Welcome to the Stalking Resource Center

The mission of the Stalking Resource Center is to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to effectively respond to stalking.

South Carolina

This page lists the most applicable state crimes addressing stalking. However, depending on the facts of the case, a stalker might also be charged with other crimes, such as trespassing, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, etc. Check your state code or consult with your local prosecutor about other charges that might apply in a particular case.

Stalking

Harassment

Related Offenses

To see the most recent legislative updates for this state, please click Stalking Legislative Updates.

Analyzing Stalking Laws


S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-1700 . Definitions. (2006)
As used in this article:

(A)  "Harassment in the first degree" means a pattern of intentional, substantial, and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that serves no legitimate purpose and causes the person and would cause a reasonable person in his position to suffer mental or emotional distress. Harassment in the first degree may include, but is not limited to:

(1)  following the targeted person as he moves from location to location;

(2)  visual or physical contact that is initiated, maintained, or repeated after a person has been provided oral or written notice that the contact is unwanted or after the victim has filed an incident report with a law enforcement agency;

(3)  surveillance of or the maintenance of a presence near the targeted person's:

(a) residence;

(b) place of work;

(c) school; or

(d) another place regularly occupied or visited by the targeted person; and

(4)  vandalism and property damage.

(B)  "Harassment in the second degree" means a pattern of intentional, substantial, and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that serves no legitimate purpose and causes the person and would cause a reasonable person in his position to suffer mental or emotional distress. Harassment in the second degree may include, but is not limited to, verbal, written, or electronic contact that is initiated, maintained, or repeated.

(C)  "Stalking" means a pattern of words, whether verbal, written, or electronic, or a pattern of conduct that serves no legitimate purpose and is intended to cause and does cause a targeted person and would cause a reasonable person in the targeted person's position to fear:

(1)  death of the person or a member of his family;

(2)  assault upon the person or a member of his family;

(3)  bodily injury to the person or a member of his family;

(4)  criminal sexual contact on the person or a member of his family;

(5)  kidnapping of the person or a member of his family; or

(6)  damage to the property of the person or a member of his family.

(D)  "Pattern" means two or more acts occurring over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose.

(E)  "Family" means a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or a person who regularly resides in the same household as the targeted person.

(F)  "Electronic contact" means any transfer of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data, intelligence, or information of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by any device, system, or mechanism including, but not limited to, a wire, radio, computer, electromagnetic, photoelectric, or photo-optical system.

(G)  This section does not apply to words or conduct protected by the Constitution of this State or the United States, a law enforcement officer or a process server performing official duties, or a licensed private investigator performing services or an investigation as described in detail in a contract signed by the client and the private investigator pursuant to Section 40-18-70.


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Stalking

S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-1730 . Penalties for conviction of stalking. (2006)
(A)  A person who engages in stalking is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than five years, or both.  


(B)  A person who engages in stalking when an injunction or restraining order is in effect prohibiting this conduct is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than seven thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(C)  A person who engages in stalking and who has a prior conviction of harassment or stalking within the preceding ten years is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than fifteen years, or both.

(D)  In addition to the penalties provided in this section, a person convicted of stalking who received licensing or registration information pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 3 of Title 56 and used the information in furtherance of the commission of the offense pursuant to this section must be fined one thousand dollars or imprisoned one year, or both.

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Harassment

S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-1720 . Penalties for conviction of harassment in the first degree. (2006)
(A)  Except as provided in subsections (B) and (C), a person who engages in harassment in the first degree is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(B)  A person who engages in harassment in the first degree when an injunction or restraining order is in effect prohibiting this conduct is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(C)  A person who engages in harassment in the first degree and who has a prior conviction of harassment or stalking within the preceding ten years is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(D)  In addition to the penalties provided in this section, a person convicted of harassment in the first degree who received licensing or registration information pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 3 of Title 56 and used the information in furtherance of the commission of the offense under this section must be fined one thousand dollars or imprisoned one year, or both.

S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-1710 . Penalties for conviction of harassment in the second degree. (2006)
(A)  Except as provided in subsection (B), a person who engages in harassment in the second degree is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars, imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.


(B)  A person convicted of harassment in the second degree is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than one year, or both if:

(1)  the person has a prior conviction of harassment or stalking within the preceding ten years; or

(2)  at the time of the harassment an injunction or restraining order was in effect prohibiting the harassment

In addition to the penalties provided in this section, a person convicted of harassment in the second degree who received licensing or registration information pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 3 of Title 56 and used the information in furtherance of the commission of the offense under this section must be fined two hundred dollars or imprisoned thirty days, or both.

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Related Offenses

S.C. Code Ann. § 16-17-470. Eavesdropping, peeping, voyeurism. (2001)
(A)  It is unlawful for a person to be an eavesdropper or a peeping tom on or about the premises of another or to go upon the premises of another for the purpose of becoming an eavesdropper or a peeping tom. The term "peeping tom", as used in this section, is defined as a person who peeps through windows, doors, or other like places, on or about the premises of another, for the purpose of spying upon or invading the privacy of the persons spied upon and any other conduct of a similar nature, that tends to invade the privacy of others. The term "peeping tom" also includes any person who employs the use of video or audio equipment for the purposes set forth in this section. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(B)  A person commits the crime of voyeurism if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire of any person, he or she knowingly views, photographs, audio records, video records, produces, or creates a digital electronic file, or films another person, without that person's knowledge and consent, while the person is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection:

(1)  for a first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; or

(2)  for a second or subsequent offense, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(C)  A person commits the crime of aggravated voyeurism if he or she knowingly sells or distributes any photograph, audio recording, video recording, digital electronic file, or film of another person taken or made in violation of this section. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(D)  As used in this section:

(1)  "Place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy" means:

(a) a place where a reasonable person would believe that he or she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that his or her undressing was being photographed, filmed, or videotaped by another; or

(b) a place where one would reasonably expect to be safe from hostile intrusion or surveillance.

(2)  "Surveillance" means secret observation of the activities of another person for the purpose of spying upon and invading the privacy of the person

(3)  "View" means the intentional looking upon of another person for more than a brief period of time, in other than a casual or cursory manner, with the unaided eye or with a device designed or intended to improve visual acuity.

(E)  The provisions of subsection (A) do not apply to:

(1)  viewing, photographing, videotaping, or filming by personnel of the Department of Corrections or of a county, municipal, or local jail or detention center or correctional facility for security purposes or during investigation of alleged misconduct by a person in the custody of the Department of Corrections or a county, municipal, or local jail or detention center or correctional facility;

(2)  security surveillance for the purposes of decreasing or prosecuting theft, shoplifting, or other security surveillance measures in bona fide business establishments;

(3)  any official law enforcement activities conducted pursuant to Section 16-17-480;

(4)  private detectives and investigators conducting surveillance in the ordinary course of business; or

(5)   any bona fide news gathering activities.

(F)  In addition to any other punishment prescribed by this section or other provision of law, a person procuring photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, digital electronic files, or films in violation of this section shall immediately forfeit all items. These items must be destroyed when no longer required for evidentiary purposes.

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