Conway, SC Criminal Defense Attorney
Conway, SC, is a city in Horry County, South Carolina. Like any other city or town in the United States, individuals in Conway are entitled to legal representation if they are accused of a crime. A criminal defense attorney’s role is to defend individuals accused of a crime, protect their legal rights, and help them navigate the criminal justice system. When someone is facing criminal charges, it is critical to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on their side.
At Axelrod & Associates, our experienced attorneys offer comprehensive criminal defense services, helping clients in Conway and throughout Horry County. We have a long history of successfully defending individuals accused of various criminal offenses, from traffic violations to more serious felonies. We understand the complexities of the criminal justice system and willingly take on all types of criminal cases to ensure our clients receive the best possible outcome in their cases. If you have been accused of a crime in Conway, SC contact our office immediately to discuss your case and build an effective defense strategy.
What Are the Most Common Types of Criminal Defense Cases in Conway?
Like any city in the United States, Conway, SC, sees various criminal defense cases. Some of the most common types of criminal defense cases that occur in Conway include the following:
- DUI/DWI: This refers to the charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For example, an individual who is pulled over by police for erratic driving and is found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08% can be charged with a DUI/DWI offense.
- Drug crimes: Charges related to drug offenses, such as possession, distribution, and trafficking of illegal drugs or controlled substances, such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, are common in Conway. For example, an individual will face drug-related charges if caught distributing drugs or possessing a significant amount of a controlled substance.
- Assault and battery: This offense typically arises from a physical altercation and can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the offense. For example, an individual accused of physically attacking another person, resulting in injuries or harm, can be charged with assault and battery.
- Theft: Property crimes such as larceny, burglary, and robbery are common criminal defense cases in Conway. These charges can be brought against individuals accused of stealing property or money. For example, an individual caught shoplifting or stealing from a home or business can be charged with theft-related offenses. The theft type depends on the crime’s severity and the value of the item(s) stolen.
- White-collar crimes: These charges typically involve crimes committed in a professional or business setting, such as embezzlement, fraud, and money laundering. For example, an individual accused of stealing money from their employer or falsifying financial records can be charged with white-collar crimes.
- Domestic violence: Charges of this type arise from domestic disputes, such as physical altercations, and can include restraining orders to protect the alleged victim. For example, an individual who is accused of physically assaulting their spouse or partner may face charges of domestic violence-related offenses.
- Juvenile offenses: Minors who commit crimes such as drug possession, theft, and assault can be charged with criminal offenses and require legal representation from a criminal defense attorney. For example, a minor found in possession of drugs or accused of assaulting another person can be charged with juvenile offenses.
It’s important to note that every criminal defense case is unique and requires an individualized approach. A criminal defense attorney can provide legal counsel, protect the accused individual’s legal rights, and fight for the best possible outcome for their case.
What Evidence Should Be Prepared for a Conway Criminal Defense Case?
When preparing a criminal defense case, gathering as much evidence as possible is essential to build a strong defense strategy. The evidence can be used to challenge the prosecution’s case and raise a reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt. Here are some types of evidence that a criminal defense attorney may gather when preparing for a case:
- Witness statements: Statements from witnesses present during the incident can be valuable evidence. These statements can help support the defendant’s version of events and challenge the prosecution’s case. A criminal defense attorney may interview witnesses to gather information about what they saw or heard during the incident and then present it in court.
- Physical evidence: Physical evidence such as fingerprints, DNA samples, and other forensic evidence can link or exclude a suspect from a crime scene. This type of evidence can be powerful in proving or disproving guilt. A criminal defense attorney may hire forensic experts to analyze the physical evidence and present their findings in court.
- Surveillance footage: Video footage from cameras in public places, businesses, or private residences can be used as evidence in a criminal case. The footage can help identify the suspect, provide a timeline of events, or refute the prosecution’s case. A criminal defense attorney may obtain and review surveillance footage to challenge the prosecution’s version of events.
- Expert testimony: Expert witnesses, such as forensic scientists, medical professionals, or psychologists, can provide testimony that can challenge the prosecution’s case and help support the defendant’s version of events. A criminal defense attorney may hire expert witnesses to provide testimony that supports their defense strategy.
- Alibi evidence: Evidence that shows the defendant was not present at the crime scene when the crime was committed can be a powerful defense strategy. A criminal defense attorney may gather evidence, such as witness statements or surveillance footage, that supports the defendant’s alibi.
- Character witnesses: Witnesses who can testify to the defendant’s character can be valuable evidence in a criminal defense case. These witnesses can speak to the defendant’s reputation in the community, their history of honesty, and their general character. A criminal defense attorney may gather character witnesses to speak on the defendant’s behalf and challenge the prosecution’s case.
