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1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Unannotated
Updated through the end of the 2009 Session


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Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses

CHAPTER 9.

OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE

ARTICLE 1.

PERJURY

SECTION 16-9-10. Perjury and subornation of perjury.

(A)(1) It is unlawful for a person to wilfully give false, misleading, or incomplete testimony under oath in any court of record, judicial, administrative, or regulatory proceeding in this State.

(2) It is unlawful for a person to wilfully give false, misleading, or incomplete information on a document, record, report, or form required by the laws of this State.

(B)(1) A person who violates the provisions of subsection (A)(1) 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.

(2) A person who violates the provisions of subsection (A)(2) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not less than one hundred dollars, or both.

(C) A person may be convicted under this section if he induces, procures, or persuades another person to commit perjury or if he commits perjury by his own act, consent, or agreement.

SECTION 16-9-20. Subornation of perjury in civil actions.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to:

(1) wilfully induce, procure, or persuade another person by any means to commit perjury in initiating a civil action or proceeding; or

(2) wilfully induce, procure, or persuade another person to give false, misleading, or incomplete testimony while under oath in a civil action or proceeding.

(B) A person who violates the provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than six months and fined not less than two hundred dollars.

SECTION 16-9-30. False swearing before persons authorized to administer oaths.

It is unlawful for a person to wilfully and knowingly swear falsely in taking any oath required by law that is administered by a person directed or permitted by law to administer such oath.

A person who violates the provisions of this section 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.

SECTION 16-9-50. Disposition of fines.

The one moiety of the fines imposed by this article shall be for the State and the other moiety to such person as shall be grieved, hindered or molested by reason of the offense or offenses before mentioned that will sue for the same by action in any court of competent jurisdiction.

ARTICLE 3.

BRIBERY, CORRUPTION OF JURORS AND THE LIKE

SECTION 16-9-210. Giving or offering bribes to officers.

Whoever corruptly gives, offers or promises to any executive, legislative or judicial officer, after his election or appointment, either before or after he is qualified or has taken his seat, any gift or gratuity whatever, with intent to influence his act, vote, opinion, decision or judgment on any matter, question, cause or proceeding which may be pending or may by law come or be brought before him in his official capacity, shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary at hard labor not exceeding five years or by a fine not exceeding three thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail not exceeding one year.

SECTION 16-9-220. Acceptance of bribes by officers.

Every executive, legislative or judicial officer who corruptly accepts a gift or gratuity or a promise to make a gift or to do an act beneficial to such an officer under an agreement or with an understanding that his vote, opinion or judgment shall be given in any particular manner or on any particular side of any question, cause or proceeding which is or may be by law brought before him in his official capacity or that, in such capacity, he shall make any particular nomination or appointment shall forfeit his office, be forever disqualified to hold any public office, trust or appointment under the laws of this State and be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary at hard labor not exceeding ten years or by fine not exceeding five thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail not exceeding two years.

SECTION 16-9-230. Acceptance of rebates or extra compensation.

No person holding an office or position of trust or profit in this State or in the public institutions thereof shall accept rebates or extra compensation in addition to that provided by law. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be fined in a sum not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not less than three months nor more than five years.

This section shall not apply to officers accepting rebates not for their individual use but for the benefit and in behalf of the State.

SECTION 16-9-240. Taking of consideration or the like by sheriff or other officer for not performing duties.

If a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or other officer authorized to serve legal process receives from the defendant or any other person any money or other valuable thing as a consideration, reward or inducement for omitting or delaying to arrest a defendant or to carry him before a magistrate, for delaying to take a person to prison, for postponing the sale of property under an execution or for omitting or delaying to perform any duty pertaining to his office he shall be punished by a fine not exceeding three hundred dollars.

SECTION 16-9-250. Unlawful acceptance of remuneration by peace officers for performing official duties.

It shall be a misdemeanor for any sheriff or other peace officer in South Carolina to make any charge for the arrest, detention, conveying or delivering of any person charged with the commission of crime in this State, except the mileage and necessary expenses as now provided by law. Any sheriff or other officer who shall violate the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than thirty days and not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned at the discretion of the court.

SECTION 16-9-260. Corrupting jurors, arbitrators, umpires or referees.

Whoever corrupts or attempts to corrupt any juror, arbitrator, umpire or referee by giving, offering or promising any gift or gratuity whatever with intent to bias the opinion or influence the decision of such juror, arbitrator, umpire or referee in relation to any cause or matter pending in the court or before an inquest or for the decision of which such arbitrator, umpire or referee has been chosen or appointed shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary at hard labor not exceeding five years or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail not exceeding one year.

