As a criminal defense lawyer in Charleston, SC, I know that being convicted of a violent crime in South Carolina has life-changing consequences including the potential for a long jail sentence. In addition, you can face heavy fines long probation periods and restitution payments to the victim. Your employment options will be limited and you will lose some basic constitutional rights such as owning a weapon. This article covers those crimes that are considered “violent” in South Carolina and the penalties for each.

Violent Crime Offenses in South Carolina

South Carolina recognizes numerous violent crimes as felonies, some of which are listed below.

First-Degree Felony in South Carolina

  • Arson endangering people
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape

Second Degree Felony in South Carolina

  • Burglary when no one is present in the building
  • Indecent assault
  • Statutory sexual assault

Third Degree Felony in South Carolina

  • Carrying a gun without a permit
  • Institutional sexual assault of a minor
  • Terroristic threats

Non-Categorized Felony in South Carolina

  • First, second and third-degree murder
  • First, second and third-degree murder of an unborn child

Sentencing Range for Felony Levels in South Carolina

Anyone faces a sentence that is based on the degree of the felony after being convicted. There is a maximum penalty associated with every felony offense. However, non-categorized crimes have separate potential sentences.

Courts do not consistently impose the maximum sentence. Rather, individual sentences can differ significantly. Also, felonies that are not categorized under one of the three felony degrees have separate sentencing.

Previous Offenses Affect Penalties in South Carolina

Sentencing is also affected when a person has committed and been convicted of previous offenses. An additional penalty may apply when someone has a previous violent crime conviction and has a new violent crime.

Generally, the court must impose a prison sentence of at least 10 years. If the person has two or more previous violent crime convictions, the court must give the person a prison sentence of 25 years or more.

Criminal Defense Attorney in North Charleston

Sometimes, criminal charges are all it takes to place a stigma on your life. If convicted, that stigma grows into your inability to enroll in school, get your dream job or even live where you would like to after serving time. A sound legal defense could make the difference in whether charges stick or you walk away with your freedom. Contact our criminal defense attorney at the Deaton Law Firm for a free consultation.