What Is the Penalty for Obstruction of Justice in South Carolina?

By Maggie Lourdes
You can be arrested for obstructing justice in South Carolina.
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South Carolina has various laws that prohibit the obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice is generally defined as behavior which interferes with the work of law enforcement or the judicial system. Particular penalties for obstructing justice under South Carolina law depend on the specific acts involved. Your attorney can answer detailed questions about charges and penalties for obstructing justice.

Statutes and Penalties

South Carolina outlaws many acts which obstruct justice through specific statutes. Some are misdemeanor crimes while others are felonies, which carry harsher penalties. For example, bribery is a felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. Resisting arrest is also punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. And, if a deadly weapon is involved, a minimum of two years imprisonment applies. Misconduct by a public official is a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail, $1,000 fine and forfeiture of public office.

Common Law Penalty

South Carolina also has a catchall, common law charge of obstruction of justice for acts that are not covered by specific statutes. These common law charges are not codified by statutes, but arise from the state's historical court decisions. Therefore, if a person commits an act that interferes with the administration of justice, but it does not fit the definition of a specific law, he still may face criminal charges. The common law charge of obstruction of justice in South Carolina carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

About the Author

Maggie Lourdes is a full-time attorney in southeast Michigan. She teaches law at Cleary University in Ann Arbor and online for National University in San Diego. Her writing has been featured in "Realtor Magazine," the N.Y. State Bar's "Health Law Journal," "Oakland County Legal News," "Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal," "Eye Spy Magazine" and "Surplus Today" magazine.