The South Carolina Legislative Council is offering access to the unannotated South Carolina Code of Laws on the Internet as a service to the public. The unannotated South Carolina Code on the General Assembly's website is now current through the 2012 session. The unannotated South Carolina Code, consisting only of Code text, numbering, and history, may be copied from this website at the reader's expense and effort without need for permission.
The Legislative Council is unable to assist users of this service with legal questions. Also, legislative staff cannot respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult your own private lawyer regarding all legal questions.
While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the unannotated South Carolina Code available on the South Carolina General Assembly's website, the unannotated South Carolina Code is not official, and the state agencies preparing this website and the General Assembly are not responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur in these files. Only the current published volumes of the South Carolina Code of Laws Annotated and any pertinent acts and joint resolutions contain the official version.
Please note that the Legislative Council is not able to respond to individual inquiries regarding research or the features, format, or use of this website. However, you may notify Legislative Printing, Information and Technology Systems at LPITS@scstatehouse.gov regarding any apparent errors or omissions in content of Code sections on this website, in which case LPITS will relay the information to appropriate staff members of the South Carolina Legislative Council for investigation.
Title 23 - Law Enforcement and Public Safety
Public parking lots within police jurisdiction.
Any real property which is used as a parking lot and is open to use by the public for motor vehicle traffic shall be within the police jurisdiction with regard to the unlawful operation of motor vehicles in such parking lot.
Such parking lots shall be posted with appropriate signs to inform the public that the area is subject to police jurisdiction with regard to unlawful operation of motor vehicles. The extension of police jurisdiction to such areas shall not be effective until the signs are posted.
In any such area the law enforcement agency concerned shall have the authority to enforce all laws or ordinances relating to the unlawful operation of motor vehicles which such agency has with regard to public streets and highways immediately adjoining or connecting to the parking area.
HISTORY: 1976 Act No. 574, Section 1.
Employment of peace officers on contingent basis; penalties.
It is unlawful for a peace officer to be employed within the State on a contingent basis upon which he receives any share of fines collected by him or through his efforts as compensation. A peace officer accepting employment on a contingent basis or receiving or accepting any part of the fines collected by him or through his efforts as compensation is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-2; 1952 Code Section 53-2; 1948 (45) 1643; 1993 Act No. 184, Section 196.
Subsistence allowance for police officials and law-enforcement officers.
Of the amounts appropriated by acts of the General Assembly for police officials and all commissioned law-enforcement officers, the sum of five dollars a day for each regular work day shall be designated as a statutory subsistence allowance.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-2.1; 1955 (49) 667.
Subsistence allowance for municipal and county law-enforcement officers.
Of the amounts appropriated as salaries for municipal law-enforcement officers and county law-enforcement officers the sum of five dollars per day for each such officer is hereby designated as subsistence for each day of active duty.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-2.2; 1958 (50) 1929.
Subsistence allowance for law-enforcement officers performing duties away from home area.
Any law-enforcement officer ordered to perform duties which carry him away from the area in which he lives and performs his ordinary duties shall be allowed reimbursement for actual subsistence expenses incurred and paid not to exceed fifteen dollars per day while traveling in the State and eighteen dollars and fifty cents per day while traveling outside the State.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-2.5; 1969 (56) 698.
Appointment, compensation, removal, and terms of special deputies, constables, security guards and detectives; workers' compensation.
(A) The Governor may, at his discretion, appoint additional deputies, constables, security guards, and detectives as he deems necessary to assist in the detection of crime and the enforcement of the criminal laws of this State. The qualifications, salaries, and expenses of these deputies, constables, security guards, and detectives appointed are to be determined by and paid as provided for by law. Appointments by the Governor may be made pursuant to this section without compensation from the State. Appointments of deputies, constables, security guards, and detectives made without compensation from the State may be revoked by the Governor at his pleasure.
(B) All appointments of deputies, constables, security guards, and detectives appointed pursuant to this section without compensation expire sixty days after the expiration of the term of the Governor making the appointment. Each Governor shall reappoint all deputies, constables, security guards, and detectives who are regularly salaried as provided for by law within sixty days after taking office unless the deputy, constable, security guard, or detective is discharged with cause as provided for by law.
