What should I do if I am arrested?
Be respectful and cooperate with the arresting officer. Make sure that the officer explains why you are being arrested and what your rights are. You may want to speak with a lawyer before answering questions by the police in order to better understand your rights. If you are under 17, you are allowed to speak with a parent or guardian and are allowed to have them present during questioning.
S.C. Code Section 17-13-50, Miranda v. Arizona , 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
What if I resist arrest ?
Resisting arrest is a crime. Even if you believe you are innocent of the crime for which you were arrested, you should never resist arrest. If you assault, beat or wound a police officer, it is a felony offense. Using or threatening to use a deadly weapon while resisting arrest is an even more serious felony offense.
Misdemeanor : fined between $500 and $1000 and/or up to one year in jail
Felony : fined between $1000 and $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in jail S.C. Code Sections 16-9-320 and 16-3-625
What does felony mean?
A felony is a very serious criminal offense. The penalty for most felonies include at least one year in jail. Being convicted of a felony can seriously affect your outlook for future opportunities. For example, in order to qualify for or maintain a LIFE scholarship, you cannot have a felony conviction. For nearly all job applications, you must disclose whether you have been convicted of a felony – many companies will not hire a convicted felon. Also, when applying for admission to college or graduate school, you must also disclose whether you have been convicted of a felony, which can greatly reduce your chances for admission to many programs of study.
What does misdemeanor mean?
A misdemeanor is less serious than a felony, but can still lead to jail time, fines and other penalties. Often, multiple or subsequent misdemeanor charges will become felonies.
What does aiding and abetting mean?
" Aiding and abetting " occurs when a person who doesn't actually commit a crime helps or encourages another person to commit a crime. In South Carolina, an "aider and abettor" is guilty of the same crime as the primary wrongdoer.
S.C. Code Section 16-1-40; State v. Leonard , 355 S.E. 2d 270 (SC, 1987)
Do I really have a permanent record ?
Even before you are considered an adult, you have a juvenile record that keeps track of your delinquencies. If you are taken into custody and go to court, the judge will consider whether or not you have a juvenile record when determining your punishment. Your juvenile record can be used against you as an adult if the judge thinks it is important.
At what age would I go to court as an adult ?
In South Carolina, the family court handles cases for anyone under 17. If the family court finds you guilty of an offense, it can place you in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice until you are 21 years old. However, if you are arrested for a more serious or violent crime, the judge will transfer you to circuit court to be “tried as an adult,” even if you are less than 17 years old.