South Carolina’s Statewide Grand Jury – The South Carolina Code Provisions

South Carolina’s Statewide Grand Jury – The South Carolina Code Provisions

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South Carolina’s state legislature enacted legislation in 1989 to create a statewide grand jury panel.  This legislation is found at S.C. Code § 14-7-1600, et seq.   Called the “State Grand Jury Act,” these statutes authorized a grand jury with state wide jurisdiction over certain specified crimes due to the fact that some crimes oftentimes occurred across more than one county line and prosecutions were sometimes difficult to pursue.

 Section 14-7-1630 sets forth a list of crimes which are subject to investigatory and indictment powers of the State Grand Jury, which, in general, are as follows:  (1) crimes involving narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, money laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury or subornation of perjury, or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit one of the aforementioned crimes if the crime is of a multi-county nature;  (2) gang crimes; (3) public corruption; (4) election law crimes; (5) computer crimes; (6) terrorism or terrorism conspiracy crimes; (7) securities fraud crimes; (8) obscenity crimes; (9) a  false statement with respect to aliens in South Carolina; (10) financial identity fraud crimes; (11) false statements regarding immigrant matters;(12) knowing and willful environmental crimes involving actual and substantial harm to the water, ambient air, soil or land, or both soil and land.

The State Grand Jury Act is set forth below:

ARTICLE 15.

STATE GRAND JURY SYSTEM

SECTION 14-7-1600. Short title; State Grand Jury of South Carolina defined.

This article may be cited as the “State Grand Jury Act”, and any state grand jury which may be convened as provided herein to be known as a “State Grand Jury of South Carolina”.

SECTION 14-7-1610. Legislative findings and intent; applicability.

(A) It is the intent of the General Assembly to enhance the grand jury system and to improve the ability of the State to detect and eliminate criminal activity. The General Assembly recognizes the great importance of having the federal authorities available for certain investigations. The General Assembly finds that crimes involving narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, as well as crimes involving obscenity, often transpire or have significance in more than one county of this State. When this occurs, these crimes are most effectively detected and investigated by a grand jury system with the authority to cross county lines.

(B) The General Assembly finds that there is a critical need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the State to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes involving criminal gang activity or a pattern of criminal gang activity pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 8, Title 16. Crimes involving criminal gang activity or a pattern of criminal gang activity transpire at times in a single county, but often transpire or have significance in more than one county of this State. The General Assembly believes criminal gang activity poses an immediate, serious, and unacceptable threat to the citizens of the State and therefore warrants the state grand jury possessing considerably broader investigative authority.

(C) The General Assembly finds that there is a need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the State to detect and eliminate public corruption. Crimes involving public corruption transpire at times in a single county, but often transpire or have significance in more than one county of this State. The General Assembly believes that a state grand jury, possessing considerably broader investigative authority than individual county grand juries, should be available to investigate public corruption offenses in South Carolina.

(D) The General Assembly finds it fundamentally necessary to improve the ability of the State to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes that involve the depiction of children under the age of eighteen in sexual activity, and obscenity crimes that are directed toward or involve children under the age of eighteen. The serious and unacceptable threat that these crimes pose to children is self-evident and impacts the State as a whole even if the actual criminal act occurs only in one county of the State. An effective effort to eliminate these heinous crimes requires a coordinated effort, which is accomplished more effectively through the state grand jury system. The effective prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes may require the use and application of state obscenity statutes or common law offenses not specifically directed toward the prevention and punishment of obscenity crimes involving children. Because many of these crimes involve computers, statewide jurisdiction over these crimes is consistent with the jurisdiction of a state grand jury over offenses defined in the Computer Crime Act. The General Assembly concludes that a state grand jury must be available to employ its broad investigative powers in the investigation of child-related obscenity by enabling the state grand jury to investigate all obscenity offenses, regardless of their multi-county impact, or whether they transpire or have significance in more than one county of this State.

(E) The General Assembly finds that there is a need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the State to detect and investigate crimes involving the election laws including, but not limited to, those named offenses as specified in Title 7, or common law crimes involving the election laws where not superseded, or a crime arising out of or in connection with the election laws, or attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime involving the election laws.

(F) The General Assembly finds that there is a need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the State to detect and investigate knowing and wilful crimes which result in actual and substantial harm to the environment. These crimes include knowing and wilful offenses specified in Titles 13, 44, and 48, or any knowing and wilful crime arising out of or in connection with environmental laws, or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a knowing and wilful crime involving the environment if the anticipated actual damages including, but not limited to, the cost of remediation, are two million dollars or more, as certified by an independent environmental engineer who shall be contracted by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

(1) The General Assembly finds that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control possesses the expertise and knowledge to determine whether there has occurred an alleged environmental offense as defined in this article.

