College pranks can lead to criminal actions

College students who are trying to find their way often make mistakes. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to serious legal problems because they might not think through whether certain actions are legal. There are several things that college students might do that will require them to defend themselves in court.

The laws in South Carolina cover a variety of things for which college students can get into trouble. Even some common college pranks are covered here.

Taking a mascot

College students will sometimes take their rival's mascot. This is always a bad idea because it is illegal. It can be included under Section 16-13-50, which covers stealing livestock and other animals, Section 16-13-60, which covers stealing dogs, or Section 16-13-30, which covers larceny.

The penalties for these vary. Petit larceny occurs when the value of the stolen item is less than $2,000. This is a misdemeanor that can come with up to 30 days in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. Grand larceny occurs when the value of the item is $2,000 or more, and this crime is a felony. If it is $2,000 to $9,999.99, the penalty is up to five years in prison. If the value is more than $10,000, you face up to 10 years in prison.

Stealing a dog can lead to up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $500. Stealing livestock can amount to up to $2,500 in fines and up to 10 years in prison, depending on the value of the livestock taken.

You might face charges for breaking and entering or a similar criminal action, depending on where you take the mascot from. This comes with the possibility of up to a decade in prison and a felony branding if you are convicted.

Shoplifting

Taking items that aren't paid for from a store or attempting to change the price of an item are considered shoplifting. This is a crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the merchandise.

  • Up to $2,000 in value: Fine of up to $1,000 and up to 30 days in jail; misdemeanor
  • $2,000 to $10,000: Fine of up to $1,000 and up to five years in prison; felony
  • More than $10,000: Up to 10 years in prison, felony

If you are a college student facing any of these charges, you should start to work on your defense immediately. Your future might depend on the decisions you make now.

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