Since it became a state South Carolina has had seven different
constitutions to govern its citizens. The first was created in 1776 and
was closely followed by the disestablishment of the Anglican Church and
an upper house creation two years later. In 1790 control was
established over every aspect of the state government through General
The year 1861 brought on a Confederate constitution and was replaced
four years later when reentering the Union. A popular vote ratified
public education, created new counties, and male suffrage in 1868. The
final change to South Carolina's constitution took place in 1895 when
establishments attempted to eliminate black voting.
Several hundreds of amendments have been made to the current
constitution and the laws that govern the state. Many of these laws
include those of gun laws, bankruptcy laws, divorce laws, felony
conviction, labor laws, expungement, and drunken driving laws.
South Carolina considers itself a "shall issue" state where concealed
weapons may be issued upon requested permit. Permits are not necessary
to purchase rifles, handguns, and shotguns. South Carolina citizens are
also allowed to have firearms in their living places and business
dwellings for personal safety. This is legal under the Castle Doctrine,
which also allows certain amounts of force to be used when defending
the self, also called justifiable homicide.
Citizens do need prior permission to carry any kind of firearm on
public or private property. Open carry is not permitted within South
Carolina's state borders, with the exception of loaded handguns kept in
In most cases expungement is not possible for most people. Felony
offenses and misdemeanor offenses normally are not eligible for
expungement. Traffic offenses, including speeding infractions, also
cannot be expunged from an individual's criminal record.
The only misdemeanor offense that is eligible for expungement is that
of marijuana possession. This is only possible on a first offense,
according to South Carolina law 44-53-45. In these cases all the
information surrounding the case will be eliminated along with any
information of guilt, dismissal, indictment, or discharge. In all cases
of expungement, individuals will then no longer be required to
acknowledge any arrests or guilty pleas.
In the state of South Carolina the number of previous offenses and the
circumstances around a current offense will dictate the consequences of
a driving under the influence conviction. Upon an arrest if an
individual was driving over the speed limit, had a minor in his or her
motor vehicle, harmed another, or had a blood alcohol content twice the
legal limit, he or she will have his or her sentence increased. A first
offense that would ordinarily have a fine of four hundred dollars and a
jail sentence of forty-eight hours will be increased if there were any
South Carolina offers two different kinds of bankruptcy for personal
use. Chapter Seven bankruptcy allows individuals to relinquish their
debts through liquidating different portions of their property. Chapter
Thirteen bankruptcy allows individuals to eliminate their debts through
a personal payment plan. Not all who apply for bankruptcy will be
granted and not all are eligible.