When people get charged with serious crimes in South Carolina General Sessions Court, be it drugs, assault, domestic violence, sex crimes, or worse, they want to know what we’ll do to defend them. Here’s how it works through the major steps of your case. We’ve written before on how the courts handle it. Here’s how we handle it.
Step by Step Through South Carolina’s Criminal Justice System
- Managing the police investigation. If you get approached by law enforcement, get ahead. Let us handle them so you don’t make a mistake that could gut your defense. We may even be able to prevent you from ever being charged.
- Bond. This is also called bail. If we get involved before arrest, we can often arrange to turn you in, giving you major advantages. It prevents the embarrassment of being hauled off from work or yanked out of your home in the wee hours. It can minimize your time in jail waiting on the judge. It can help reduce your bond amount, which we urge the judge to minimize using the proper legal standards.
- Build a defense around your goals. We get your side of the story, including what you aim to achieve in your defense. We hunt down helpful witnesses. We gather helpful evidence.
- If you're willing and eligible, press the prosecutor to get you into a program to dismiss the charge and get it off your record. You may have some other options, but it'll take convincing skeptical prosecutors and officers, not to mention the potentially angry victim that some cases present. These programs include pre-trial intervention, the solicitor's intervention program for domestic violence cases, and the solicitor's drug intervention program.
- Plan B. Sometimes you’ve got to plead guilty, but that’s not giving up. We develop the evidence for the only sentencing argument that matters: why you shouldn’t go to prison. (“I don’t want to” is never enough. If you don’t know what is, that’s why you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer).
- Demand discovery. We file a motion for discovery, which is all the evidence the State has, including evidence that helps you. Sometimes we file more than one motion if we suspect the State hasn’t shared all the evidence or it owes you more.
- Scrutinize the evidence. We go through all the evidence to expose any holes in the State’s case we can exploit at trial. We also look closely for any legal arguments that might get your case dismissed or the evidence thrown out, like for illegal searches.
- Evaluate your best option to exceed your goal. After we have all the evidence, we develop a strategy to exceed your goals. It may be we just prepare for trial.
- Manage court appearances. You’ll have at least two. The first is very early, to dispose of basic administrative issues. The second announces whether the case is a plea or trial, though this can change.
- Plea or trial. However your case ends, we have you ready, armed with the best strategy to prevail. You’ll be thoroughly prepped in your role.
A lot of work to protect you goes into a guilty plea.
Trial preparation for us is intense and all-consuming. Your innocence is on the line, and we take it seriously.
Still a Do-It-Yourselfer?
Even if you still think you can handle all this on your own, the question remains, can you do it well? Well enough to feel secure in protecting your freedom and reputation from the government, which has its own lawyer?
The truth is, this is really hard. But since we do it for a living, it’s a lot easier for us to do it really well, to protect you, than it is for you. You have nothing to lose and potentially your life to regain by enlisting an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your case. If you’re curious, feel free to contact us right where you’re sitting to arrange a free strategy session about your case. Time’s growing short, so act fast to preserve your freedom and restore your peace of mind now.