrant agent without having first obtained each such license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars in case of failure to obtain a State license and one thousand dollars in case of failure to obtain a county license and not more than five thousand dollars in either such case or may be imprisoned in the county jail or, in case of failure to obtain a county license, upon the public works not less than four months or confined in the State Prison, at hard labor, not exceeding two years for each and every offense, within the discretion of the court.

SECTION 16-17-620. Exemption of solicitors of farm laborers to work in adjacent states.

The provisions of Section 16-17-610 shall not be applicable to any person soliciting or hiring laborers in this State to be employed in agricultural work in any state bordering on this State when such adjacent state places no limitation on the solicitation or employment of farm labor by South Carolina employers.

SECTION 16-17-630. Exemption of solicitors of household or domestic employees.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 16-17-610 it shall be lawful for any person to solicit without a license household or domestic employees for out-of-State employment.

SECTION 16-17-640. Blackmail.

Any person who verbally or by printing or writing or by electronic communications:

(1) accuses another of a crime or offense;

(2) exposes or publishes any of another's personal or business acts, infirmities, or failings; or

(3) compels any person to do any act, or to refrain from doing any lawful act, against his will;

with intent to extort money or any other thing of value from any person, or attempts or threatens to do any of such acts, with the intent to extort money or any other thing of value, shall be guilty of blackmail and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

SECTION 16-17-650. Cockfighting.

It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to engage in or be present at cockfighting in this State and any person found guilty shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not exceeding thirty days.

SECTION 16-17-660. Using dry wells for sewerage in towns of 500 or over.

It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to keep, maintain or use a dry well or other wells or privy vaults into which sewerage matter is discharged or received in any city, town or village having a population of not less than five hundred, whether incorporated or unincorporated, when such city, town or village has no public general supply of water for personal and domestic uses. Any person who now has or maintains any such well for the discharge or reception of sewerage matter shall, upon fifteen days' notice from any magistrate that complaint thereof has been made, close up such well and discontinue its use entirely. Any person found guilty of violating this section shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not exceeding thirty days.

SECTION 16-17-670. Record shall be kept by dealers in crossties.

Any person within this State dealing in crossties shall keep a book of record which shall be open to the public and in which shall be legibly written the name of the party or parties from whom crossties are purchased, the number of crossties purchased and the lands or premises from which such crossties are cut or harvested. Any person violating the terms of this section shall be subject to a fine of twenty-five dollars for each offense.

SECTION 16-17-680. Unlawful purchase or transportation of copper wire or copper pipe.

(A) It is unlawful to purchase copper wire, copper pipe, copper bars, or copper sheeting in excess of ten pounds from a person who is not a holder of a retail license or an authorized wholesaler or unless the purchaser obtains and can verify the name and address of the seller. A purchaser of copper wire, copper pipe, copper bars, or copper sheeting shall maintain a record containing the date of purchase, name and address of seller, weight or length, and size or other description of copper wire, copper pipe, copper bars, or copper sheeting purchased and amount paid for it. Records must be maintained and kept open for inspection by law enforcement officials or local and state governmental agencies during regular business hours. The records must be maintained for twelve months from the date of purchase.

(B) It is unlawful for a person to transport or have in his possession on highways of this State, in a vehicle other than a vehicle used in the ordinary course of business for the purpose of transporting copper wire, copper pipe, copper bars, or copper sheeting, an amount of copper wire, copper pipe, copper bars, or copper sheeting of an aggregate weight of more than twenty-five pounds, unless the person has in his possession:

(1) a bill of sale signed by:

(a) a holder of a retail license for a business engaged in the sale of copper wire, copper pipe, copper bars, or copper sheeting;

(b) an authorized wholesaler engaged in the sale of copper wire, copper pipe, copper bars, or copper sheeting; or

(c) a registered dealer in scrap metals; or

(2) a certificate of origin signed by the sheriff, or his designated representative, of the county in which the purchase was made.

The bill of sale or certificate of origin clearly must identify the material to which it applies and show the name and address of the seller, license plate of the vehicle in which the material is delivered to the purchaser, identified by license number, year, and state of issue, the name and address of the purchaser, the date of sale, and the type and amount of copper wire, copper pipe, copper bars, or copper sheeting purchased.

(C) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a:

(1) misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days for a first offense. This offense is triable in magistrate's court;

(2) misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, for a second offense;

(3) misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both, for a third or subsequent offense. For an offense to be considered a third or subsequent offense, only those offenses which occurred within a period of ten years, including and immediately preceding the date of the last offense shall constitute a prior offense within the meaning of this section.

(D) For purposes of this section, the only identification acceptable is:

(1) a valid South Carolina driver's license;

(2) a South Carolina identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles;

(3) a valid driver's license from another state that contains the licensee's picture on the face of the license; or

(4) a valid military identification card.

SECTION 16-17-690. Fortunetelling for purpose of promoting another business.

It shall be unlawful to engage in the business, trade or profession of fortunetelling, palmistry, phrenology, clairvoyance or the prediction of future events by cards or other means or to offer to tell fortunes or predict future events by palmistry, astrology, clairvoyance, cards or other means as an inducement to promote some other business, trade or profession. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be subject to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisonment for not less than fifteen nor more than thirty days.

