There are several theft crimes under South Carolina criminal law including Larceny, Embezzlement and Fraud.  In this Blog we will talk about a very specific theft crime, and that is False pretenses.  As we will discuss, False pretenses is in effect lying to wrongfully obtaining property or anything of value from another person.

Obtaining signature or property by false pretensesfalse pretenses

This crime is governed by South Carolina general statute 16-13-240.

In order to succeed in prosecuting this crime, the state must show beyond a reasonable doubt, that “a person who by false pretense or representation obtains the signature of a person to a written instrument or obtains from another person any chattel, money, valuable security, or other property, real or personal, with intent to cheat and defraud a person of that property”

  • There is not one clear cut activity that will lead to a charge of false pretense, rather there are determining factors that including lying to the victim of the crime. These examples can cover a wide range of behaviors, from lying about an investment opportunity, to establishing a go fund me page for a false purpose.
  • In addition to this charge, additional charges may company these acts, such as larceny, forgery or fraud.

Punishment for false pretenses

The potential sentencing faced is based on the value of the property that was falsely obtained

Value of the property is $10,000 or more
  • Fine of no more than five hundred dollars
  • Imprisonment for not more than ten years
  • These findings make this crime a felony
Value of the property is between $2,000 and $10,000
  • Imprisonment of not more than five years
  • These findings make this crime a felony
Value of the property is under $2,000
  • Imprisonment of not more than 30 days; or
  • A fine of not more than $2,000
  • These findings make this crime a misdemeanor

South Carolina criminal law can be very complicated especially when it comes to sentencing.  If you are charged with a crime, you should see the guidance and assistance of a professional. If you need a York Criminal Defense attorney or a Lancaster Criminal defense attorney, Gilles Law can help you. We practice criminal defense in North Carolina and South Carolina, both in state and federal courts.  Contact us today.