(2) The General Assembly finds that, because of its expertise and knowledge, the Department of Health and Environmental Control must play a substantial role in the investigation of any such alleged environmental offense.

(3) The General Assembly finds that, while the Department of Health and Environmental Control must not make prosecutorial decisions regarding such alleged environmental offense as defined in this article, the department must be integrally involved in the investigation of any such alleged environmental offense before and after the impaneling of a state grand jury pursuant to Section 14-7-1630.

(4) The General Assembly finds that it is in the public interest to avoid duplicative and overlapping prosecutions to the extent that the Attorney General considers possible. Therefore, the Attorney General shall consult with and advise the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Coordinating Subcommittee and cooperate with other state and federal prosecutorial authorities having jurisdiction over environmental enforcement in order to carry out the provisions of Sections 14-7-1630(A)(8) and 14-7-1630(C).

(G) The General Assembly finds that related criminal activity often arises out of or in connection with crimes involving narcotics, dangerous drugs or controlled substances, criminal gang activity, obscenity, public corruption, or environmental offenses and that the mechanism for detecting and investigating these related crimes must be improved.

(H) Accordingly, the General Assembly concludes that a state grand jury should be allowed to investigate certain crimes related to narcotics, dangerous drugs or controlled substances, criminal gang activity, and obscenity and also should be allowed to investigate crimes involving public corruption, election laws, and environmental offenses.

(I) This section does not limit the authority of a county grand jury, solicitor, or other appropriate law enforcement personnel to investigate, indict, or prosecute offenses within the jurisdiction of the state grand jury.

SECTION 14-7-1615. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:

(A) the phrase “Attorney General or his designee” also includes:

(1) the Attorney General or his designees;

(2) the Attorney General and his designee or designees.

(B) The term “public corruption” means any unlawful activity, under color of or in connection with any public office or employment, of:

(1) any public official, public member, or public employee, or the agent, servant, assignee, consultant, contractor, vendor, designee, appointee, representative, or any other person of like relationship, by whatever designation known, of any public official, public member, or public employee under color of or in connection with any public office or employment; or

(2) any candidate for public office or the agent, servant, assignee, consultant, contractor, vendor, designee, appointee, representative of, or any other person of like relationship, by whatever name known, of any candidate for public office.

SECTION 14-7-1620. State grand jury system established; meeting place; quorum.

There is established a state grand jury system, each state grand jury consisting of eighteen persons who shall meet in Columbia or at another suitable place in this State designated by the chief administrative judge of the judicial circuit in which the Attorney General seeks to impanel a state grand jury for a term hereinafter provided. Twelve members of a state grand jury constitute a quorum.

SECTION 14-7-1630. Jurisdiction of juries; petitions to impanel juries; powers and duties of impaneling and presiding judges; effective date and notice requirements with respect to orders of judge; appeals.

(A) The jurisdiction of a state grand jury impaneled pursuant to the provisions of this article extends throughout the State. The subject matter jurisdiction of a state grand jury in all cases is limited to the following offenses:

(1) a crime involving narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, or a crime arising out of or in connection with a crime involving narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances including, but not limited to, money laundering as specified in Section 44-53-475, obstruction of justice, perjury or subornation of perjury, or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit one of the aforementioned crimes if the crime is of a multi-county nature or has transpired or is transpiring or has significance in more than one county of this State;

(2) a crime involving criminal gang activity or a pattern of criminal gang activity pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 8, Title 16;

(3) a crime, statutory, common law or other, involving public corruption as defined in Section 14-7-1615, a crime, statutory, common law or other, arising out of or in connection with a crime involving public corruption as defined in Section 14-7-1615, and any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime, statutory, common law or other, involving public corruption as defined in Section 14-7-1615;

(4) a crime involving the election laws including, but not limited to, those named offenses as specified in Title 7, or a common law crime involving the election laws if not superseded, or a crime arising out of or in connection with the election laws, or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime involving the election laws;

(5) a crime involving computer crimes, pursuant to Chapter 16, Title 16, or a conspiracy or solicitation to commit a crime involving computer crimes;

(6) a crime involving terrorism, or a conspiracy or solicitation to commit a crime involving terrorism. Terrorism includes an activity that:

(a) involves an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of this State;

(b) appears to be intended to:

(i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(c) occurs primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of this State;

(7) a crime involving a violation of Chapter 1, Title 35 of the Uniform Securities Act, or a crime related to securities fraud or a violation of the securities laws;

(8) a crime involving obscenity including, but not limited to, a crime as provided in Article 3, Chapter 15, Title 16 or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime involving obscenity;

