In keeping with my previous posting concerning witnesses changing their story I wanted to provide some more information on the misdemeanor crime of providing false information to law enforcement.
Under South Carolina law anyone who knowingly makes any false complaint to law enforcement about the commission of a crime, provides false information to a fire or rescue squad about an emergency or who claims a false identity during a traffic stop is guilty of Giving False Information to Law Enforcement in violation of S.C. Code § 16-17-725.
This offense carries up to thirty days in jail. In my personal observations from sitting in criminal terms of Magistrate or Municipal Court this appears to be a fairly common charge.
It should also be noted that this is not the only possible charge for lying to the police. It is possible to pick up a perjury, obstruction of justice, or other serious felony charge as well.