Property crimes include crimes such as larceny, malicious injury to property, obtaining money or goods by false pretenses, and breach of trust. Essentially to be a property crime, the punishment provision must be dependent upon the loss amount to the victim of the crime.
There are generally three tiers of punishment for property crimes (some exceptions exist) - less than $2,000, between $2,000 and $10,000, and greater than $10,000. At the low tier of less than $2,000 - the offenses are tried in magistrate or municipal court and carrying a potential sentence of a fine and up to 30 days in jail. At the $2,000 to $10,000 level, the offense is tried in the Court of General Sessions and is a felony carrying up to 5 years in prison and a fine in the discretion of the Court. At the high tier of greater than $10,000, the offense is a felony tried in the Court of General Sessions and carries up to 10 years in prison and a fine in the discretion of the Court.
The Court can suspend part or all of the sentence on probation, but is not required to do so. In addition to any punishment from the Court, if convicted the victim is entitled to restitution from the Defendant in an amount that the Court sets by order. These offenses may be eligible for pre-trial intervention if the Defendant does not have a criminal record. Get an experienced lawyer on your side to fight for you.
South Carolina Code Section 16-1-57 provides that upon a third or subsequent conviction for a property offense, the punishment shall be as a class E felony, in other words up to 10 years in prison.
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