(C) All persons appointed pursuant to the provisions of this section are required to furnish evidence that they are knowledgeable as to the duties and responsibilities of a law enforcement officer or are required to undergo training in this field as may be prescribed by the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
(D) A voluntary deputy, constable, security guard, or detective appointed pursuant to this section, must be included under the provisions of the workers' compensation laws only while performing duties in connection with his appointment and as authorized by the State Law Enforcement Division. The workers' compensation premiums for these constables must be paid from the funds appropriated for this purpose upon warrant of the Chief of the State Law Enforcement Division.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-3; 1952 Code Section 53-3; 1942 Code Section 3096; 1932 Code Section 3096; 1923 (33) 132; 1974 (58) 2639; 2008 Act No. 353, Section 2, Pt 32B.1, eff July 1, 2008.
Initial and renewal application fees for constables appointed under Section 23-1-60.
(A) When making application for appointment, a nonrefundable fee of fifty dollars is required of all state constables appointed pursuant to the provisions of Section 23-1-60. A fee of fifty dollars must be paid with each renewal application. No fees are required of employees of the State or any political subdivision appointed in the line of duty, and no fees are required on initial or renewal applications of law enforcement officers who have retired honorably from service as a law enforcement officer. "Honorably" means that the officer was not under investigation or subject to any disciplinary proceedings at the time of retirement.
(B) The fee must be paid to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The division shall remit quarterly these fees to the State Treasurer to be credited to the general fund of the State.
HISTORY: 1982 Act No. 466, Part II, Section 6; 1982; 1983 Act No. 4, Section 1; 1990 Act No. 612, Section 25; 1992 Act No. 298, Section 1.
Quarterly reports of peace officers without pay.
Every constable or peace officer appointed and commissioned by the Governor to serve as such without pay shall, every three months during their respective terms of service, file with the Governor a complete report of his work, acts and doings as such officer.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-6; 1952 Code Section 53-6; 1942 Code Section 3064; 1932 Code Section 3064; 1931 (37) 330; 1940 (41) 1744.
Reports of arrests in counties containing cities or towns of over 5,000.
Each rural policeman, deputy sheriff, constable or other peace officer within any county containing a city or town of five thousand inhabitants or more in this State shall make and file with the county supervisor each month a verified report of all arrests made by him, the name of the party arrested, together with the offense charged, and the name of the magistrate to whom the case was referred for trial or preliminary hearing. The county supervisor shall not pay any salary to any rural policeman, deputy sheriff, constable or other peace officer until such officer has made and filed the verified report herein required. And further, in default thereof, such rural policeman, deputy sheriff, constable or other peace officer violating the provisions of this section shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding two months, at the discretion of the court.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-7; 1952 Code Section 53-7; 1942 Code Section 3790; 1932 Code Sections 3790, 3791; Civ. C. '22 Sections 2096, 2097; 1917 (30) 111; 1927 (35) 286.
Purchase of bloodhounds or other dogs by county.
The governing bodies of the several counties in this State, when in their judgment it is necessary, shall require the sheriff to purchase a pair of bloodhounds or other serviceable dogs to be kept at the courthouse and used as he may deem expedient for the tracking and arrest of escaped convicts and other fugitive lawbreakers. The governing body of each county may appropriate the sum of one hundred dollars, if so much be necessary, for the purchase of such dogs.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-9; 1952 Code Section 53-9; 1942 Code Section 1958; 1932 Code Section 1958; Cr. C. '22 Section 940; Cr. C. '12 Section 945; Cr. C. '02 Section 659; 1897 (22) 427.
Rural policemen shall not collect fees in certain cases.
It shall be unlawful for any rural policeman in this State to accept or receive any fee or reward for making any collection of any debt, foreclosing any chattel mortgage, bill of sale or other lien or compromising criminal cases. Any rural policeman within this State who shall violate the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisonment for a period of not less than twenty days nor more than thirty days and shall have his commission revoked by the officer issuing it. But nothing herein shall prohibit any rural policeman from collecting delinquent taxes.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 53-351; 1952 Code Section 53-351; 1942 Code Section 1581; 1932 Code Section 1581; Cr. C. '22 Section 534; 1916 (29) 656.
Employees of county and municipal correction facilities to have status of peace officers.
Employees of any county or municipal jail, prison, work camp or overnight lockup facility, while performing their officially assigned duties relating to the custody, control, transportation or recapture of any inmate or prisoner in this State, shall have the status of peace officers anywhere in the State in any matter relating to the custody, control, transportation or recapture of such inmate or prisoner. Provided, that for the purposes of this section no trustee shall be considered an employee.
HISTORY: 1980 Act No. 310, Section 1.
