South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney
You have the right to represent yourself in any legal matter, but having a right to do something doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea or that you should do it. You wouldn’t perform your own root canal and can foresee the predicament you would be in if you did. Likewise, representing yourself in a legal matter, especially one that could cost you your freedom, isn’t a great idea.
Hiring an experienced South Carolina criminal defense lawyer increases the chances of a better outcome in criminal charges—even if it’s your first offense.
How a South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
A South Carolina criminal defense lawyer’s job is multi-faceted. When you hire a lawyer, you can be assured that you are gaining a fierce advocate who will fight for your legal rights. Doing so involves the following steps.
Stop Charges Before They are Even Filed
Sometimes, an experienced South Carolina criminal justice attorney can meet with the Solicitor or federal prosecutor after someone has been arrested but before being indicted, or formally charged. A knowledgeable attorney might be able to present evidence and witness statements that provide prosecutors with the entire picture, not just what the police or alleged victim have reported.
Prosecutors might decide to file lesser charges, such as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Your South Carolina criminal defense attorney might be able to get the Solicitor to reject the case entirely and not file criminal charges at all.
Evaluating Your Charges and Applicable Evidence
Your attorney will evaluate your criminal charges, evidence, and the best criminal defenses that apply in your case. These actions provide a practical evaluation of the case scenarios and help your lawyer advise you on the best path forward.
Communicate with the Solicitor to Negotiate a Plea Bargain
If negotiating charges is in your best interest, your South Carolina criminal defense attorney will attempt to negotiate with the Solicitor to reduce charges, reduce potential sentencing or consequences, or even for a complete case dismissal. Your lawyer can advise you of the benefits and disadvantages of your options.
Recommend a Potential Defense Strategy
After thoroughly assessing your charges, applicable police reports, witnesses, and all other evidence, your lawyer can recommend the best criminal defense strategy. Whatever defense strategy they formulate will be based on the specific facts in your case. They might include trying to get the case dismissed, negotiating reduced criminal charges, or fighting the charges at trial.
Give You Objective Insight on the Criminal Justice Process
Your attorney can educate you on what to expect during the criminal justice process or trial. Our defense attorneys can update you with assessments as the case proceeds through its various stages. They can prepare you for what will happen next and if it is in your best interest to agree to a prosecutor’s plea bargain.
Provide Education Regarding the Laws and Rules Concerning Your Case
Criminal law is an intricate web of state and federal legislation that our South Carolina criminal defense lawyers study and practice for years to skillfully help clients like yourself. They can help you understand the gravity of your charges, your rights, and what consequences you might face if you are convicted.
Help You with the Emotional Facets of Trial
Your lawyer will let you know what to expect, which can help decrease some of your anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. They can also help you deal with the potential shock, embarrassment, and depression of a criminal trial.
Criminal Convictions and Collateral Consequences
If you are facing criminal charges, your first question might be: will I go to jail or prison? Imprisonment is a scary prospect. It means being away from family. If you are your family’s primary source of income, that could put them in a financial crisis. Even if no one depends on you, going to jail is not something anyone wants to consider.
However, there’s more to a criminal conviction than incarceration, fines, probation, community service, and other possible statutory consequences. If you are convicted, you will have a criminal record. That record often leads to serious collateral consequences that can affect your life decades after you have paid your debt to society. Common collateral consequences you might face for a criminal conviction include the following:
- Trouble obtaining employment
- Difficulty keeping a current job
- Possibly losing a professional or business license
- Problems getting accepted into an educational program or continuing education
- Trouble getting a loan
- Obstacles with child custody
- Immigration issues
- Difficulty traveling
- Issues securing housing
- Mandated sex offender registration
- Loss of the right to vote
- Loss of driving privileges
- Loss of the right to own or use a firearm
Whether these consequences apply in your case depends on the extent and classification of the crime. Some of these collateral consequences are enforced under South Carolina law, and some under federal law. You should be aware that these collateral consequences exist. If you are convicted of criminal charges, they will impact you in one way or another.
Having a seasoned South Carolina criminal defense lawyer defending you against allegations of a crime is essential to avoiding these collateral consequences. More than jail time, fines, or other legal penalties imposed on you by law, these collateral consequences can permanently and adversely impact the quality of your life and future.
Were You Charged with a Crime? Call The Law Office of D. Craig Brown, LLC Today
If you face criminal charges, you need a skilled South Carolina criminal lawyer who understands how things work. One who knows how to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf. Someone who has the skills and experience necessary to provide you with the best chance at a favorable outcome and who will give you the attention you deserve.
At The Law Office of D. Craig Brown, LLC, you aren’t just another case – you are a person. Call us today to schedule your case consultation.