(A) Each application for an order authorizing or approving the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication under this chapter must be made in writing upon oath or affirmation to a judge of competent jurisdiction and must state the applicant’s authority to make the application. Each application must include the following information:

(1) the identity of the SLED agent making the application and the person authorizing the application;

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 17-30-80

  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Electronic communication: means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, photooptical system, or any other device that affects intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce, but does not include:

    (a) any wire or oral communication;

    (b) any communication made through a tone-only paging device;

    (c) any communication from an electronic or mechanical device which permits the tracking of the movement of a person or an object; or

    (d) electronic funds transfer information stored by a financial institution in a communications system used for the electronic storage and transfer of funds. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Intercept: means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • Person: means an employee or agent of the State of South Carolina or political subdivision of the State, of the United States, or of any other state or political subdivision of the State, and any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • State: means any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other possession or territory of the United States. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.

(2) a full and complete statement of the facts and circumstances relied upon by the applicant to justify his belief that an order should be issued, including:

(a) details as to the particular offense that has been, is being, or is about to be committed;

(b) except as otherwise provided, a particular description of the nature and location of the facilities from which or the place where the communications are to be intercepted;

(c) a particular description of the type of communications sought to be intercepted;

(d) the identity of the person, if known, committing the offense and whose communications are to be intercepted;

(3) a full and complete statement as to whether or not other investigative procedures have been tried and failed or why they reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried or to be too dangerous;

(4) a statement that the communications sought to be intercepted are not otherwise legally privileged;

(5) a statement of the period of time for which the interception is required to be maintained and, if the nature of the investigation is such that the authorization for interception should not automatically terminate when the described type of communication has been first obtained, a particular description of facts establishing probable cause to believe that additional communications of the same type will occur thereafter;

(6) a full and complete statement of the facts concerning all previous applications known to the individual authorizing and making the application, made to a judge for authorization to intercept, or for approval of interceptions of, wire, oral, or electronic communications involving any of the same persons, facilities, or places specified in the application, and the action taken by the judge on each of the applications; and

(7) when the application is for the extension of an order, a statement setting forth the results thus far obtained from the interception or a reasonable explanation of the failure to obtain the results.

(B) Allegations of fact in the application may be based either upon the personal knowledge of the applicant or upon information and belief. If the applicant personally knows the facts alleged, this knowledge must be stated in the application. If the facts stated in the application are derived in whole or in part from the statements of persons other than the applicant, the sources of these facts must be either disclosed or described, and the application must contain the facts establishing the existence and reliability of the informants or the reliability of the information supplied by them. The application must also state, so far as possible, the basis of the informant’s knowledge or belief. Affidavits of persons other than the applicant may be submitted in conjunction with the application if they tend to support any fact or conclusion alleged in the application. An accompanying affidavit may be based either on the personal knowledge of the affiant, or information and belief with the source of the information and the reason for belief specified.

(C) The judge may require the applicant to furnish additional testimony or documentary evidence in support of the application. Any hearing ordered by the judge regarding the application must be tape recorded.

(D) Upon application, the judge may enter an ex parte order, as requested or as modified, authorizing or approving interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications within the territorial jurisdiction of the court in which the judge is sitting, and outside the jurisdiction but within the State of South Carolina in the case of a mobile interception device authorized by the judge within the jurisdiction, if the judge determines on the basis of the facts submitted by the applicant that:

(1) there is probable cause for belief that an individual is committing, has committed, or is about to commit an offense as provided in Section 17-30-70;

(2) there is probable cause for belief that particular communications concerning that offense will be obtained through the interception;

(3) normal investigative procedures have been tried and have failed or reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried or to be too dangerous; and

(4) except as otherwise provided, there is probable cause for belief that the facilities from which, or the place where, the wire, oral, or electronic communications are to be intercepted are being used, or are about to be used, in connection with the commission of the offense, or are leased to, listed in the name of, or commonly used by that person.