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Rock Hill Criminal Defense Law Blog

Understanding stalking laws in South Carolina

South Carolina law acknowledges that there is a fine line between giving extra attention to and stalking someone. The law generally defines stalking as any activity that could cause fear of death or assault. Stalking may also occur when a pattern of activity causes fear of damage to that individual's property or to a family member's property. A person may be charged with aggravated stalking if violence occurs along with other activities that rise to the level of stalking.

Penalties vary based on the severity of the charge. Those who have a misdemeanor stalking charge could face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison. Those who face a felony charge could face a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison. If a person engages in felony stalking while under a court order, the penalties could include fines of up to $10,000 and seven years in prison.

Penalties for felony armed robbery in South Carolina

A person who is armed while committing a robbery in South Carolina will likely be charged with a felony. If convicted on the charge, that person could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The maximum prison sentence for a felony armed robbery charge is 30 years. Furthermore, those who are convicted of this charge must be sent to prison as opposed to being put on probation or given a suspended sentence.

A person is considered to be armed if he or she committed a robbery with a gun, brass knuckles or a similar weapon. An individual may be considered armed if the perpetrator of the crime insinuated that he or she was armed during the commission of the crime. If the victim of the crime or anyone else present while it was committed believed that a perpetrator had a deadly weapon, the charge may still apply.

14 arrested in South Carolina drug bust

South Carolina and federal authorities arrested 14 people on Nov. 15 on suspicion of committing various drug crimes. The arrests, which took place in Beaufort County and nearby areas, are the culmination of a multi-agency criminal investigation that took place over several years.

Beaufort County authorities said that the investigation focused on a drug ring that distributed opiates, cocaine and crack cocaine. During the execution of search warrants, agents seized a number of controlled substances, firearms and vehicles. Much of this evidence will be used to support federal cases against the defendants, but the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is charging two of the defendants. A 61-year-old Hilton Head man was charged with various counts of possession, sale and distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine within a half mile of a school. Meanwhile, a 54-year-old Hilton Head woman was charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine. Both defendants were booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center. The other 12 defendants are being held by federal agencies and will face federal charges.

Rose McGowan detained on suspicion of drug possession

Fans of Rose McGowan in South Carolina may be interested to hear details pertaining to her arrest in Virginia. McGowan was detained on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. After handing herself over to law enforcement officials in Virginia, McGowan was subsequently released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

The Metropolitan Washington airport's Authority Police Department was able to get an arrest warrant and charges were made in connection to an investigation police made of personal items of McGowan that allegedly had traces of narcotics. Police tested the items that McGowan left on a United flight, and these items showed positive for narcotics.

4 possible defenses for embezzlement charges

If you are facing embezzlement charges in South Carolina, it is important for you to take them seriously. Do not fool yourself into thinking that the evidence will eventually prove your innocence. You need to be proactive in your embezzlement defense to reduce the chances of conviction. 

To prove your guilt, the prosecution must show that you intentionally misappropriated funds or stole property. This is not easy as it may seem. A good attorney may defend you with the following defense options. 

New law makes sex offenders easier to track

South Carolina residents who have been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor will have their passports revoked. The State Department recently began implementing a new law called International Megan's Law that was passed in 2016. Those with such a conviction on their record will have to apply for a new passport that has a unique identifier on it. The goal of the new law is to cut down on potential child exploitation.

The new marker also makes it easier to keep track of where offenders may go while out of the country. Registered sex offenders will no longer be eligible for a passport card because they cannot be properly marked. According to a government report in 2010, there were thousands who were on the National Sex Offender Registry and were able to get a passport. However, there was no way to stop those on the registry from getting a passport unless they had been specifically convicted for sex tourism.

Man and woman charged with sex crime

Two South Carolina residents have been taken into custody on suspicion of committing a sex crime against a teenage girl. The alleged incident took place in Bennettsville late last year.

According to representatives of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, a 23-year-old Bennettsville woman and a 21-year-old Clio man committed sexual battery against the victim on Dec. 24, 2016. At the time of the alleged crime, the victim was just 15 years old and the defendants were both legal adults.

4 inmates facing murder charges after 2 workers die

South Carolina residents may be interested to learn about the recent failed prison escape in neighboring North Carolina. Authorities said that four men attempted to breakout from the Pasquotank Correctional Institution, killing a correctional officer and vocational worker in the process. The four prisoners were charged with murder on Oct. 20.

The inmates allegedly set a fire inside the sewing plant with the intention of creating a diversion that would allow them to climb over the fences that lined the prison. In addition to the two employees who were killed, two others also suffered serious injuries in the incident. They were reportedly in critical condition. Authorities said that others had suffered slashing or stabbing wounds. Four inmates and 10 other employees were injured.

Now we have a profile of the common embezzler

In the company you work for, it was just discovered that funds have gone missing. You feel very uncomfortable because you work in the bookkeeping department and are among those who are now under scrutiny by management.

A study of hundreds of major embezzlement cases has provided us with facts about the perpetrators, including common traits that produce an interesting profile. Do you meet the description of the common embezzler?

Man charged with murder after woman's body found in fire

South Carolina officials reported that the body of a woman that was found after a fire that occurred on Oct. 10 showed that she had been shot to death before the fire occurred. The woman was identified as a 39-year-old and a 38-year-old man was charged with murder the same afternoon.

The fire occurred at a residence located in the 100 block of Crestmore Drive. The woman's body was found in the debris after the blaze was extinguished. An autopsy on the woman's body was completed, which showed that she had been beaten and strangled before being shot. It was not clear what actually caused her death, though all three were factors. The autopsy showed that she had died before the fire was set.