(9) a crime involving the knowing and wilful making of, aiding and abetting in the making of, or soliciting or conspiring to make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in an affidavit regarding an alien’s lawful presence in the United States, as defined by law, if the number of violations exceeds twenty or if the public benefit received by a person from a violation or combination of violations exceeds twenty thousand dollars;

(10) a crime involving financial identity fraud or identity fraud involving the false, fictitious, or fraudulent creation or use of documents used in an immigration matter as defined in Section 16-13-525, if the number of violations exceeds twenty, or if the value of the ascertainable loss of money or property suffered by a person or persons from a violation or combination of violations exceeds twenty thousand dollars;

(11) a crime involving the knowing and wilful making of, aiding or abetting in the making of, or soliciting or conspiring to make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in a document prepared or executed as part of the provision of immigration assistance services in an immigration matter, as defined by law, if the number of violations exceeds twenty, or if a benefit received by a person from a violation or combination of violations exceeds twenty thousand dollars; and

(12) a knowing and wilful crime involving actual and substantial harm to the water, ambient air, soil or land, or both soil and land. This crime includes a knowing and wilful violation of the Pollution Control Act, the Atomic Energy and Radiation Control Act, the State Underground Petroleum Environmental Response Bank Act, the State Safe Drinking Water Act, the Hazardous Waste Management Act, the Infectious Waste Management Act, the Solid Waste Policy and Management Act, the Erosion and Sediment Control Act, the South Carolina Mining Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act, or a knowing and wilful crime arising out of or in connection with environmental laws, or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a knowing and wilful crime involving the environment if the anticipated actual damages including, but not limited to, the cost of remediation, are two million dollars or more, as certified by an independent environmental engineer who must be contracted by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. If the knowing and wilful crime is a violation of federal law, then a conviction or an acquittal pursuant to federal law for the same act is a bar to the impaneling of a state grand jury pursuant to this section.

(B) Whenever the Attorney General and the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division consider it necessary and normal investigative or prosecutorial procedures are not adequate, the Attorney General may petition in writing to the chief administrative judge of the judicial circuit in which he seeks to impanel a state grand jury for an order impaneling a state grand jury. This judge is referred to in this article as the impaneling judge. The petition must allege the type of offenses to be inquired into and, in the case of those offenses contained in subsection (A)(1), must allege that these offenses may be of a multi-county nature or have transpired or are transpiring or have significance in more than one county of the State. The petition in all instances must specify that the public interest is served by the impanelment.

(C) In all investigations of crimes specified in subsection (A)(9), except in matters where the Department of Health and Environmental Control or its officers or employees are the subjects of the investigation, the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Environmental Control must consult with and, after investigation, provide a formal written recommendation to the Attorney General and the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The Attorney General and the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division must consider the impaneling of a state grand jury necessary before the Attorney General presents a petition, which includes the commissioner’s written recommendation, to the chief administrative judge pursuant to Section 14-7-1630(B).

(1) In the case of evidence brought to the attention of the Attorney General, the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or the Department of Health and Environmental Control by an employee or former employee of the alleged violating entity, there also must be separate, credible evidence of the violation in addition to the testimony or documents provided by the employee or former employee of the alleged violating entity.

(2) When an individual employee performs a criminal violation of the environmental laws that results in actual and substantial harm pursuant to subsection (A)(9) and which prompts an investigation authorized by this article, only the individual employee is subject to the investigation unless or until there is separate, credible evidence that the individual’s employer knew of, concealed, directed, or condoned the employee’s action.

(D) The impaneling judge, after due consideration of the petition, may order the impanelment of a state grand jury in accordance with the petition for a term of twelve calendar months. Upon petition by the Attorney General, the then chief administrative judge of the judicial circuit in which a state grand jury was impaneled, by order, may extend the term of that state grand jury for a period of six months but the term of that state grand jury, including an extension of the term, shall not exceed two years.

(E) The chief administrative judge of the circuit wherein a state grand jury is sitting shall preside over that state grand jury during his tenure as chief administrative judge. The successor chief administrative judge shall assume all duties and responsibilities with regard to a state grand jury impaneled before his term including, but not limited to, presiding over the state grand jury and ruling on petitions to extend its term. This judge is referred to in this article as the presiding judge.

(F) The presiding judge may discharge a state grand jury prior to the end of its original term or an extension of the term, upon a determination that its business has been completed or upon the request of the Attorney General.

(G) If, at any time within the original term of a state grand jury or an extension of the term, the presiding judge determines that the state grand jury is not conducting investigative activity within its jurisdiction or proper investigative activity, the presiding judge may limit the investigation so that the investigation conforms with the jurisdiction of the state grand jury and existing law or he may discharge the state grand jury. An order issued pursuant to this subsection or pursuant to subsection (F) does not become effective less than ten days after the date on which it is issued and actual notice given to the Attorney General and the foreman of the state grand jury, and may be appealed by the Attorney General to the Supreme Court. If an appeal from the order is made, the state grand jury, except as is otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court, shall continue to exercise its powers pending disposition of the appeal.

