South Carolina Felonies
The state of South Carolina defines felonies as crimes that are designated into classifications by state statutes. Felonies in most states usually carry stipulated sentences of no less than one year in a state prison. South Carolina often gives stronger punishments. South Carolina law state that the final classification punishment can be as much as ten years. Misdemeanors and felonies can often be confused for one another. There are two basic differences between the two: misdemeanors are less severe than felonies and misdemeanor punishments are served in a county or local jail while felony punishments are served in a state prison. Felony classes are broken into alphabetical degrees of severity with A being the most serious and E being the least serious. Each classification has similar offenses, but the degree of the offense sets one offense apart from another. For instance arson in the first degree is a higher felony than arson in the second degree–this is why the same crime can appear in different felony classes.
South Carolina Felony Classes
Murder is not placed in a felony class because it is unlike any other, so it is handled apart from the other classes. Class A Felonies are punishable by up to thirty years in a state prison. Class A Felonies include criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, voluntary manslaughter, robbery, carjacking, drug offenses, kidnapping, and arson. Drug charges depend on the kind of drug in possession and the amount. Class B Felonies include drug offenses, robbery, sexual crimes, white collar crimes, arson, and driving under the influence offenses that result in death. Class B Felonies are punishable by up to twenty-five years in a state prison.
Class C Felonies can have punishments up to twenty years in prison and include offenses of theft, poisoning, assault and battery with the intent to kill, lynching, and drug crimes. Class D Felonies can carry punishments up to fifteen years in a state prison. This category of felonies includes stalking, burglary offenses, and being an accessory to a Class A, Class B, or Class C Felony. The final classification of South Carolina felonies is the Class E Felony that can have punishments as much as ten years in a state prison. Class E Felonies include driving under the influence, bribery, being an accessory to a Class D Felony, and threatening voters.
It is possible that an individual may have prison time that exceeds the Class A Felony thirty-year mark where the offense is not murder. This happens if the individual has been charged with multiple felonies for a single offense, such as a sexual crime, assault and battery, and kidnapping. These offense punishments can be added together to exceed thirty years, at the discretion of the court.
South Carolina Expungement
South Carolina allows cases that have been dismissed, discharged, or found innocent to be expunged. Under this ruling felony convictions are not eligible for expungement petitioning. First-time driving under the influence charges can possibly be expunged if court-administration programs find the case to be eligible.