Call Today 888.301.6004
Harassment & Stalking in South Carolina

Harassment & Stalking in South Carolina

Harassment in the First Degree 

According to South Carolina law, harassment in the first degree means a pattern of intentional, significant, and unreasonable intrusion into the targeted person’s privacy and such behavior causes the person—or any other reasonable person in the same position—to suffer emotional and mental distress. “Pattern” is defined as two or more acts occurring over a period of time. 

Common examples of harassment in the first degree include

  • Following someone when he/she moves from one place to another 

  • Initiates, maintains, or repeats visual or physical contact after a person has expressed—either verbally or in writing—that he/she does not welcome such contact or after he/she has filed an incident report with the police 

  • Continued surveillance of the person’s home, workplace, school, or any other place he/she regularly occupies or visits 

  • Damaging the person’s property 

Harassment in the first degree is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. If a person commits this offense while under a restraining order, a conviction carries a maximum prison term of three years and/or a fine of up to $2,000. However, if a person commits this offense and has a prior conviction for harassment or stalking within the past ten years, then harassment in the first degree is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. 

Harassment in the Second Degree 

Harassment in the second degree is also defined as a pattern of intentional, significant, and unreasonable intrusion into the targeted person’s privacy and such behavior causes the person—or any other reasonable person in his/her position—to suffer emotional and mental distress. Common examples of this offense include calling, texting, e-mailing, and attempting to communicate with someone else repeatedly. 

Harassment in the second degree is a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 days and/or a fine of up to $200. Yet, if a person has a prior harassment or stalking conviction within the past ten years or he/she was subject to a restraining order at the time of the arrest, then a conviction can result in imprisonment for up to one year and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. 

Stalking 

Stalking means a pattern of words—either orally, electronically, or in writing—or a pattern of conduct with the intention of causing a person—or any reasonable person in the same position—to fear either (1) his/her death or the death of a loved one, (2) an assault against him/her or a loved one, (3) bodily injury to himself/herself or a loved one, (4) criminal sexual contact on him/her or a loved one, (5) being the victim of kidnapping or a loved one will be the victim, or (6) property damage. Essentially, stalking is considered an unwanted pursuit against another person. 

Stalking in South Carolina is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. If a person commits this offense while under a restraining order, a conviction carries a maximum prison term of 10 years and/or a fine of up to $7,000. However, if a person commits this offense and has a prior conviction for harassment or stalking within the past ten years, then stalking is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000. 

If you have been accused of harassment or stalking in Columbia or Lexington, SC, call the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC at (888) 301-6004 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation! Serving clients throughout South Carolina since 2004! 

Categories:

Get Started Today

We're Available to Schedule Immediate, Same-Day Consultations
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.