Sahn Law Firm

What is Public Disorderly Conduct in South Carolina?

Public Disorderly Conduct in South Carolina is a “catch all” charge that police officers often use to charge someone with a crime when nothing else really fits the alleged activity.

South Carolina state law specifies three main ways someone can be charged with public disorderly conduct:

  1. Public intoxication (drunk in a public place) or behaving in a disorderly or boisterous manner.
  2. Using obscene or profane language on a highway or at any public place, or within hearing distance of a school or church
  3. Firing any kind of gun or firearm within 50 yards of any public road while intoxicated or pretending to be intoxicated, except on your own property, without a justifiable cause

Always consider consulting professional criminal defense attorney in South Carolina.

What Is Considered A Public Place?

In SC, a public place can include a number of different places, including highways, parking lots, public parks, sidewalks, public gatherings, and much more. Public places can also include privately owned property that is open to the public, such as stadiums, hospitals, malls, offices, bars, and restaurants.

Are Public Disorderly Conduct And Public Intoxication Classified As Misdemeanors Or Felonies?

Both Public Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication are classified as misdemeanors that carry up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine if convicted. They will also show up a criminal background check. A criminal defense and DUI attorney in South Carolina can guide you better.

What Happens When You Get A Public Intoxication Charge? Will You Be Arrested?

Being arrested and charged with public intoxication can have serious penalties and consequences. The charge of Public Intoxication (also called “Drunk in Public”) is a misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail, if convicted. A Public Intoxication charge can result in being arrested and taken into custody by the police.

Are There Defenses To Public Intoxication?

Like any other criminal offense, there are defenses to a Public Intoxication charge. In order to be convicted of public intoxication, it must be proven that a person either was, or appeared to be, drunk, or under the influence of drugs, while in public (or in the public’s view). When defending this charge, a person’s attorney can generally try to prove that they weren’t drunk or under the influence, and only appeared to be due to innocent reasons. Another way to defeat a Public Intoxication charge is by proving a person wasn’t actually in public. Additionally, like other criminal charges, your attorney can try to prove that the arresting/citing officer did not have probable cause to make the stop.

What Are The Laws In South Carolina For Having An Open Container Of Alcohol In Public?

South Carolina’s open container law generally prohibits possession in public of open containers of beer, wine, or liquor. South Carolina also generally prohibits open containers in motor vehicles on public highways and prohibits transporting open containers of alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle.

What About In A Vehicle?

It’s unlawful for a person to possess an open container of beer or wine in a motor vehicle that’s located on a public highway. However, there are exceptions:

Trunk and luggage compartments. Beer or wine in an open container can lawfully be kept in the trunk or luggage compartment of a motor vehicle.

Parked vehicles during functions. The open container law doesn’t apply to parked vehicles in legal parking places during functions where law enforcement officers are performing traffic control duties.

What Are Penalties For Convictions Of Such Offenses In South Carolina?

A person who possesses beer or wine in an open container in a motor vehicle commits a misdemeanor. A conviction will result in a fine or up to 30 days in jail. Further, if convicted, this charge will go on your criminal record.

For more information on Public Disorderly Conduct In South Carolina, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (843) 856-2222 today.

Sahn Law Firm, located in Charleston, South Carolina, provides representation throughout Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Daniel Island, Sullivan's Island, Georgetown, St. George, Hanahan, Santee, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach and Beaufort. The firm also represents people in the municipalities of Charleston County, Dorchester County, Berkeley County, Georgetown County, Clarendon County and Beaufort County.

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Sahn Law Firm

225 Seven Farms Drive
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Charleston, SC 29492

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