South Carolina State of Emergency Lawyer

During a state of emergency in South Carolina, most people are worried about their family and friends, are overwhelmed with stress regarding their physical and financial well-being and are generally fearful of the uncertainty that lies ahead. Sadly, it’s during these dark days that you can be falsely accused of a crime or simply make a mistake out of desperation in a time of need.

According to the criminal law in South Carolina, the following acts are illegal:

  • Looting
  • Violation of curfew
  • Congregation of groups
  • The failure to disperse when ordered in an emergency area designated by the governor

If you have been arrested for committing illegal acts during a state of emergency, then you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. The best legal defense begins on day one by choosing the right lawyer for your situation. Reach out to a South Carolina state of emergency lawyer to discuss your case.

Illegal Acts During a State of Emergency

It is important to note that Section 16-7-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws provides that it is unlawful for persons to violate a set curfew, congregate in groups larger than three people (with the exception of being in their homes), and ignore police officer’s orders to disperse and disband groups of people. A seasoned state of emergency attorney in South Carolina could explain the various types as well as the penalties for alleged illegal acts.

Misdemeanor Conviction

If convicted of looting, violating curfew, congregation, or failure to disperse in an emergency area, you must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

Felony Looting Conviction

During a state of emergency, it is also unlawful for a person to loot. This is described as entering a person’s property with the criminal intent to either damage the property, steal something, and even disturb the person’s property. The penalty for looting is severe. If convicted, the sentencing judge has the discretion to impose a fine, sentence you to prison, or both. The sentencing judge must also order restitution pursuant to the S.C. Code of Laws.

Price Gouging Penalty

One of the most common criminal offenses seen during a state of emergency is price gouging. Business owners cannot charge customers unconscionable prices, or knowingly and willfully mislead their customers to solicit business when selling their goods or services. Notably, the punishment for is cumulative to the statutes in the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

An Experienced South Carolina Criminal Attorney Could Help With Cases Addressing Illegal Acts Involving Looting, Violating Curfew, Congregation of Groups, and Failure to Disperse in an Emergency Area

If you are under investigation or have been arrested by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division or any other law enforcement agency, you need to seek the advice and of an aggressive criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss building a strategy to defend against your charges. You should not go through this complex legal process alone without the help of a knowledgeable South Carolina state of emergency by your side every step of the way.