Being Charged With a Violent Crime Affects More Than Just Your Sentence

It’s a fairly well-known fact that not every crime is equal in the eyes of the law. Someone convicted of misdemeanor shoplifting won’t spend near as much time in jail as someone convicted of murder. Beyond that common knowledge, it’s useful to know the differences between crimes considered to be “violent” and all other crimes in South Carolina. 

What Are Violent Crimes?

SC Code § 16-1-60 outlines nearly 40 offenses that are considered to be violent crimes. AYou can further break down this list into several categories to better understand what counts as a violent crime: 

  • Obviously violentOffenses like murder, assault and battery by mob which results in the death of another, kidnapping, domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, and armed robbery are included here. 
  • Violent sex crimesThere are several violent crimes that are sexual in nature. Charges like criminal sexual conduct with minors, first and second degree criminal sexual conduct, sexual battery of a spouse, and Violation of the Aggravated Peeping Tom statue fit here. 
  • Violent property crimes or deliberate property destruction resulting in death — Crimes that fit into this category (sometimes separated into two categories) are first- or second-degree burglary, carjacking, second-degree arson, detonating a destructive device resulting in death with malice, and airport Property or equipment crimes resulting in death, among others. 
  • Extreme drug crimesOur previous blog covered South Carolina drug crimes in-depth. In the context of violent crimes, violent drug charges include trafficking and manufacturing of various substances (over a certain threshold). 
  • Violent crimes involving deathSome of the offenses included in this category are boating under the influence resulting in death, failure to stop when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle resulting in death, and hit and run involving death. 

Bond for Violent Crimes

In many cases, South Carolinians charged with non-violent crimes (any crime not listed in the South Carolina Code as violent crimes) are entitled to reasonable bond. That is not the case for those charged with violent crimes. These individuals must make an affirmative ask, in General Sessions Court, for bond. Even then, bond is left to the judge’s discretion. One more thing: those charged with a violent crime need to file the bond motion as soon as possible. 

There is some confusion among South Carolinians over so-called “85 percent” crimes. If you are convicted of an 85-percent crime, you are not generally eligible for parole until you have served at least 85 percent of your sentence. Many violent crimes are also 85-percent crimes, but not all violent crimes are included. While those convicted of non-violent crimes are usually eligible for parole after 1/4 of their sentence has been served, violent crime offenders must serve at least 1/3 of their sentences before becoming eligible for parole. 


Even seemingly minor or non-violent crimes can have a dramatic effect on the rest of your life. The need for competent legal counsel when you or a loved one is charged with a violent crime is even more urgent. We’d love to speak with you about your legal needs today and figure out how we can help. Call us at (864) 585-4226 to set up a consultation with our legal team.

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Cate & Brough, P.A.

At Cate & Brough, we all have personal experience with family law and family court. We know more than just what the law says about your issue – we know what you are going through.

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