SECTION 14-7-1640. Indictment by state grand jury; power and duties of state grand jury.

A state grand jury may return indictments irrespective of the county or judicial circuit where the offense is committed or triable. If an indictment is returned, it must be certified and transferred for prosecution to the county where the offense was committed in accordance with Section 14-7-1750. The powers and duties of and the law applicable to county grand juries apply to a state grand jury, except when these are inconsistent with the provisions of this article.

SECTION 14-7-1650. Duties and obligations of Attorney General.

(A) The Attorney General or his designee shall attend sessions of a state grand jury and shall serve as its legal advisor. The Attorney General or his designee shall examine witnesses, present evidence, and draft indictments and reports upon the direction of a state grand jury.

(B) In all investigations of the crimes specified in Section 14-7-1630, except in matters where the solicitor(s) or his staff are the subject(s) of such investigation, the Attorney General shall consult with the appropriate solicitor(s) of the jurisdiction(s) where the crime or crimes occurred. After consultation, the Attorney General shall determine whether the investigation should be presented to a county grand jury or whether to petition, under Section 14-7-1630(B), for a state grand jury investigation.

(C) Where it is determined that a conflict of interest disqualifies a solicitor or the Attorney General from participation in a state grand jury investigation and prosecution, the following shall apply:

(1) in the case of a solicitor, the Attorney General shall conduct such investigation and prosecution unless the Attorney General and a solicitor not so disqualified concur in the appointment by the Attorney General of the eligible solicitor as a designee of the Attorney General pursuant to Sections 14-7-1650 and 14-7-1750;

(2) in the case of the Attorney General’s disqualification, the matter shall be referred to a solicitor for investigation and prosecution.

Any doubt regarding disqualification shall be resolved by the presiding judge of the state grand jury.

SECTION 14-7-1660. Selection of grand jurors.

In the January following the effective date of this article and each January thereafter, the jury commissioners for each county shall proceed to draw at random from the jury box the name of one person for each one thousand residents or fraction thereof of the county as determined by the latest United States census but following the effective date of this article, the impaneling judge may authorize an interim procedure for the selection of state grand jurors to constitute the first state grand jury established pursuant to this article. The jury commissioners shall not disqualify or excuse any individual whose name is drawn. When the list is compiled, the clerk of court shall forward the list to the person designated as the clerk of the state grand jury by the impaneling judge. Upon receipt of all the lists from the clerks of court, the clerk of the state grand jury shall draw therefrom at random a list of seven hundred eligible state grand jurors, this list to be known as the master list. The clerk of the state grand jury shall mail to every person whose name is drawn a juror qualification form, the form and the manner of qualifying potential state grand jurors to be determined by the Supreme Court. Based upon these inquiries, the presiding judge shall determine whether an individual is unqualified for, or exempt, or to be excused from jury service. The clerk of the state grand jury shall prepare annually a jury list of persons qualified to serve as state grand jurors, this list to be known as the qualified state grand jury list. No state grand juror may be excused or disqualified except in accordance with existing law.

Upon the impaneling judge ordering a term of a state grand jury on petition of the Attorney General, the clerk of the state grand jury, upon the random drawing of the names of sixty persons from the qualified jury list, shall summon these individuals to attend the jury selection process for the state grand jury. The jury selection process must be conducted by the presiding judge. The clerk of the state grand jury shall issue his writ of venire facias for these persons, requiring their attendance at the time designated. The writ of venire facias must be delivered immediately to the sheriff of the county where the person resides and served as provided by law. From the sixty persons so summoned, a state grand jury for that term of eighteen persons plus four alternates must be drawn in the same manner as jurors are drawn for service on the county grand jury. Nothing in this section may be construed to limit the right of the Attorney General or his designee to request that a potential state grand juror be excused for cause. Jurors of a state grand jury shall receive a daily subsistence expense equal to the maximum allowable for the Columbia, South Carolina area, by regulation of the Internal Revenue Code when summoned or serving, and also must be paid the same per diem and mileage as are members of state boards, commissions, and committees.

SECTION 14-7-1670. Appointment of foreman and deputy foreman.

The presiding judge shall appoint one of the jurors to be foreman and another to be deputy foreman. During the absence of the foreman, the deputy foreman shall act as foreman.

SECTION 14-7-1680. Issuance of subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum; contempt for failure to respond.

