Statutory Violent Crimes

There is often confusion over what the phrase "violent crime" means for purposes of sentencing in South Carolina. Violent crimes are defined in S.C. Code § 16-1-60, Violent crimes defined, and a non-violent crime is any crime that is not listed in § 16-1-60.

Parole eligibility:

A person who is convicted of a violent crime is generally eligible for parole after 1/3 of their sentence has been served, whereas a person convicted of a non-violent crime is generally eligible for parole after 1/4 of their sentence has been served, as outlined in S.C. Code § 24-21-610, Eligibility for parole. This is a general rule only, and you must understand that there are many other factors that may affect parole eligibility. An attorney can only advise you of parole eligibility after thoroughly reviewing the particular facts of your case.

No-parole offenses:

Violent crimes are not automatically no-parole or "85%" crimes, although these two classifications often overlap. As a general rule, inmates earn various "credits" which can greatly reduce the amount of time that they actually serve on their sentences, including work credits, education credits, and good behavior credits.

S.C. Code § 24-13-100, Definition of no parole offense, defines a no-parole offense as a Class A, B, or C felony, or any crime that is exempt from classification but punishable by a maximum term of 20 years or more. Under S.C. Code § 24-13-150, Early release, a person convicted of a no-parole offense is not eligible for parole and cannot be released until they have served at least 85% of their sentence.