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The Criminal & Civil Penalties for Trespassing in South Carolina

The Criminal & Civil Penalties for Trespassing in South Carolina

According to South Carolina Code §16-11-620, you could be charged with a misdemeanor offense if you were caught trespassing on someone else's property. Under the law, this means that you have knowingly entered onto another person's property after being warned not to and/or being asked to leave. Generally, it is not a crime to be on someone else's property without their permission; rather, it must be proven that you were instructed to stay away—either through the use of signs or a verbal and/or written warning from the property owner. In some cases, however, meeting this burden of proof is as simple as showing that you had climbed over a fence when entering onto the premises.

If you are convicted of this property crime, you could be fined up to $1,000 or sentenced to 30 days in county jail. For a second or subsequent trespassing offense, the severity of these penalties will be increased. Apart from the consequences of a criminal conviction, however, you could also be targeted in a civil lawsuit. While the fines for a trespassing conviction are typically limited to no more than $5,000, you could be expected to pay much more in civil damages if the plaintiff is successful in their pursuit. For this reason, you should not hesitate to retain the help of a Lexington criminal attorney from the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC as soon as you have been arrested for trespassing in South Carolina.

To speak with a member of our legal team, contact our office today at (888) 301-6004 for a free initial consultation. We have live operators standing by. If you would prefer to contact us online, you can also fill out the free case evaluation form that is conveniently located on our website.


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