INADMISSIBILITY OF PLEAS, PLEA DISCUSSIONS, AND RELATED STATEMENTS
Except as otherwise provided in this rule, evidence of the following is not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, admissible against the defendant who made the plea or was a participant in the plea discussions:
(1) a plea of guilty which was later withdrawn;
(2) a plea of nolo contendere;
(3) any statement made in the course of any court proceedings regarding either of the foregoing pleas; or
(4) any statement made in the course of plea discussions with an attorney for the prosecuting authority which do not result in a plea of guilty or which result in a plea of guilty later withdrawn.
However, such a statement is admissible (i) in any proceeding wherein another statement made in the course of the same plea or plea discussions has been introduced and the statement ought in fairness be considered contemporaneously with it, or (ii) in a criminal proceeding for perjury or false statement if the statement was made by the defendant under oath, on the record and in the presence of counsel.
Except for subsection (3), this rule is identical to the federal rule. Subsection (3) was amended because South Carolina has no equivalent to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. It should be noted that convictions based on pleas of nolo contendere are admissible under Rule 609 for impeachment. The rule is consistent with prior South Carolina law. State v. Mathis, 287 S.C. 589, 340 S.E.2d 538 (1986); State v. Lynn, 277 S.C. 222, 284 S.E.2d 786 (1981).