SECTION 16-9-270. Acceptance of bribes by jurors, arbitrators, umpires or referees.

If any person summoned as a juror or chosen or appointed as an arbitrator, umpire or referee corruptly receives any gift or gratuity whatever from a party to a suit, cause or proceeding for the trial or decision of which such juror has been summoned or for the hearing or determination of which such arbitrator, umpire or referee has been chosen or appointed, he shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary at hard labor not exceeding five years or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail not exceeding one year.

SECTION 16-9-280. Offering bribe for purpose of inducing another to procure public office.

If any person shall, directly or indirectly, offer to give or engage to pay any sum of money or other valuable consideration to another in order to induce such other person to procure for him by his interest, influence or any other means whatsoever any office or place of trust within this State, whether such office is to be obtained through any general, special or primary election or from any elective tribunal, or shall offer, give, promise or bestow any reward by meat, drink or otherwise, for the aforesaid purpose, and be thereof convicted, he shall forfeit the sum of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars and suffer imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

SECTION 16-9-290. Accepting bribes for purpose of procuring public office.

If any person shall receive of another any sum of money or reward of meat, drink or other valuable consideration for procuring or assisting to procure any office or place of trust in this State, whether such office is to be obtained through any general, special or primary election or from any elective tribunal, for any other person whatever and be convicted thereof, he shall forfeit the sum of not more than one hundred dollars and suffer imprisonment at the discretion of the court having cognizance of the same. And if such offender be in any office he shall, on conviction, be disabled from holding such office.

SECTION 16-9-300. Trial of offenses against Sections 16-9-280 and 16-9-290.

All offenses against the provisions of Sections 16-9-280 and 16-9-290 shall be heard, tried and determined before the court of general sessions after the indictment.

ARTICLE 4.

INTERFERENCE WITH JUDICIAL PROCESS

SECTION 16-9-310. "Law enforcement officer" defined.

For purposes of this article "law enforcement officer" shall mean any duly appointed or commissioned law enforcement officer of the State, a county or municipality.

SECTION 16-9-320. Opposing or resisting law enforcement officer serving process; assaulting officer engaged in serving process.

(A) It is unlawful for a person knowingly and wilfully to oppose or resist a law enforcement officer in serving, executing, or attempting to serve or execute a legal writ or process or to resist an arrest being made by one whom the person knows or reasonably should know is a law enforcement officer, whether under process or not. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(B) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and wilfully assault, beat, or wound a law enforcement officer engaged in serving, executing, or attempting to serve or execute a legal writ or process or to assault, beat, or wound an officer when the person is resisting an arrest being made by one whom the person knows or reasonably should know is a law enforcement officer, whether under process or not. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

SECTION 16-9-330. Refusal or wilful failure to obey subpoena; refusal to take oath or answer questions as required by court.

Any person who:

(a) Being duly served with a subpoena legally issued in any cause pending in any court or in any matter before any legal authority, shall refuse or wilfully fail to obey such subpoena or shall secret himself shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both;

(b) Being present before any court and being called upon to give testimony, shall refuse to take an oath or affirmation or, being sworn or affirmed, shall refuse to answer any questions required by such court shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. Nothing in this item shall be construed to prohibit or punish the exercise by any person of his right not to be compelled to incriminate himself, as set forth in the Constitutions of this State and the United States and construed by the courts of this State and the United States.

SECTION 16-9-340. Intimidation of court officials, jurors or witnesses.

(A) It is unlawful for a person by threat or force to:

(1) intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, juror, witness, or potential juror or witness, arbiter, commissioner, or member of any commission of this State or any other official of any court, in the discharge of his duty as such; or

(2) destroy, impede, or attempt to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court.

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

SECTION 16-9-350. Attempting to influence juror by written or oral communication; communications authorized by court not prohibited.

Any person who attempts personally or through third parties to influence the action or decision of any grand or petit juror of any court in this State or any prospective juror, upon any issue or matter which is or may be pending before such juror or before the jury of which he is or may become a member, by writing or sending him any written communication or making any oral communication relating to such issue or matter, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the communication of a request to appear before the grand jury, or other communication authorized by the court.

SECTION 16-9-360. Unauthorized recording of grand or petit jury proceedings.

Any person who knowingly and wilfully, without authorization of the court, by any means or device, records or attempts to record the proceedings of any grand or petit jury in any court of this State while such jury is investigating or deliberating 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 six months, or both.

SECTION 16-9-370. Taking money or reward to compound or conceal offense.

Any person who, knowing of the commission of an offense, takes any money or reward, upon an agreement or undertaking expressed or implied, to compound or conceal such offense or not to prosecute or give evidence shall:

(a) If such offense is a felony be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both;

(b) If such offense is a misdemeanor be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three months, or both.