The clerk of the state grand jury, upon the request of the Attorney General or his designee, shall issue subpoenas or subpoenas duces tecum to compel individuals, documents, or other materials to be brought from anywhere in this State to a state grand jury. In addition, a state grand jury may proceed in the same manner as provided by the subpoena rules of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and Sections 19-9-10 through 19-9-130, except where either is inconsistent with the provisions of this article; provided the subpoena rules of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and Sections 19-9-10 through 19-9-130 are not considered a limitation upon this section, but supplemental thereto. The subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum may be for investigative purposes and for the retention of documents or other materials so subpoenaed for proper criminal proceedings. Any law enforcement officer with appropriate jurisdiction is empowered to serve these subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum and receive these documents and other materials for return to a state grand jury. Any person violating a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum issued pursuant to this article, or who fails to fully answer all questions put to him before proceedings of a state grand jury where the response thereto is not privileged or otherwise protected by law, including the granting of immunity as authorized by Section 14-7-1760, may be punished by the presiding judge for contempt. To this end, where the violation or failure to answer is alleged to have occurred, the Attorney General or his designee may petition the presiding judge to compel compliance by the person alleged to have committed the violation or who has failed to answer. If the presiding judge considers compliance is warranted, he may order this compliance and may punish the individual for contempt where the compliance does not occur.

The clerk of the state grand jury also may issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to compel individuals, documents, or other materials to be brought from anywhere in this State to the trial of any indictment returned by a state grand jury or the trial of any civil forfeiture action arising out of an investigation conducted by a state grand jury.

SECTION 14-7-1690. Expanding Grand Jury’s areas of inquiry; procedure.

Once a state grand jury has entered into a term, the petition and order establishing same may be amended as often as necessary and appropriate so as to expand the areas of inquiry authorized by the order or to add additional areas of inquiry thereto. The procedures for amending this authority are the same as those for filing the original petition and order.

SECTION 14-7-1700. Record of testimony and other proceedings of grand jury; furnishing of copy to defendant; transcripts, reporter’s notes and all other documents to remain in custody and control of attorney general.

A court reporter shall record, either stenographically or by use of an electronic recording device, all proceedings except when a state grand jury is deliberating or voting. Subject to the limitations of Section 14-7-1720(A) and (D) and Rule 5, South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, a defendant has the right to review and to reproduce the stenographically or electronically recorded materials. Transcripts of the recorded testimony or proceedings must be made when requested by the Attorney General or his designee. Subject to the limitations of Section 14-7-1720(A) and (D) and Rule 5, South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, a copy of the transcript of the recorded testimony or proceedings requested by the Attorney General or his designee shall be provided to the defendant by the court reporter, upon request, at the transcript rate established by the Office of Court Administration. An unintentional failure of any recording to reproduce all or any portion of the testimony or proceedings does not affect the validity of the prosecution. The recording or reporter’s notes or any transcript prepared therefrom and all books, papers, records, correspondence, or other documents produced before a state grand jury must remain in the custody and control of the Attorney General or his designee unless otherwise ordered by the court in a particular case.

SECTION 14-7-1710. Administrating oath or affirmation by foreman.

The foreman shall administer an oath or affirmation in the manner prescribed by law to any witness who testifies before a state grand jury.

SECTION 14-7-1720. Proceedings to be secret; juror not to disclose; persons entitled to attend grand jury session; persons attending not to disclose; exceptions; penalties.

(A) State grand jury proceedings are secret, and a state grand juror shall not disclose the nature or substance of the deliberations or vote of the state grand jury. The only persons who may be present in the state grand jury room when a state grand jury is in session, except for deliberations and voting, are the state grand jurors, the Attorney General or his designee, the court reporter, an interpreter if necessary, and the witness testifying. A state grand juror, the Attorney General or his designee, any interpreter used, the court reporter, and any person to whom disclosure is made pursuant to subsection (B)(2) of this section may not disclose the testimony of a witness examined before a state grand jury or other evidence received by it except when directed by a court for the purpose of:

(1) ascertaining whether it is consistent with the testimony given by the witness before the court in any subsequent criminal proceeding;

(2) determining whether the witness is guilty of perjury;

(3) assisting local, state, other state or federal law enforcement or investigating agencies, including another grand jury, in investigating crimes under their investigative jurisdiction;

(4) providing the defendant the materials to which he is entitled pursuant to Section 14-7-1700;

(5) complying with constitutional, statutory, or other legal requirements or to further justice.

If the court orders disclosure of matters occurring before a state grand jury, the disclosure must be made in that manner, at that time, and under those conditions as the court directs.