What Is the Standard Process of a Criminal Defense Case in Conway, South Carolina?
The standard process of a criminal defense case in Conway, SC, involves several stages, including the following:
- Investigation: The investigation stage begins when the police receive a report of a crime. They will then investigate the crime, gather evidence, and question witnesses. If the police believe they have enough evidence, they will arrest the suspect and charge them with the crime. Contact a criminal defense attorney to protect the defendant’s legal rights and prepare a defense strategy during this stage.
- Arraignment: During the arraignment, the defendant is informed of the charges against them and is asked to plead guilty or not guilty. If the defendant pleads guilty, they may be sentenced immediately. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to the trial stage. At this stage, have a criminal defense attorney present to provide legal counsel and help the defendant understand their legal options.
- Pre-trial motions: The defense attorney and prosecutor may file pre-trial motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the case before the trial. These motions are reviewed by the judge and may impact the trial outcome. During this stage, the criminal defense attorney will work to protect the defendant’s legal rights and build a strong defense strategy.
- Trial: During the trial, the prosecution and defense present their cases to a judge or jury. The prosecution will present evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, while the defense will present evidence to challenge the prosecution’s case. The trial stage is a critical point in the criminal defense process, and the defendant’s criminal defense attorney will work to defend the defendant and protect their legal rights vigorously.
- Sentencing: If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will sentence them. The sentence may include jail time, fines, probation, community service, or a combination of these penalties. The defendant may also have the option to appeal the verdict. At this stage, a criminal defense attorney will work to negotiate the best possible outcome for the defendant, potentially including a reduced sentence, probation, or other alternatives to jail time.
- Post-trial motions: After the trial, either side may file a post-trial motion, such as a motion for a new trial or set aside the verdict. The judge hears these motions, and may result in a new trial, an appeal to a higher court, or a case dismissal. A criminal defense attorney can also provide legal counsel and representation during this stage.
- Appeals: The defendant may appeal the verdict or sentence to a higher court. During this stage, the criminal defense attorney will review the case and present legal arguments supporting the defendant. The appellate court may overturn the verdict or sentence, resulting in a new trial or a case dismissal.
Criminal Defense Lawyers FAQs
Q: How Much Do Defense Lawyers Cost in South Carolina?
A: The cost of a criminal defense lawyer in South Carolina can vary depending on the attorney’s experience, the complexity of the case, and the location of the attorney’s office. Some criminal defense attorneys charge a flat fee for their services, while others charge an hourly rate. The average cost for a criminal defense attorney in South Carolina is around $2,000 to $5,000, but some cases can cost significantly more. It’s important to discuss the attorney’s fees upfront and to work with an attorney who offers transparent and affordable legal services.
Q: Why Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
A: A criminal defense lawyer is essential in helping to protect your legal rights, ensuring a fair trial, and negotiating a favorable plea deal or sentence. A criminal defense lawyer can help build a strong defense strategy, challenge the prosecution’s case, and provide legal counsel throughout the criminal justice process. With a skilled criminal defense attorney, you have a much better chance of obtaining a positive outcome in your case, potentially including a reduced sentence, a not-guilty verdict, or having the charges against you dropped.
Q: Do You Have To Pay for a Public Defender in SC?
A: If you cannot afford a private criminal defense attorney, you may be eligible for a public defender in South Carolina. Public defenders are attorneys appointed by the court to represent defendants who cannot afford to hire their attorney. The government pays public defenders, providing their services at no cost to the defendant. However, it’s important to note that public defenders are often overworked and may have limited time to dedicate to each case. Working with a skilled attorney who can provide dedicated legal representation and protect your legal rights is still important.
Q: How Do You Qualify for a Public Defender in SC?
A: To qualify for a public defender in South Carolina, you must meet specific financial requirements. Your income must be below a certain level, and you must not have significant assets or savings. To apply for a public defender, you must complete an application form and provide documentation of your income and assets. The court will review your application and determine your eligibility for a public defender. If you are eligible, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you in your criminal case.
Q: What Is Plea Bargaining in SC?
A: Plea bargaining is a common practice used in criminal cases. It’s when the defense attorney and the prosecutor agree to a reduced charge or sentence in exchange for a defendant pleading guilty. For example, if a defendant is charged with theft, they may be offered a reduced charge of larceny or a lighter sentence in exchange for pleading guilty. Plea bargaining can help to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system and save court time. Still, it’s essential to understand the full implications before agreeing to a plea bargain.
Contact Axelrod & Associates Today
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in South Carolina, hire experienced legal representation. The lawyers at Axelrod & Associates are experienced in criminal defense and can provide the skilled legal representation you need. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your case.