Solicitor provides insight to sentencing guidelines in South Carolina

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 9:20 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - There are several factors judges must take into consideration though before sentencing happens.

If someone chooses to stay in jail while waiting for trial, their time served counts towards their overall sentencing.

This could be seen during a case out of Myrtle Beach last week.

A jury convicted Driscoll Riggins of shooting and killing another man near Captain Archie’s in North Myrtle Beach.

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A judge sentenced Riggins to 25 years in prison minus the 720 days he already served in jail on the charges.

In the state of South Carolina, prosecutors and defense attorneys follow a four-tier rule.

That tier starts with the most serious murder and goes down to non-violent crimes like burglary.

“If someone is out on bond you don’t get credit for that. If you were to be arrested on a burglary today and the judge set you at a $15,000 bond if you post your amount and get out today your credit for time served is one day,” 15th Circuit Solicitor, Jimmy Richardson said.

However, some defense attorneys say the four tier rule, has more disadvantages than advantages.

“It can restrict the judge’s discretion. The reason we have judges is because everybody’s different and everybody shouldn’t be treated the same,” Defense attorney Greg McCollum said. “Some people just have reasons why they should get a harsher sentence and others have reasons why they should get a more lenient sentence.”