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Questions Answered by Stephen Grooms
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for South Carolina on
Q: Can I answer no to the question listed below if I was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor? No conviction occurred.

"Have you ever been convicted, pled guilty or pled nolo contendere to a felony of any kind or to a non-felony crime involving drugs or moral turpitude?"

I was charged with a misdemeanor for shoplifting. I completed PTI and was never convicted and never plead guilty. I then had the charge expunged.

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Jul 21, 2022

The answer to your question is "yes". You can state that you have never been convicted, assuming this is your only criminal court case. PTI is not a conviction, it is a diversion program that allows you to resolve your charge without going to court and entering a plea.

Best of luck

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Immigration Law for South Carolina on
Q: Will I have trouble in the airport?

Me and my friend made a terrible mistake trying to steal from Walmart. They called the police and the police wanted to schedule the court for May 19. We had flight tickets (we are international students) to go home in the next week so they somehow could hold the “court” right there at the... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on May 3, 2022

It sounds like you may have been issued a citation for shoplifting or petty larceny and plead guilty or no contest. If this is the case then that is a criminal misdemeanor charge, but it can also be classified as a crime of dishonesty. Both could impact your immigration status.

If you were...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for South Carolina on
Q: Why am I receiving a court summons for a ticket I've already paid?

I got a ticket in June 2021 for driving "10mph or less", paid the fine, but am now receiving a court summons for Dec 2021 for this same offense. I don't understand the timing, nor the reasoning for such an escalation in action. Since the incident, I have taken a defensive driving... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Nov 15, 2021

If you received a ticket and paid the fine then generally you are not required to attend Court. When you pay the requested fine then you are essentially pleading guilty to the offense. I would contact the Clerk of Court for the court in which you received the notice and find out the status of your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for South Carolina on
Q: Should this still be on my record as a misdemeanor?

I went to apply for an apartment recently and was denied due to a misdemeanor on my background check. This came as a shock to me. They informed me that it was "carless operation," and then I remembered. In the beginning of 2018 I accidentally ran a red light in a town that I had never... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Oct 18, 2021

When you pay a fine that is essentially pleading no contest, which has the same result as a guilty plea for purposes of your driving and criminal record. So unfortunately the answer is yes, this traffic citation should have been on your driving record.

The expungement process generally...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: Did a law pass or change where a person can get credit for being on house arrest prior to trial and sentencing?

Can the time on house arrest be credited to their sentencing time?

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Jul 14, 2021

Universal Citation: SC Code § 24-13-40 (2015)

The computation of the time served by prisoners under sentences imposed by the courts of this State must be calculated from the date of the imposition of the sentence. However, when (a) a prisoner shall have given notice of intention to appeal,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: Can you get more than one 1st offense shoplifting? I had a 1st offense pending, was awaiting court, and got another.
Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Jun 29, 2021

In South Carolina a conviction as opposed to a pending charge is required to enhance a subsequent offense. Further it takes a minimum of 3 property crime convictions to enhance to a felony level property crime. Once you get to a felony level property crime, it carries up to 10 years in prison.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: I have a pending assault and battery 3rd degree. If the victim doesn’t show up to court, do they drop the charge?

Have court tomorrow my ticket is 1000$

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on May 19, 2021

If you do not show up to court then you can be tried in your absence and found guilty. Even if the alleged victim does not appear, If you are not there to make certain objections to hearsay testimony then you could be convicted. Not showing up for court is rarely a good idea.

I would...
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1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI and Domestic Violence for South Carolina on
Q: I got a domestic assault charge a few months back, it got dropped, but I still have another court date. Do I have to go?

I didn't get bonded out of jail, I stayed 3 weeks and the judge let me out after then. The person that I hit didn't show up to testify against me so they had to drop it, I have another court date do I have to show up?. I live in tennessee.

