In South Carolina, public disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense. This means it is illegal for you to act in a way that reasonably angers, upsets or annoys other people.
It is also against the law to disturb religious meetings and funeral services.
Public disorderly conduct
Various actions and behaviors constitute criminal disorderly conduct:
- Appearing obviously drunk
- Using profane or obscene language in a public gathering or place, or within earshot of a church or school
- Firing a firearm within fifty yards of a public road while drunk, except when on your own property
A public place is anywhere that is generally open to members of the public, including stores and restaurants even if they are privately-owned.
Disturbing religious meetings
It is unlawful to maliciously and intentionally interrupt a religious service, assembly or congregation. Appearing at these events and while drunk or selling alcohol is also illegal. Using profane, obscene or blasphemous language at or near a religious meeting also counts as a disturbance of religious worship.
Disturbing funeral services
South Carolina law also prohibits you from maliciously, intentionally or knowingly interrupt a funeral service.
All of these offenses are misdemeanors and are punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and a fine of $100.
While the penalties for one of these offenses may not be severe, receiving a conviction is still life-changing. It may be possible to achieve a reduction in sentencing or an acquittal of the case. Claims of self-defense, free speech and lack of evidence are common defenses to disorderly conduct charges.
This information is purely educational and does not amount to legal advice.