Charleston Criminal Defense Lawyer
After you have been charged with a crime, finding a criminal defense attorney in Charleston, SC, should be the first step you take to address your case. A trusted attorney will hear you out, help you create a plan and speak knowledgeably on your behalf.
Also, a reputable Charleston criminal defense attorney can tell your truth without infringing upon the case’s details. They will understand the state and local laws, deadlines and procedures more than you could on your own.
The benefits of having a trusted attorney are crucial to your case. Your lawyer will be your guide through the entire process and will help you work toward the best possible outcome.
Our Criminal Defense Services and Common Criminal Cases
There are many different categories of crime. Some standard cases we work with include:
- DUIs: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in a fine or jail time. A Charleston DUI lawyer can defend your rights during your case.
- Misdemeanors: Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies and are usually punishable with jail time and fines. Many of the crimes we handle at the state level are misdemeanors.
- Burglary: Entering a home and committing theft is considered a felony and is punishable with up to ten years of jail time.
- Domestic violence: Domestic violence can range from public fighting to abuse at home. A Charleston personal injury lawyer can assist you, especially if you were injured during the crime.
- Drug charges: Drug charges can range from possession, intent to deliver and trafficking.
- Juvenile crime: Juvenile crime is a charge that deals with those under 18. However, depending on the severity of the crime, some youth may be tried as adults.
- Theft: Theft, or larceny, is unlawfully taking possessions that belong to another person or entity. Theft is separate from shoplifting and burglary, but the prosecutor could stack those charges together.
- Violent crime: Violent crime is any instance where the victim is subjected to or threatened with violence.
- Weapons charges: Transporting, using or selling an unlicensed weapon are examples of this crime. Each state has specific laws for weapons charges.
- Shoplifting: Shoplifting falls under the category of theft. Sometimes it is treated as an infraction rather than a misdemeanor.
Types of Criminal Defense Cases
Criminal cases can be broken down into several types:
State and Federal Cases
In basic terms, state crimes violate state laws, and federal crimes violate federal laws. Some crimes apply to both, but it depends on the prosecutor to decide which category the charges fall under. Instances of assault, robbery, domestic violence, theft and rape usually fall under the “state” category. The FBI or IRS usually handles federal cases, including computer crime, major drug trafficking, hate crimes and money laundering.
Felonies and Misdemeanors
Misdemeanors are often petty crimes that result in fines and time served in a county or local jail. Sentencing is usually for less than a year, and these trials and plea deals tend to move quickly because of the nature of the crime.
Felonies are serious offenses and are categorized by degrees. First degree felonies are the most grave and sixth degree felonies are the least serious. When defendants are charged with a felony, they have to pay hefty fines and serve time in prison for longer than a year in a federal or state institution. Many felons experience hardships after they are released, so it is essential to have a trusted criminal defense lawyer.
Many cases are closed before they make it to trial. In a plea deal, the defendant has the option to plead guilty to one or multiple charges. Both the attorney and the prosecutor try to make an acceptable deal to avoid the uncertainty of a trial. If you take a plea deal, you can reduce your sentencing and lessen the anticipation of going through a full trial.
When to Seek Legal Counsel? — The Criminal Defense and Arrest Process
Due to the complexities of the legal system, having an attorney can alleviate the stress of a crime. We recommend hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Charleston, SC, as soon as possible.
The process for most criminal cases is as follows:
- Investigation: Before you are arrested, law enforcement will investigate and use evidence to charge you with a crime.
- Charges: After the arrest, you will have a trial to determine the charges being presented against you. We recommend finding a lawyer as soon as you know the charges, if not sooner.
- Initial hearing: Once the charges are filed, you’ll be brought before a magistrate judge to learn more about the charges against you.
- Discovery: Before the trial begins, the prosecutor and your attorney will gather evidence and information for their cases. This includes finding witnesses to testify during the trial.
- Plea bargaining: If the case against you is strong, the prosecutor may offer a plea deal to lessen the severity of the sentencing. If you plead guilty, there will only be a trial to determine charges.
- Preliminary hearing: At times, there is a hearing to present evidence in your favor before the trial, after you have chosen to plead not guilty.
- Pre-trial motions: Before the trial, the prosecutor can make a motion to decide on a certain issue. These motions range from dismissing a charge to moving the trial venue.
- Trial: Both sides present their case during the trial and bring in evidence to convince the jury. Shortly after the trial, the verdict is announced.
A representative who is familiar with the court system can help you prepare for this process. Lauren Taylor Law has some of the best criminal lawyers in Charleson, SC, who will serve in your best interest.
Why Should You Hire Criminal Defense Lawyer Lauren Taylor?
Lauren Taylor has a client-oriented approach to all cases, and she regularly takes courses to stay updated on new policies and procedures. She understands the penalties that can stem from civil suits and how to challenge substantive and procedural issues. Lauren will also make sure you receive personalized care and dedicated attention from a lawyer you can trust to defend you with confidence.
When you choose Lauren Taylor Law, you will pay a standard rate to ensure you have enough funds to finish your case. We also provide custom payment plans so that you can focus on the case at hand. Our law firm prioritizes closing your case and providing the help you need. Contact Lauren Taylor Law today and receive assistance from a trusted Charleston criminal defense lawyer.