Residency requirements for county law enforcement officers.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law in effect prior to February 13, 1976, any state law or local ordinance which requires an applicant for employment as a county law enforcement officer to be a resident of the county in which he seeks employment prior to time of employment shall on such date be void and of no effect and all such applicants shall be eligible for employment if otherwise qualified regardless of the county of their prior residence.
HISTORY: 1976 Act No. 468, Section 1.
Use of out-of-state license plates for certain purposes.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a law enforcement agency may, for the purpose of conducting undercover narcotic or vice investigations or surveillance operations, temporarily equip vehicles registered and licensed in this State with out-of-state license plates.
HISTORY: 1979 Act No. 158, Section 1.
Auction of beer or other malt beverage products seized for violation of law; destruction or disposal of seized products.
No law enforcement agency of this State or any political subdivision thereof shall sell at auction any beer or other malt beverage products seized by it for a violation of law unless such products at the time of the auction meet the quality control standards of the manufacturer regarding freshness and fitness for consumption.
If such products do not meet these standards at the time of the scheduled auction, the products shall thereafter be destroyed or disposed of by the law enforcement agency concerned.
HISTORY: 1982 Act No. 409, Section 1.
Temporary transfer or assignment of law enforcement officer; written agreement; compensation.
(A) Any municipal or county law enforcement officer may be transferred or assigned on a temporary basis to work in law enforcement within multijurisdictional task forces established for the mutual aid and benefit of the participating jurisdictions, or in any other municipality or county in this State under the conditions set forth in this section, and when so transferred or assigned shall have all powers and authority of a law enforcement officer employed by the jurisdiction to which he is transferred or assigned.
(B) Prior to any transfer or assignment as authorized in subsection (A), the concerned municipalities or counties shall enter into written agreements stating the conditions and terms of the temporary employment of officers to be transferred or assigned. The bond for any officer transferred or assigned shall include coverage for his activity in the municipality or county to which he is transferred or assigned in the same manner and to the same extent provided by bonds of regularly employed officers of that municipality or county.
(C) Agreements made pursuant to subsection (B) shall provide that temporary transfers or assignments shall in no manner affect or reduce the compensation, pension, or retirement rights of transferred or assigned officers and such officers shall continue to be paid by the county or municipality where they are permanently employed, with the sending county or municipality being reimbursed for their services by the county or municipality to which they are transferred or assigned.
HISTORY: 1981 Act No. 109, Section 1; 2007 Act No. 3, Section 1, eff March 28, 2007.
Enforcement of state criminal laws by federal law enforcement officers.
(A) For purposes of this section, "federal law enforcement officer" means the following persons who are employed as full-time law enforcement officers by the federal government and who are authorized to carry firearms while performing their duties:
(1) Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents;
(2) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special agents;
(3) Drug Enforcement Administration special agents;
(4) United States Secret Service special agents;
(5) United States Customs Service officers;
(6) United States Postal Service inspectors;
(7) Internal Revenue Service special agents;
(8) United States Marshal's Service marshals and deputy marshals;
(9) United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service law enforcement officers and special agents;
(10) United States Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife special agents;
(11) United States National Marine Fisheries special agents;
(12) National Park Service Rangers.
(B) A federal law enforcement officer is authorized to enforce criminal laws within the State when:
(1) the federal law enforcement officer is asked by the head of a state or local law enforcement agency or his designee to provide the agency temporary assistance and the request is within the scope of the state or local law enforcement agency's subject matter and territorial jurisdiction;
(2) the federal law enforcement officer is asked by a state or local law enforcement officer to provide him temporary assistance when the state or local law enforcement officer is acting within the scope of his subject matter and territorial jurisdiction; or
(3) a felony or misdemeanor is committed in the federal law enforcement officer's presence or under circumstances indicating a crime has been freshly committed.
(C) A federal law enforcement officer acting pursuant to this section:
(1) has the same powers as a South Carolina law enforcement officer;
(2) is not an officer, employee, or agent of a state or local law enforcement agency;
(3) cannot initiate or conduct an independent investigation into a violation of South Carolina law; and
(4) is subject to the Federal Tort Claims Act.
HISTORY: 1996 Act 364, Section 1; 2003 Act No. 35, Section 1; 2009 Act No. 43,Section 1, eff June 2, 2009.
Agreements between multiple law enforcement jurisdictions for purpose of criminal investigation; jurisdiction of law enforcement officers.
(A) In the event of a crime or crimes that have occurred where multiple jurisdictions, either county or municipal, are involved, law enforcement officers are authorized to exercise jurisdiction within other counties or municipalities for the purpose of criminal investigations only if a written agreement between or among the law enforcement agencies involved has been executed. This limitation on law enforcement activity shall not apply to any activity authorized by Section 17-13-40.