(B) In addition, disclosure of testimony of a witness examined before a state grand jury or other evidence received by it may be made without being directed by a court to:

(1) the Attorney General or his designee for use in the performance of their duties; and

(2) those governmental personnel, including personnel of the State or its political subdivisions, as are considered necessary by the Attorney General or his designee to assist in the performance of their duties to enforce the criminal laws of the State; provided that any person to whom matters are disclosed under this item (2) shall not utilize that state grand jury material for purposes other than assisting the Attorney General or his designee in the performance of their duties to enforce the criminal laws of the State. The Attorney General or his designee promptly shall provide the presiding judge before whom was impaneled the state grand jury whose material has been disclosed, the names of the persons to whom the disclosure has been made, and shall certify that he has advised these persons of their obligation of secrecy under this section.

(C) Nothing in this section affects the attorney-client relationship. A client has the right to communicate to his attorney any testimony given by the client to a state grand jury, any matters involving the client discussed in the client’s presence before a state grand jury, and evidence involving the client received by or proffered to a state grand jury in the client’s presence.

(D) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or by a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

(E) State grand jurors, the Attorney General or his designee, the court reporter, any interpreter used, and the clerk of the state grand jury must be sworn to secrecy and also may be punished for criminal contempt for violations of this section.

SECTION 14-7-1730. Jurisdiction of presiding judge.

Except for the prosecution of cases arising from indictments issued by the state grand jury, the presiding judge has jurisdiction to hear all matters arising from the proceedings of a state grand jury, including, but not limited to, matters relating to the impanelment or removal of state grand jurors, the quashing of subpoenas, the punishment for contempt, and the matter of bail for persons indicted by a state grand jury.

SECTION 14-7-1740. Scheduling of activities of state grand jury.

The Attorney General or his designee shall coordinate the scheduling of activities of any state grand jury.

SECTION 14-7-1750. Indictment by state grand jury; sealed indictment.

In order to return a “true bill” of indictment, twelve or more state grand jurors must find that probable cause exists for the indictment and vote in favor of it. Upon indictment by a state grand jury, the indictment must be returned to the presiding judge. If the presiding judge considers the indictment to be within the authority of the state grand jury and otherwise in accordance with the provisions of this article, he shall return the indictment by order to the county where venue is appropriate under South Carolina law for prosecution by the Attorney General or his designee. The presiding judge may direct that the indictment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released pending trial. Thereupon, the clerk of the state grand jury shall seal the indictment, and no person shall disclose the return of the indictment except when necessary for the issuance and execution of a warrant.

SECTION 14-7-1760. Evidence given or information derived from evidence not to be received against witness in criminal prosecution; waiver of immunity; perjury.

If any person asks to be excused from testifying before a state grand jury or from producing any books, papers, records, correspondence, or other documents before a state grand jury on the ground that the testimony or evidence required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to any penalty or forfeiture and is notwithstanding directed by the presiding judge to give the testimony or produce the evidence, he must comply with this direction, but no testimony so given or other information produced, or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or such other information, may be received against him in any criminal action, criminal investigation, or criminal proceeding. No individual testifying or producing evidence or documents is exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by him while so testifying, and the testimony or evidence given or produced is admissible against him upon any criminal action, criminal investigation, or criminal proceeding concerning this perjury; provided that any individual may execute, acknowledge, and file a statement with the appropriate court expressly waiving immunity or privilege in respect to any testimony or evidence given or produced and thereupon the testimony or evidence given or produced may be received or produced before any judge or justice, court, tribunal, grand jury, or otherwise, and if so received or produced, the individual is not entitled to any immunity or privilege on account of any testimony he may give or evidence produced.

SECTION 14-7-1770. Sealing of records, orders, and subpoenas.

Records, orders, and subpoenas relating to state grand jury proceedings must be kept under seal to the extent and for that time as is necessary to prevent disclosure of matters occurring before a state grand jury.

SECTION 14-7-1780. Availability of space for grand jury; State Law Enforcement Division to provide services; cost of state grand juries.

The Attorney General shall make available suitable space for state grand juries to meet. The State Law Enforcement Division also shall provide service as the state grand juries require. The other costs associated with the state grand jury system, including juror per diem, mileage, and subsistence must be paid from funds appropriated to the Attorney General’s office for this purpose by the General Assembly in the annual general appropriations act. Nothing herein authorizes the Attorney General to expend general funds above the level of appropriations authorized annually in the general appropriations act or acts supplemental thereto.

SECTION 14-7-1790. Employment of experts by state grand jury.

A state grand jury, whenever it considers necessary, may employ experts to assist it and fix the amount of compensation or per diem to be paid therefor, upon the approval of the presiding judge as to the amount being given before any expert is employed and upon appropriation of sufficient funds therefor by the General Assembly as provided in Section 14-7-1780.

SECTION 14-7-1800. Rules for operation of state grand jury system.

