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You May Be Surprised What Is Considered a Crime in South Carolina

Posted by Tom Holland | Nov 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

You May Be Surprised What Is Considered a Crime in South Carolina
Everyone makes mistakes. However, some of those mistakes can lead to arrest and criminal charges no matter how innocent you thought they were. South Carolina has some interesting laws on the books.

Want to play a pinball machine at an arcade or pizza parlor? You better be 18.

Own horses?

  • If they are scared by a passing train, the railroad company can be held liable.
  • They cannot be kept in bathtubs.
  • They must wear pants at all times in Fountain Inn.

Are you going to get fined for your pantsless horse these days? We assume not. But there are some uncommon crimes that you could be fined or jailed for – and Holland Law, LLC, is here to help. We represent clients faced with criminal charges for DUI, drugs, theft, assault, and any other more obscure crimes still on the books in the great state of south Carolina.

Want to sell an instrument? Not on Sundays.

If you have an instrument you're looking to unload, go ahead and do so, just make sure the transaction doesn't take place on a Sunday. Title 53 – CHAPTER 1, SECTION 53-1-60 of the South Carolina code prohibits the sale of an instrument on Sundays, holidays, and other special days.

This law is an extension of South Carolina's “blue laws,” we assume – laws which prohibited the sale of certain items (usually beer, wine, and liquor) on Sundays. Even now, you cannot buy hard liquor on a Sunday in the state.

Firing a missile cannot be done without a permit

If you plan on picking up gunpowder and firing off a missile to celebrate your graduation, birth announcement, or another special event, make sure you obtain a permit first from the Aeronautics Division of the Department of Commerce. Under SC Code § 23-33-10 (2019), a “'missile,' as contemplated by this chapter, shall be defined as any object or substance hurled through the air by the use of gunpowder or any other explosive substance whether purchased by the individual or compounded from chemicals.”

If found guilty of this crime you will be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine of no more than $1,000. You can also spend up to 30 days in prison. The court can assess both penalties at its discretion.

Don't promise to marry a woman and fail to follow through

Promising to marry a woman and failing to follow through on the marriage can land you in jail for no more than one year. SC Code § 16-15-50 (2019) makes “seduction under promise of marriage” a crime: “A male over the age of sixteen years who by means of deception and promise of marriage seduces an unmarried woman in this State is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined at the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than one year.”

This is considered an offense against morality and decency under South Carolina law. A conviction could be used against you, too, in a family court setting if the result of the affair is a child.

In order to read someone's fortune, you must have a permit

South Carolina is strict when it comes to requiring permits for doing a lot of different things. One such thing is reading someone else's fortune. SC Code § 40-41-310 (2019) requires a license for itinerant fortunetellers:

It shall be unlawful for any person to follow the business of fortunetelling in any of the counties of this State, by traveling from place to place, without first obtaining from the clerk of the court of the county in which he wishes to follow his trade, a license permitting him to so do. Such license shall be issued by the clerks of court of the counties of this State to any person applying for it upon payment by the applicant of the sum of one hundred dollars.

Offenders convicted of this misdemeanor crime will be required to pay a fee of $100 and/or face up to 30 days in jail.

Skitching is dangerous and illegal

Remember the scene in Back to the Future where Marty hops on his hoverboard and grabs onto the back of the truck for a ride through town? It is called “skitching,” and it is the act of using a bike, roller skates, skateboards, sleds, or other types of toys to hitch a ride on the rear of a vehicle. It is also illegal.

Not all of South Carolina's strange laws are funny

We also have a number of laws on the books that are less humorous. For example, if you inadvertently kill another person while attempting suicide you will be charged with a capital crime. Suicide itself is illegal here (as it is in almost every other state). There is nothing charming about domestic assault, yet we still have a law that allows a husband to beat his wife on the steps of the courthouse on Sundays.

Even though South Carolina enacted a ban on texting while driving in 2014, S.C. Code § 56-5-3890 does not prohibit shooting a video or browsing the internet while driving. You can even make a phone call while driving, as long as you are hands-free. The law explicitly bans texting while driving but not much else when it comes to your mobile phone, which may explain the number of rising number of distracted driving claims we keep hearing about from our colleagues who handle injury cases.

No matter what kind of criminal charges you face, you deserve an attorney who will fight to protect your rights and your freedom. At Holland Law, LLC, we can investigate the incident that led to the charges and help build a defense to those charges. Call our office at 803-219-2630 or complete a contact form on our website to schedule a consultation. We have offices in Fort Mill and Rock Hill where we serve clients from York, Chester, and Lancaster Counties.

About the Author

Tom Holland

Experienced Divorce, DUI, and Criminal Defense Attorney While I've been primarily focused on the practice of divorce and family law for the past decade, my experience as a criminal prosecutor has continued to serve my clients well. I previously served as the General Counsel for the Lancaster Cou...


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