The difference between misdemeanor and felony charges comes down to the nature and seriousness of the crime.

In the state of South Carolina, there are three classifications of misdemeanor offenses: Class A, Class B and Class C. Class A misdemeanors can carry a sentence of three years or less; Class B, up to two years; and Class C, up to one year. Which classification a crime falls into depends on many complex factors and differs for each case, and there are dozens of crimes under each classification.

Regardless of the classification, even though misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, the charge is one that may follow you the rest of your life.

Understanding the law and what options may be in front of you is an important first step. While no web page can be a substitute for legal counsel, gathering information so that you understand the nature and severity of the charges you face is a crucial part of your defense. We have put together this page to offer some basic information on South Carolina misdemeanors.


There are many complex charges in each class. Here is a brief representation of some of the charges in each of South Carolina’s misdemeanor classes:

Class A Misdemeanors:

  • Voting machine tampering
  • Defacing a monument or flag on capitol grounds
  • Assault and battery in the second degree
  • Publishing the name of a victim of criminal sexual conduct
  • Threatening or intimidating a vulnerable adult
  • Harassment in the first degree
  • Graffiti or vandalism (third offense)
  • Theft of electric current
  • Tampering with a utility meter
  • Defrauding a drug or alcohol screening
  • Custody violations, such as returning a child late
  • Illegal selling of cigarettes
  • Unlawful entry into a domestic violence shelter
  • Unlawful removal of an electronic monitoring device
  • Certain types of insurance fraud
  • Drug possession
  • Manufacturing, dispensing, delivering, purchasing, and other charges related to marijuana
  • Failure to stop for a law enforcement vehicle

Class B Misdemeanors:

  • Use of altered or counterfeit tickets
  • Using fake coins in coin-operated machines
  • Sending or accepting a challenge to fight with a deadly weapon
  • Instigating, aiding, or participating in a riot
  • Committing or threatening acts of violence with the intent to coerce, induce, or solicit another person to participate in gang activity (first offense)
  • Aiding escapes from prison, for prisoners charged with noncapital offenses
  • Illegal distribution of recordings without name and address of manufacturer and designation of featured artist
  • Computer crimes
  • Additional penalty for unlawfully carrying pistol or firearm onto premises of business selling alcoholic liquors, beers or wines in a bar
  • Use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
  • Manufacture, storage, transportation, or possession of illegal fireworks
  • Unauthorized wearing of military insignia
  • Possessing, dispensing, or distributing drugs or devices without a prescription from a licensed practitioner
  • Violation of residential builder’s licensing provisions
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle in violation of an out-of-service order (first violation)
  • Taking or removing brasses, bearings, waste, or packing from railroad cars
  • Unlawful storage of alcoholic liquor in a place of business (third or subsequent offense)
  • Manufacture, sale, or possession of unlawful distillery (third or subsequent offense)
  • Unlawful sale of alcoholic liquors on Sundays, election days, and other days (third or subsequent offense)

Class C Misdemeanors:

  • Unlawful disclosure of confidential information
  • Diverting municipal funds allocated to bond payments for other purposes
  • Fraudulent registration or voting
  • Misconduct in office, habitual negligence, and the like
  • Failure to make payment or remit funds for payment of obligations
  • Knowingly violating tobacco regulations
  • Unlawful possession or operation of gaming devices
  • Willful failure to pay estimated tax or keep required records
  • Willfully providing employer with false information which decreases tax withheld
  • Assault and battery by mob in the third degree
  • Harassment in the second degree
  • Placing burning or flaming cross in public place
  • Slander and libel
  • Opposing or resisting law enforcement officer serving process
  • Theft of cable television service; unlawful use without payment
  • Operation of an audiovisual recording device in a motion picture theatre with intent to record (first offense)
  • Falsifying or altering transcript or diploma
  • Tampering with a utility meter for profit (first offense)
  • Prostitution
  • Providing tobacco products to a minor
  • Engaging in cockfighting, game fowl or illegal game fowl testing (first offense)
  • Unlawful games and betting
  • Use of vehicle or bicycle without permission
  • Domestic violence in the second degree
  • Willful failure to appear before a court when released in connection with a charge for a misdemeanor
  • Providing false information when registering as a sex offender (second offense)
  • Fraudulent or willful misstatement of fact in application for financial federal disaster assistance
  • Attending to a patient while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Discharging a laser at an aircraft


While a misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony, having a conviction on your record can prevent you from obtaining work, seeking an education, obtaining housing, and other potentially negative consequences. If you are convicted, expungement offers a way to remove the crime from your record. There are complex criteria for determining when and under what circumstances expungement is an option.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help evaluate your case for expungement.


If you have been charged with a misdemeanor in the state of South Carolina, or are interested in exploring options for expungement, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer promptly. Someone with the right experience can understand the complexity of the charges you face and advise you on the possibility of a plea bargain, acquittal, or other outcomes. Contact the Leventis Law Firm for a free consultation today.

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