(B) Any law enforcement officer working under this agreement is vested with equal authority and jurisdiction outside his resident jurisdiction for the purpose of investigations, arrests, or any other activities related to the criminal activity for which the agreement was drawn.
(C) The agreement authorized in subsection (A) does not affect or reduce the compensation, pension, or retirement rights of any officer and the officers shall continue to be paid by the county or municipality where they are permanently employed. The bond for any officer operating under the agreement shall include coverage for his activity in the municipality or county covered by the agreement in the same manner and to the same extent provided by bonds of regularly employed officers of that municipality or county.
(D) The agreement authorized by this section may be terminated in writing at the discretion of any of the law enforcement agencies involved. The termination must be delivered or mailed to the appropriate agencies with return receipt requested. The agreement shall terminate at the conclusion of the investigation for which it was executed.
(E) The respective governing bodies of the political subdivisions, wherein each of the law enforcement agencies entering into the agreement authorized in subsection (A) is located, must be notified by its agency of the agreement's execution and termination. The notification must be in writing and accomplished within seventy-two hours of the agreement's execution and within seventy-two hours of the agreement's termination.
HISTORY: 1987 Act No. 107, Section 1; 2007 Act No. 3, Section 2, eff March 28, 2007.
Retired law enforcement officers to retain status and weapons.
Upon retirement, state law enforcement officers may retain their commissions in retired status with all rights and privileges, including the right to retain their service weapons issued while serving in active duty status.
HISTORY: 1999 Act No. 100, Part II, Section 55.
First Responders Advisory Committee; membership; term; authority and responsibilities.
(A) There is hereby created the First Responders Advisory Committee which shall consist of:
(1) the following eleven members, or their designees:
(a) the Chairman of the Governor's Security Council;
(b) the Director of the State Law Enforcement Division;
(c) the Director of the Department of Public Safety;
(d) the Adjutant General;
(e) the Director of the Emergency Management Division;
(f) the Director of the Emergency Medical Services Division of the Department of Health and Environmental Control;
(g) the State Fire Marshal;
(h) the President Pro Tempore of the Senate;
(i) the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
(j) the State Chief Information Officer; and
(k) the Chairman of the Commercial Mobile Radio Services Emergency Telephone Services Advisory Committee; and
(2) the following nine members who represent the following associations:
(a) the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association;
(b) the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association;
(c) the South Carolina Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association;
(d) the Association of Public Communications Officials;
(e) the South Carolina Emergency Medical Services Association;
(f) the Emergency Management Association;
(g) the South Carolina Fireman's Association;
(h) the South Carolina Fire Chiefs' Association; and
(i) the Palmetto 800 Advisory Committee.
(B) Expense reimbursement or per diem payment shall not be paid to members of the committee or its staff.
(C) All committee members shall serve until the end of the 2003 session of the South Carolina General Assembly.
(D) The Governor shall fill any vacancy on the Advisory Committee. An association to which a vacating member belonged may make recommendations to the Governor to fill the vacancy.
(E) A committee member who terminates his holding of the office or employment that qualified him for appointment shall cease immediately to be a member of the committee.
(F) The committee shall establish rules and procedures with respect to:
(1) the selection of its officers;
(2) the selection of meeting sites; and
(3) conducting its meetings.
(G) The authority and responsibilities of the committee are to research, study, analyze, determine, and report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2003, and thereafter to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House concerning the needs of the first responders, including personnel involved with fire, law enforcement, emergency medical, emergency planning and coordinating, and 911 and other emergency communications. The issues to be studied with regard to first responders include, but are not limited to:
(1) performance of their duties, rendering of their services to the public in general, and to the individuals involved in an emergency, including the other first responders involved;
(2) preparing for the performance of those duties, including equipping, training, planning, and coordinating;
(3) funding their operations;
(4) preserving and enhancing their personal fitness, well-being, morale, and welfare;
(5) the appropriate role the State should play in continuing to assess and address the identified needs, including whether, and in what form, a new or existing state agency could and should be authorized and funded to assist in that role; and
(6) the consideration of legislation to address the identified needs and providing the General Assembly with draft legislation with regard to these issues.
(H) The First Responders Advisory Committee shall receive clerical and related assistance from the staff of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Department of Public Safety, and the Office of Information Resources.
HISTORY: 2002 Act No. 339, Section 41.