Child Endangerment Laws in South Carolina

Have you been accused of harming children? Child Endangerment is defined in South Carolina as having a child under the age of 16 in the car with you and violating one or more other statutes. For example, if a person is pulled over and they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they have a minor in the car then they could face child endangerment charges. This applies as well when a person fails to stop/pull-over when signaled by law enforcement.

A person can face severe consequences for violating this statute. Not only will they face charges related to the underlying offense, like a DUI or DWI, but they will also face certain consequences for the Child Endangerment charge too.

If you or a loved one are facing these charges you should contact a criminal defense attorney quickly. The consequences of each charge you could be facing might become more severe if you do not find the proper legal counsel. Exchanging money for sex is illegal. A person can be charged for this simple definition but they can also be facing charges for situations that fall outside the traditional definition.

Being engaged in pimping, pandering, and/or running a brothel is also criminalized in South Carolina. Regardless of which section of Section 16-15-90 or 16-15-100 a possibility of jail, fines, and a mark on your criminal record are all possibilities. In South Carolina both the patron and the worker are punished equally under the law. This means that depending on the offense (for example if it is not the 1st offense) both people would face the same consequences if convicted.

If you’ve been charged with any of these violations you need a criminal defense lawyer by your side. There is a potential for a life-changing situation if these charges lead to convictions. Even if you do not have a prior criminal record you should not take these situations lightly.

We handle all of our cases with the highest level of professionalism, diligence, and discretion.

We have worked with countless individuals in South Carolina. If you are located anywhere in Berkeley County contact us today to set up a consultation.

Shaun Kent and his team have a proven track record. In the toughest situation, he has helped his clients overcome. Find out more by clicking below.

We are confident we can fight and defend your rights. We have a detailed understanding of South Carolina Law and legal procedures and we know how to use that knowledge to seek a good outcome.

Consequences of Child Endangerment Charges in South Carolina

A child endangerment charge can be serious because it is essentially a charge on top of another charge. If convicted a person can face not only a fine and jail time related to the underlying charge but also additional fines and time for the child endangerment charge. 

What does this mean? Well, if a person is facing a DUI and child endangerment charge then they can face the fine amount for the underlying charge, say the maximum is 1,000 and a fine for the second charge which can be no more than ½ of the maximum original fine, so a maximum of 500. 

Here is what the law says specifically:

Upon conviction, the person must be:

(1) fined not more than one-half of the maximum fine allowed for committing the [underlying] violation, when the person is fined for that offense;

(2) imprisoned not more than one-half of the maximum term of imprisonment allowed for committing the [underlying] violation.

These are not the only type of consequences a person could face. A DUI carries extra consequences like a possible license suspension and IID requirement.

South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you or a loved one are facing these charges contact our offices today. Our lawyers have decades of experience defending clients in criminal law. Call us today or fill out our form to schedule a consultation.

Potential Punishment for Prostitution in SC

All of the above-mentioned violations are misdemeanor offenses. The severity of the consequences depends on whether it is a first-time offense or a repeat offense. Even though prostitution or the related crimes are not felonies they still need to be taken seriously. Fines, jail time, and a stain on a person’s reputation are all still on the table. 

A first-time offense carries the possibility of up to 30 days in jail, a $200 fine, or both. A second-time offense carries heavier penalties. These are the possibility of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. 

A third-time offense is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Felony Prostitution Offenses

While the charges we have covered so far have all been misdemeanors of varying severity there is the possibility of a felony offense being brought forward.

This is through SC Code § 16-15-335. If a person older than 18 years of age engages in procuring, assisting, employing, or permitting prostitution by someone under the age of 18 then they can face a felony charge. This charge means up to 10 years of imprisonment and up to $5,000 in fines. 

As with most sexual crimes involving legal minors the registration into the state’s Sex Offender Registry is mandatory if you are found guilty of violating this statute.

Possible Defense Strategies

Each case is unique. Depending on your situation a criminal defense lawyer could present a set of strategies and advise you on the best possible route. The following strategies are not to be taken as legal advice. 

  • Miranda Rights Violations: An entire criminal case will probably not be dropped if someone is not read their Miranda Rights. But, everything that was said during the custodial interrogation can be dropped from the evidence. A criminal defense lawyer can investigate and argue this in your favor. 
  • Entrapment: If a police investigation lead to an arrest for prostitution or one of the related violations, then there could be the possibility that there was entrapment. Entrapment is when police illegally set someone up to break the law.

Contact Us Today

Contacting a criminal defense lawyer is the best course of action if you are facing criminal charges. If you or someone you know is facing prostitution charges you need to seek the proper legal counsel. 

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