2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 11 - OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY
Section 16-11-523 - Obtaining nonferrous metals unlawfully; disruption of communication or electrical service.


SC Code § 16-11-523 (2012) What's This?

< Section effective until December 15, 2012. See, also, section effective December 15, 2012. >

(A) For purposes of this section, "nonferrous metals" means metals not containing significant quantities of iron or steel, including copper wire, copper clad steel wire, copper pipe, copper bars, copper sheeting, aluminum, a product that is a mixture of aluminum and copper, catalytic converters, and stainless steel beer kegs or containers.

(B) It is unlawful for a person to wilfully and maliciously cut, mutilate, deface, or otherwise injure any personal or real property, including any fixtures or improvements, for the purpose of obtaining nonferrous metals in any amount.

(C) A person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a:

(1) misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both, if the direct injury to the property, the amount of loss in value to the property, the amount of repairs necessary to return the property to its condition before the act, or the property loss, including fixtures or improvements, is less than five thousand dollars; or

(2) felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, if the direct injury to the property, the amount of loss in value to the property, the amount of repairs necessary to return the property to its condition before the act, or the property loss, including fixtures or improvements, is five thousand dollars or more.

(D)(1) A person who violates the provisions of this section and the violation results in great bodily injury to another person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than fifteen years. For purposes of this subsection, "great bodily injury" means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

(2) A person who violates the provisions of this section and the violation results in the death of another person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than thirty years.

(E) A person who violates the provisions of this section and the violation results in disruption of communication or electrical service to critical infrastructure or more than ten customers of the communication or electrical service is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(F)(1) A public or private owner of personal or real property is not civilly liable to a person who is injured during the theft or attempted theft, by the person or a third party, of nonferrous metals in any amount.

(2) A public or private owner of personal or real property is not civilly liable for a person's injuries caused by a dangerous condition created as a result of the theft or attempted theft of nonferrous metals in any amount, of the owner when the owner of personal or real property did not know and could not have reasonably known of the dangerous condition.

(3) This subsection does not create or impose a duty of care upon a owner of personal or real property that would not otherwise exist under common law.

HISTORY: 2008 Act No. 260, Section 2, eff June 4, 2008; 2009 Act No. 26, Section 1, eff June 2, 2009; 2010 Act No. 273, Section 16.C, eff June 2, 2010; 2011 Act No. 68, Section 1, eff August 17, 2011.

< Section effective December 15, 2012. See, also, section effective until December 15, 2012. >

(A) For purposes of this section, "nonferrous metals" means metals not containing significant quantities of iron or steel, including, but not limited to, copper wire, copper clad steel wire, copper pipe, copper bars, copper sheeting, aluminum other than aluminum cans, a product that is a mixture of aluminum and copper, catalytic converters, lead-acid batteries, steel propane gas tanks, and stainless steel beer kegs or containers.

(B) It is unlawful for a person to wilfully and maliciously cut, mutilate, deface, or otherwise injure any personal or real property, including any fixtures or improvements, for the purpose of obtaining nonferrous metals in any amount.

(C) A person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a:

(1) misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both, if the direct injury to the property, the amount of loss in value to the property, the amount of repairs necessary to return the property to its condition before the act, or the property loss, including fixtures or improvements, is less than five thousand dollars; or

(2) felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, if the direct injury to the property, the amount of loss in value to the property, the amount of repairs necessary to return the property to its condition before the act, or the property loss, including fixtures or improvements, is five thousand dollars or more.

(D)(1) A person who violates the provisions of this section and the violation results in great bodily injury to another person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than fifteen years. For purposes of this subsection, "great bodily injury" means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

(2) A person who violates the provisions of this section and the violation results in the death of another person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than thirty years.

(E) A person who violates the provisions of this section and the violation results in disruption of communication or electrical service to critical infrastructure or more than ten customers of the communication or electrical service is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(F) If a person is convicted of violating the provisions of this section and the person has been issued a permit pursuant to Section 16-17-680, the permit must be revoked.

(G)(1) A public or private owner of personal or real property is not civilly liable to a person who is injured during the theft or attempted theft, by the person or a third party, of nonferrous metals in any amount.

(2) A public or private owner of personal or real property is not civilly liable for a person's injuries caused by a dangerous condition created as a result of the theft or attempted theft of nonferrous metals in any amount, of the owner when the owner of personal or real property did not know and could not have reasonably known of the dangerous condition.

(3) This subsection does not create or impose a duty of care upon a owner of personal or real property that would not otherwise exist under common law.

HISTORY: 2008 Act No. 260, Section 2, eff June 4, 2008; 2009 Act No. 26, Section 1, eff June 2, 2009; 2010 Act No. 273, Section 16.C, eff June 2, 2010; 2011 Act No. 68, Section 1, eff August 17, 2011; 2012 Act No. 242, Section 1, eff December 15, 2012.

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