SECTION 16-9-380. Relationship between Article 4, common law, civil relief and other statutes.

This article codifies various common law crimes and supersedes them but no person shall be prosecuted or convicted for the commission of the crimes defined herein if a contempt proceeding is instituted against him in any court of this State on account of conduct defined as a crime herein nor shall injunctive or other civil relief against such conduct be denied upon the ground that the conduct constitutes a crime. If any other statute of this State more specifically describes and prohibits the conduct also prohibited in this article and provides penalties, that statute shall govern and no prosecution may be instituted under this article.

ARTICLE 5.

AIDING OR PERMITTING ESCAPE OR TAKING OF PRISONERS

SECTION 16-9-410. Aiding escapes from prison; rescuing prisoners.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to:

(1) convey into a jail, correctional facility, or other like place of confinement any disguise, instrument, tool, weapon, or other thing adapted or useful to aid a prisoner in making his escape, with intent to facilitate the escape of a prisoner lawfully committed or detained; or

(2) aid or assist a prisoner by any means in his endeavor to escape, whether the escape is effected or attempted or not.

(B) It is unlawful for a person to forcibly rescue a prisoner held in custody.

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

(1) felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than ten years;

(2) misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than five hundred dollars if the person whose escape or rescue was effected or intended was charged with a noncapital offense.

SECTION 16-9-420. Aiding escape from custody of officers.

Whoever aids or assists a prisoner in escaping or attempting to escape from an officer or person who has the lawful custody of such prisoner shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary, at hard labor, not exceeding two years or by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.

SECTION 16-9-430. Jailer or other officer wilfully suffering escapes.

If a jailer or other officer wilfully suffers a prisoner in his custody upon conviction or on any criminal charge to escape he shall suffer the like punishment and penalties as the prisoner suffered to escape was sentenced to or would be liable to suffer upon conviction of the crime or offense wherein he stood charged.

SECTION 16-9-440. Officer permitting prisoner to be taken by a mob or other unlawful assemblage of persons.

If any prisoner lawfully in the charge, custody or control of any officer, State, county or municipal, shall be seized and taken from such officer through his negligence, permission or connivance by a mob or other unlawful assemblage of persons and at their hands suffering bodily violence or death, the officer shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon true bill found, shall be deposed from his office pending his trial and, upon conviction, shall forfeit his office and shall, unless pardoned by the Governor, be ineligible to hold any office of trust or profit within this State.

SECTION 16-9-450. Prosecution of officers violating Section 16-9-440; fees and costs.

It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney within whose circuit or county any such offense as is described in Section 16-9-440 may be committed to forthwith institute a prosecution against such officer. The officer shall be tried in such county in the same circuit, other than the one in which the offense was committed, as the Attorney General may elect. The fees and mileage of all material witnesses, both for the State and the defense, shall be paid by the county treasurer of the county in which the case originated on a certificate issued by the clerk and signed by the presiding judge showing the amounts due the witnesses.

SECTION 16-9-460. Furthering illegal entry by or avoidance of detection of undocumented alien.

(A) It is a felony for a person knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that another person has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law to transport, move, or attempt to transport that person within the State or to solicit or conspire to transport or move that person within the State with intent to further that person's unlawful entry into the United States or avoiding apprehension or detection of that person's unlawful immigration status by state or federal authorities.

(B) It is a felony for a person knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that another person has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection or to solicit or conspire to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection that person in any place, including a building or means of transportation, with intent to further that person's unlawful entry into the United States or avoiding apprehension or detection of that person's unlawful immigration status by state or federal authorities.

(C) A person who violates the provisions of subsection (A) or (B) of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed five years, or both.

(D) A person who is convicted of, pleads guilty to, or enters into a plea of nolo contendere to a violation of this section must not be permitted to seek or obtain any professional license offered by the State or any agency or political subdivision of the State.

(E) Subsections (A) and (B) do not apply to programs, services, or assistance including soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention; churches or other religious institutions that are recognized as a 501(c)(3) organizations by the Internal Revenue Service; and short-term shelters specified by the United States Attorney General, in the United States Attorney General's sole discretion after consultation with appropriate federal agencies and departments, which:

(i) deliver in-kind services at the community level, including through public or private nonprofit agencies;

(ii) do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient's income or resources; and

(iii) are necessary for the protection of life or safety.

Shelter provided for strictly humanitarian purposes or provided under the Violence Against Women Act is not a violation of this section, so long as the shelter is not provided in furtherance of or in an attempt to conceal a person's illegal presence in the United States.

(F) Providing health care treatment or services to a natural person who is in the United States unlawfully is not a violation of this section.






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