The Supreme Court may promulgate rules as are necessary for the operation of the state grand jury system established herein.

SECTION 14-7-1810. Severability clause.

If any part of this article is declared invalid, unenforceable, or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, it is hereby declared severable from the remaining portions of this article which portions shall remain in full force and effect as if the invalid, unenforceable, or unconstitutional portion were omitted.

SECTION 14-7-1820. Application of article.

This article applies to offenses committed both before and after its effective date.

ARTICLE 17.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF SELECTING AND IMPANELING GRAND JURIES

SECTION 14-7-1910. Six month terms with possible additional term; drawing of member names; maximum terms.

(A) Grand jurors shall serve terms of six months and may be held over for one additional six-month term.

(B) During the last term of the court of general sessions held in each county before December thirty-first of each year, the clerk of court shall randomly draw from the twelve members serving their first six-month term on the grand jury the names of six of the grand jurors who have not served two consecutive six-month terms. Those six members together with twelve grand jurors selected in the manner prescribed in this article shall constitute the grand jury for the six-month period beginning on January first of the succeeding year and ending on June thirtieth of that year.

(C) During the last term of the court of general sessions held in each county before July first of each year, the clerk of court shall randomly draw from the twelve members serving their first six-month term on the grand jury the names of six of the grand jurors who have not served two consecutive six-month terms. Those six members together with twelve grand jurors selected in the manner prescribed in this article shall constitute the grand jury for the ensuing period beginning on July first and ending on December thirty-first of that year.

(D) The drawing of these names by the clerk of court has the same force and effect as if the names of the six grand jurors had been drawn in the presence of the presiding judge.

(E) No person shall serve as a grand juror for more than two consecutive six-month terms.

SECTION 14-7-1920. Impanelment of grand jurors; issuance and delivery of writs of venire facias.

Not less than fifteen days before the convening of the first term of the court of general sessions on or after January first and July first of each year, the jury commissioners shall proceed to draw from the jury box the number of grand jurors which the clerk of court or chief administrative judge for the circuit has determined to be sufficient in order to impanel a grand jury. The grand jurors must be randomly drawn and listed as are jurors for trials, and the jury commissioners shall not disqualify or excuse any juror drawn. Immediately after these grand jurors are drawn, the clerk of court shall issue writs of venire facias for these grand jurors, requiring their attendance on the first day of the first week of criminal court in the county on or after January first or July first of each year or at such other time as the clerk of court may designate. These writs of venire facias must be delivered immediately to the sheriff of the county or otherwise served as provided by law.

SECTION 14-7-1930. Judge to ascertain juror qualifications; lists of excused or disqualified jurors; jurors not served with writs.

On the first day of the term of court on or after January first and July first of each year, the presiding judge shall ascertain the qualifications of those jurors as have appeared pursuant to the writs of venire facias. No juror may be excused or disqualified except in accordance with existing law as determined by the presiding judge. The clerk of court shall maintain a list of all jurors who are excused or disqualified by the presiding judge and state the reasons given by the presiding judge for excusing or disqualifying the jurors. The sheriff of the county also shall report to the presiding judge the names of those persons who were not served with writs of venire facias, and that reasonable effort was made to obtain service. The clerk of court shall maintain a list of the jurors who were not served with the writs of venire facias and the reasons service was not effected.

SECTION 14-7-1940. Drawing of grand juror and alternate names; discharge of remaining jury venire.

After the grand jury venire has been duly qualified by the presiding judge, the clerk of court shall place the names of all qualified grand jurors in a container from which twelve grand jurors must be chosen. The clerk of court shall randomly draw twelve jurors from the container, and those twelve jurors drawn shall serve as grand jurors, together with those grand jurors selected as provided under Section 14-7-1910. The clerk of court shall randomly draw three or more additional jurors, with those three or more jurors serving as alternate grand jurors in the event one or more of the original grand jurors are incapacitated, excused, or disqualified during their term. The names of the alternate grand jurors must be kept separate and numbered in the order drawn and in this order, unless excused by the presiding judge, shall serve when necessary. The remainder of the grand jury venire may be discharged.

SECTION 14-7-1950. Application of other law relating to grand juries and jurors.

Except for the alternative method of selecting and impaneling grand jurors as provided in this article, all other provisions of law relating to grand juries and grand jurors shall continue to apply.

SECTION 14-7-1960. Election of alternate provisions by county ordinance.

A county governing body, by ordinance, may elect to use the provisions of this article as the method of selecting and impaneling grand juries and grand jurors in that county based on its determination that grand jury case loads, length of time persons must serve as grand jurors, and other similar concerns require this alternative method.

SECTION 14-7-1970. Periodic exemption of jurors from subsequent duty.