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on May 19, 2021

I would recommend you reach out to the court via the clerk of court's office to verify your charge was dismissed and your presence in court is no longer needed. They should be able to direct you as to how to get verification of the dismissed/nol prossed charge in writing. You will need to look... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: It's 0373-Obscene / Participation in preparation of obscene material prohibited a felony in the state of south carolina?
Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Apr 22, 2021

This charge is a misdemeanor offense that carries up to 1 year in prison and could require the sex offender registry and/or an ankle monitor if a minor child is involved in the underlying offense.

https://www.sccourts.org/cdr/displayCDRcode.cfm?CDRcode=373

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for South Carolina on
Q: Can someone be violated BC of non payment to the probation office?
Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Mar 18, 2021

Absolutely, payment of fines, fees, and any restitution ordered by the Court are all conditions of successfully completing probation. Therefore non payment could be grounds for violation.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: In S.C. how long does assault and battery 3rd degree Carry
Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Jan 8, 2021

(E)(1) A person commits the offense of assault and battery in the third degree if the person unlawfully injures another person, or offers or attempts to injure another person with the present ability to do so.

(2) A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for South Carolina on
Q: Would misdemeanor assault and battery 2nd degree be considered a crime of violent under SC Code 16-1-60?
Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Sep 1, 2020

No, it is not a crime of violence per 16-1-60. It is considered a non violent crime, and while it is classified as a misdemeanor it carries up to 3 years in prison. So any conviction, regardless of the imposes sentence could impact your federal rights to own and possess a firearm.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for South Carolina on
Q: I was drunk entering jail didn't know I had a roach in my pocket which is very small amount of weed only trouble had dui

Was charged with bring in contraband I don't want go to prison what do I do

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Aug 21, 2020

You should contact a local defense attorney, the chances of you going to prison over a roach are minimal, that being said an attorney may be able to help you keep this off your record.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: Hi! Are sawed off shotguns illegal in South Carolina? Thank you in advance.
Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on May 15, 2020

They are illegal, it is a felony charge that carries up to ten years imprisonment. See statute below

SECTION 16-23-230. Unlawful storing, keeping, or possessing of machine gun, military firearm, or sawed-off shotgun or rifle.

It is unlawful for a person to store, keep, possess, or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: Went somewhere I wasn’t aware was private property and a police told me I was getting trespassed.

So, today I went somewhere that I wasn’t aware was private property. Anyways a couple minutes into being there, I was face to face with an officer. I was told I was being trespassed, but not being taken to jail. I just want to know if this goes on my record or if it’s just for their record in... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on May 13, 2020

This is not a criminal citation, arrest or conviction and therefore it should not be entered on your criminal record. There is likely a report that the law enforcement agency took stating the warning you are being "trespassed" or essentially told formally not to come back. You can request... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Juvenile Law for South Carolina on
Q: This is kind of an odd question lol so prepare yourself.

I am a 16 year old girl and am constantly asked for nudes on social media sites like snapchat and instagram. I’m often offered money for said photos or videos. I don’t ever want to send my own photos so I started just looking up photos online and sending those photos in exchange for money.... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Apr 13, 2020

What you are doing is definitely not legal, I would strongly recommend you quit immediately and stop interacting with strangers on social platforms. There are a number of different federal and state criminal charges this could fall under (not to mention potential civil claims) and the people you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: What is the maximum sentence for offence code 2655. Code/Ordinance Sec 43-35-0085(B).
Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Mar 2, 2020

5 years in prison, felony class F

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: I'm a first time offender reasonably what am I looking at facing in court?

I was charged with a hit and run. There was minimal damage done to either vehicle. This is my first offense. There were also issues in the police report. Officially it was claimed that I hit an unattended vehicle and there was there were people in the car when it happened. Am I facing looking fines... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Feb 26, 2020

If no one was injured and the damage was minimal then the Hit and Run charge is likely a misdemeanor charge carrying up 30 days for an unattended vehicle or up to 1 year in prison if the vehicle was occupied and property damage was the result. No ethical attorney can tell you what the sentence will... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for South Carolina on
Q: do you automatically get jail time if you’re a first timer with two felonies? assault 1st degree. burglary 1st degree.
Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Feb 26, 2020

If you were convicted of Burglary 1st Degree the minimum mandatory sentence is 15 years in prison. The assault charge has no minimum so probation would be possible if convicted on that charge. However just because you are charged doesn't mean you will be convicted, and there is often times a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Sexual Harassment for South Carolina on
Q: what would the charges be if a 17 year old is raped by three college students? victim was intoxicated before the assault

marijuana was involved, but it was the victims.

Stephen Grooms
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Stephen Grooms
answered on Feb 24, 2020

In South Carolina age 17 is considered to be an adult in terms of engaging in sexual activity so her age alone will not result in a potential criminal charge, but if she was voluntarily intoxicated to the point of being "mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless"... Read more »

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