2013 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 58 - Public Utilities, Services and Carriers
CHAPTER 7 - SPECIAL PROVISIONS AFFECTING GAS, WATER OR PIPELINE COMPANIES
SECTION 58-7-70. Wrongful use of gas and interference with gas meters; penalties.


SC Code § 58-7-70 (2013) What's This?

(A) It is unlawful for a person who has a contract, agreement, license or permission, oral or written, with or from a person or corporation authorized to manufacture, sell or use gas for the purpose of light, heat, or power or with or from an authorized agent of a person or corporation for the use of the gas belonging to, or produced or furnished by, a person or corporation for certain specified purposes who shall wilfully and intentionally withdraw, or cause to be withdrawn, gas in any manner and appropriate it to his own use or to the use of another person or corporation for purposes other than those specified.

(B) It is unlawful for a person to whom gas is furnished from or by means of a meter who shall wilfully and with intention to cheat and defraud a person or corporation alter or interfere with a meter or by any contrivance whatsoever withdraw or take off gas in any manner except through a meter shall be punished as provided in Section 58-7-60(B).

(C) A person who violates the provisions of this section for profit or income on behalf of a person in whose name the meter was installed or a person for whose benefit electricity, gas, or water was diverted for a:

(1) first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both;

(2) second offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than three thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than three years or both; and

(3) third or subsequent offense, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

(D) A person who violates the provisions of this section and the violation results in property damage in excess of five thousand dollars or results in the risk of great bodily injury or death from fire, explosion, or electrocution for a:

(1) first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both;

(2) second offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than three thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than three years or both; and

(3) third or subsequent offense, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

(E) A person who violates the provisions of this section and the violation results in:

(1) great bodily injury to another person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than fifteen thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than fifteen years, or both. For purposes of this item, "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; and

(2) the death of another person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than thirty years.

(F) This section does not apply to licensed and certified contractors while performing usual and ordinary service in accordance with recognized standards.

HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 58-155; 1952 Code Section 58-155; 1942 Code Section 1157; 1932 Code Section 1157; Cr. C. '22 Section 51; Cr. C. '12 Section 201; 1911 (27) 148; 2013 Act No. 23, Section 3, eff May 3, 2013.

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