A person completing service as a grand juror under the alternative method provided by this article, including any service as a holdover grand juror, is exempt from any further jury service in any court of this State for a period of five calendar years.

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Contact the Joe Griffith Law Firm immediately to discuss your legal rights.

We represent those accused of criminal misdemeanors and/or felonies in a variety of state and federal proceedings including, but not limited to, initial appearances, preliminary hearings, bond hearings, trials, sentencing hearings, parole hearings, probation hearings, and appeals. We represent those designated “witnesses,” “subjects” or “targets” of grand jury criminal investigations, and have the experience to know when to assert 5th Amendment rights, make effective “proffer” statements, or demand immunity from government prosecutors. We are extremely effective in conducting pre-indictment investigations to gather and analyze evidence in order to make factual and legal presentations to prosecutors in an effort to persuade them to issue a declination whereby they agree to not indict a person or company under criminal investigation. We have been successful in having investigations declined pre-indictment. In the event of an indictment or other criminal charge, our attorneys stand ready to fight for our client and protect his or her legal rights to the fullest extent of the law.

If you or your loved one has received a subject letter or target letter naming you as a subject or target of an alleged ambulance fraud Medicare or Medicaid crime, have been served with a search warrant or grand jury subpoena, or have been charged in a criminal complaint or an indictment with the crime of health care fraud involving an ambulance service, contact the Joe Griffith Law Firm immediately to discuss your legal rights.

Joseph P. Griffith, Jr.
SC Criminal Defense Attorney
SC Target Letter/Subject Letter Defense Lawyer
SC Grand Jury Law Firm
SC Criminal Attorney
Joe Griffith Law Firm, LLC
7 State Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
(843) 225-5563

http://www.joegriffith.com

South Carolina Attorney Joe Griffith is a former SC federal prosecutor who handles Medicare Fraud cases, Medicaid Fraud Cases, Pharmacy Fraud cases, Hospital Fraud cases, Qui Tam Cases, False Claims Act cases, Whistleblower Fraud cases, and Defense Contractor Fraud cases in South Carolina and the United States. As a former federal prosecutor who has litigated nearly 30 federal court trials, top-rated attorney Joseph P. Griffith, Jr. focuses the great majority of his practice on federal White Collar Criminal defense. He has handled a wide range of White Collar Criminal cases, with particular emphasis on antitrust crimes, bank fraud, child pornography, computer crimes, corporate fraud, environmental crimes, false claims act/government fraud, health care fraud, internet/cyber crimes, mail/wire fraud, securities/stock fraud and tax fraud crimes. Joseph P. Griffith, Jr. has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV rating, has received AVVO’s highest 10/10 rating, is a member of the Bar Register of Pre-eminent Lawyers, has been chosen a South Carolina Super Lawyer, and has been chosen one of the Best Lawyers in America. He has the experience to adroitly guide you or your company through the difficult process of a White Collar criminal investigation, and, if necessary, forcefully litigate your defense in the event of a prosecution.

© 2010 Joseph P. Griffith, Jr.

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About Joe Griffith 2

A South Carolina Criminal Lawyer, Attorney, Law Firm that practices white collar criminal law in SC. A SC criminal defense lawyer for antitrust crimes, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, breach of trust, child pornography crimes, criminal conspiracy, defense contractor fraud, embezzlement, environmental crimes, foreign corrupt practices (FCPA), fraud, government contracting fraud, health care fraud, hospice fraud, hospital fraud, investment fraud, medical fraud, medicare fraud, medicaid fraud, obscenity charges, physician fraud, ponzi schemes,public corruption, securities fraud, stock fraud, tax evasion, tax fraud, tax crimes, telemarketing fraud, theft. Griffith also handles qui tam, whistleblower, false claims act, whistleblower protection cases. Joe Griffith Law Firm serves the following South Carolina (SC) Counties: Abbeville County, Aiken County, Allendale County, Anderson County, Bamberg County, Barnwell County, Beaufort County, Berkeley County, Calhoun County, Charleston County, Cherokee County, Chester County, Chesterfield County, Clarendon County, Colleton County, Darlington County, Dillon County, Dorchester County, Edgefield County, Fairfield County, Florence County, Georgetown County, Greenville County, Greenwood County, Hampton County, Horry County, Jasper County, Kershaw County, Lancaster County, Laurens County, Lee county, Lexington County, Marion County, Marlboro County, McCormick County, Newberry County, Oconee County, Orangeburg County, Pickens County, plea agreement, Richland County, Saluda County, Spartanburg County, Sumter County, Union County, and Williamsburg County. Contact the Joe Griffith Law Firm immediately to discuss your legal rights at www.joegriffith.com.
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