SECTION 16-17-700. Tattooing.

It is unlawful for a person to tattoo any part of the body of another person unless the tattoo artist meets the requirements of Chapter 34 of Title 44. However, it is not unlawful for a licensed physician or surgeon to tattoo part of the body of a person of any age if in the physician's or surgeon's medical opinion it is necessary or appropriate; and it is not unlawful for a physician to delegate tattooing procedures to an employee in accordance with Section 40-47-60, subject to the regulations of the State Board of Medical Examiners.

A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined up to two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

SECTION 16-17-710. Selling tickets to athletic contest, sporting, entertainment or amusement event for more than prescribed amount.

(1) It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale any ticket good for admission to any athletic contest, sporting, entertainment or amusement event where an admission price is charged, and request or receive a price in excess of one dollar of the price charged by the original seller.

(2) 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.

The sale or offer for sale of each ticket shall constitute a separate offense.

SECTION 16-17-720. Impersonating law-enforcement officer.

It shall be unlawful for any person other than a duly authorized law-enforcement officer to represent to any person that he is a law-enforcement officer and, acting upon such representation, to arrest or detain any person, search any building or automobile or in any way impersonate a law-enforcement officer or act in accordance with the authority commonly given to such officers. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a private citizen from making a citizen's arrest in accordance with the laws of this State.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year.

SECTION 16-17-722. Filing of false police reports; knowledge; offense; penalties.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly file a false police report.

(B) A person who violates subsection (A) by falsely reporting a felony is guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(C) A person who violates subsection (A) by falsely reporting a misdemeanor is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be imprisoned not more than thirty days or fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

(D) In imposing a sentence under this section, the judge may require the offender to pay restitution to the investigating agency to offset costs incurred in investigating the false police report.

SECTION 16-17-725. Giving false information to law enforcement officer or member of fire department or rescue squad.

(A) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly make a false complaint, or after notice of a criminal investigation to give false information to any law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of any crime by another, or for any person to knowingly give false information to any rescue squad or fire department concerning the alleged occurrence of a health emergency or fire.

(B) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not to exceed two hundred dollars or by a term of imprisonment not to exceed thirty days.

SECTION 16-17-730. Charges for political advertisements in newspapers.

No newspaper in this State shall charge more for a political advertisement than the local prevailing rate for a commercial advertisement and payment for such advertisement shall be under the same terms and conditions as payment for a commercial advertisement. Any newspaper violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than one hundred dollars for each violation.

SECTION 16-17-735. Persons impersonating officials or law enforcement officers; persons falsely asserting authority of law; offenses; punishment.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to impersonate a state or local official or employee or a law enforcement officer in connection with a sham legal process. A person acting or purporting to act in an official capacity or taking advantage of such actual or purported capacity commits a misdemeanor if, knowing that his conduct is illegal, he:

(1) subjects another to arrest, detention, search, seizure, mistreatment, dispossession, assessment, lien, or other infringement of personal or property rights; or

(2) denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity.

A person violating the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(B) It is unlawful for a person falsely to assert authority of state law in connection with a sham legal process. A person violating the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(C) It is unlawful for a person to act without authority under state law as a Supreme Court Justice, a court of appeals judge, a circuit court judge, a master-in-equity, a family court judge, a probate court judge, a magistrate, a clerk of court or register of deeds, a commissioned notary public, or other authorized official in determining a controversy, adjudicating the rights or interests of others, or signing a document as though authorized by state law. A person violating the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(D) It is unlawful for a person falsely to assert authority of law, in an attempt to intimidate or hinder a state or local official or employee or law enforcement officer in the discharge of official duties, by means of threats, harassment, physical abuse, or use of a sham legal process. A person violating this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not less than one year and not more than three years, or both.

(E) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Law enforcement officer" is as defined in Section 16-9-310.

(2) "State or local official or employee" means an appointed or elected official or an employee of a state agency, board, commission, department, in a branch of state government, institution of higher education, other school district, political subdivision, or other unit of government of this State.

(3) "Sham legal process" means the issuance, display, delivery, distribution, reliance on as lawful authority, or other use of an instrument that is not lawfully issued, whether or not the instrument is produced for inspection or actually exists, which purports to:

(a) be a summons, subpoena, judgment, lien, arrest warrant, search warrant, or other order of a court of this State, a law enforcement officer, or a legislative, executive, or administrative agency established by state law;

(b) assert jurisdiction or authority over or determine or adjudicate the legal or equitable status, rights, duties, powers, or privileges of a person or property; or

(c) require or authorize the search, seizure, indictment, arrest, trial, or sentencing of a person or property.

(4) "Lawfully issued" means adopted, issued, or rendered in accordance with the applicable statutes, rules, regulations, and ordinances of the United States, a state, an agency, or a political subdivision of a state.

SECTION 16-17-740. Sale or possession of "cigarette load"; penalty.

It is unlawful for any person to sell or possess a novelty device commonly known as a "cigarette load" which may cause a cigarette or cigar to blow up or explode after being lit.

Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed two hundred dollars or by a term of imprisonment not to exceed thirty days.





Legislative Services Agency
h t t p : / / w w w . s c s t a t e h o u s e . g o v