According to S.C. Code § 30-4-10, the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act mandates that all public bodies are required to release government documents and records to the general public—including any corporation, individual, firm, organization or association. This law applies to all levels of the South Carolina government, which includes the activities of cities, counties, police departments, fire departments, school boards and state agencies. Should any of these public bodies fail to adhere to the terms of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, they could be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
As such, one could face up to $100 in fines and up to 30 days in jail for a first offense. For a second offense, the penalties would be increased to a $200 fine and up to 60 days in jail. For a third or subsequent offense, the offender could be sentenced to 90 days in jail and subjected to $300 in fines. In many cases, government officials feel that they are guaranteed "safe harbor" because they have followed the instructions of their supervisors, but it still remains that no one is exempt from the law. Simply voting to keep documents "privileged" is not a valid defense against a violation.
If you have been accused of violating the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, you should not hesitate to consult with a Lexington criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. Our firm has years of experience that we can contribute to your case, so we encourage you to learn more about how we can help. Your initial consultation is free when you
contact our office at (888) 301-6004, so don't wait any longer to enlist the help that you will need. You can also reach us online if you would prefer by filling out and submitting a free case evaluation form.
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