In South Carolina, as in many other states, certain crimes are considered “violent” for purposes of sentencing and punishment. This article details violent crimes in South Carolina. Please note that all definitions are abbreviated versions of the actual statutes. The entire statute must be read to provide a comprehensive understanding of the law.

Physical Crimes

Murder (16-3-10) – the killing of any person with malice aforethought, either express or implied.

Attempted murder (16-3-29) – same as above but the victim is not murdered.

Voluntary manslaughter (16-3-50) – the unlawful killing of another without malice aforethought, express or implied.

Assault and battery by mob, first degree, resulting in death (16-3-210(B)) – an act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person resulting in death.

Aggravated Assault and Battery (16-3-600(B)) – unlawfully injuring another person resulting in great bodily harm or by an act likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

Armed robbery (16-11-330(A)) – an offender who commits robbery and with actions or words is armed with a listed weapon or other deadly weapon. The victim must reasonably believe that the offender was armed.

Attempted armed robbery (16-11-330(B)) – same as above but the robbery was not actually completed.

Kidnapping (16-3-910)  – taking control over another person against their will and without consent.

Trafficking in persons (16-3-2020) – subjecting a person to sex trafficking, forced labor/service and involuntary servitude or debt bondage through any means.

Homicide by child abuse (16-3-85(A)(1)) – causing the death of a child while committing an act of child abuse. Describes what constitutes abuse under the law.

Aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse (16-3-85(A)(2)) – offender aids or abets in the above and the victim is under the age of eleven.

Inflicting great bodily injury upon a child (16-3-95(A)) or allowing it (16-3-95(B)) – (A) common sense definition (B) applying only to the Parent, Guardian or authorized care taker of a child.

Criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature (16-25-65) – commits the act demonstrating extreme indifference to human life.

Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in great bodily injury (43-35-85(E)) or death (43-35-85(F)) – act directed at an elderly person requiring special care of a medical or mental nature.

Hostage taking while in jail (24-13-450) – prohibits hostage taking in a jail.

Property Crimes with Violence Involved

Carjacking (16-3-1075) – taking a car and causing great bodily harm to the driver or other occupant.

Arson in the second degree (16-11-110(B)) – willful and malicious setting of a fire to a building or structure.

First Degree Burglary (16-11-311) or second degree (16-11-312(B)) – (A) entering the dwelling with intent to commit a crime therein. Section (B) is an aggravated version of burglary because the offender was armed with a dangerous weapon or instrument or threatened to use the weapon or if they cause physical injury to an occupant.

Deliberate Destruction of Public Property Resulting in Death

Detonating a destructive device resulting in death with malice (10-11-325(B)(1)) – must be on capital grounds and the device must be destructive as listed in the statute. Requires that the criminal act be done with malice aforethought.

Detonating a destructive device resulting in death (16-23-720(A)(1)) and (16-23-720(A)(2))Section (A) (1) – required malice aforethought and Section (A) (2) there is an absence of malice aforethought.

Airport Property or Equipment crimes resulting in death (55-1-30(3)) – designed to protect airports and passengers.

Crimes involving traffic control devices on roads and/or near railways resulting in death (56-5-1030(B)(3)) – designed to punish those who unlawfully remove or damage signs and a tragedy takes place.

Putting destructive or injurious materials on a highway resulting in death (57-7-20(D)) – designed to punish those that deliberately sabotage the roadways.

Obstruction of a railroad resulting in death (58-17-4090) – designed to punish actions resulting in train derailment.

Extreme Drug Crimes

Section 44-53-370(E) and Section 44-53-375(C) – makes certain quantities of drugs to be classified as dealing or trafficking in the drugs. Manufacturing or trafficking methamphetamine as defined in Section 44-53-375 describes with clarity the amount necessary to be qualified as trafficking in methamphetamine.

Vehicular Crimes

Boating under the influence resulting in death (50-21-113(A)(2) – DUI while driving a boat resulting in a death.

Felony DUI (56-5-2945(A)(2)) – DUI and a death results during the accident.

Sex Crimes

Sexual conduct in the second degree (16-3-652 and 16-3-653)- (652) – sexual battery with a statutorily described aggravating factor . (653) offender utilized aggravated coercion to commit the crime.
Sexual conduct with minors, 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree (16-3-655) lists different age requirements for both the offender and victim.

Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, first and second degree (16-3-656) – sexual conduct act although not completed is punished as if it was due to the assault.

Engaging a child for a sexual performance (16-3-810) – the age of consent is 18 in South Carolina.

Sexual battery of a spouse (16-3-615) – requires that aggravated force be used and it must be reported by the victim within 30 days.

Sexual performance by a child (16-3-820) – children under 18 not allowed to be used in these performances.

Sexual exploitation of a child first degree (16-15-395) or second degree (16-15-405) – section(395) is engaged in a sexual activity under the age of 18. Section (405) is an aggravated version of the offense because it is recorded.

Promotion of prostitution of a minor (16-15-415) – prostituting a child under the age of 18.

Prostitution of minor parties involved in the crime(16-15-425) – criminalizes all parties engaged in the transaction.

Aggravated Peeping Ton Statute (16-17-470(C)) – aggravated version of peeping tom crime due to the taking of pictures or film of the victim and selling or distributing the same.

Crimes Involving Negligence

Boat operator’s failure to render assistance resulting in death (50-21-130(A)(3)) – places duty on operator to assist passengers on the boat

Failure to stop when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle resulting in death (56-5-750(C)(2)) – penalty for noncompliance with police direction on a roadway.

Hit and run resulting in death (56-5-1210(A)(3)) – establishes drivers duty to remain at the scene of an accident and to report the accident in a timely manner.