4701 Oleander Drive, Suite A
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
It can happen in a flash. Your normal life is turned upside down when law enforcement charges you with a crime and whisks you away to jail. You’ll be full of emotions and won’t know where to turn. Depending on the crime you’re facing, you may be at risk of a long-term stay in prison. When this happens to you, you must hire a Marion criminal defense lawyer and law firm to defend you in court and help you avoid the harshest penalties.
At Axelrod & Associates, we have plenty of experience handling criminal defense across South Carolina. We can advocate for you, ensure nobody infringes on your legal rights, and work with the prosecutors and judge to try to keep any prison sentence as low as possible.
Our team of lawyers has over 100 years of combined experience and can use it to assist you through your trial. We can prioritize your case and do anything we can to get an acceptable outcome for you. We have years of trials and victories to demonstrate our abilities as excellent litigators.
In South Carolina, we split crimes into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Every state has a slightly different definition of what constitutes a felony or misdemeanor and what the punishments should be.
Misdemeanors are less severe crimes and have smaller punishments, especially for first-time offenders. It is a misconception that misdemeanors cannot lead to jail time. While some people get probation for a first offense, misdemeanors carry the real risk of jail for anyone the court finds guilty. Misdemeanor penalties generally include up to three years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
Felonies, on the other hand, are much more severe and come with very harsh penalties for guilty parties. Felonies cover some of the more heinous crimes in the criminal justice system, like murder, rape, or arson.
Because felonies come in six classes, the punishments are varied as well. At the lower end, you may face five years in prison for something like involuntary manslaughter or stalking. A Class A felony, such as kidnapping, may result in up to 30 years in prison for a first offense.
In most cases, you’ll be allowed to post bond before the trial, though some judges are less willing to allow you to post bail after extremely heinous crimes.
Regardless of the kind of charge you’re facing, you’ll want an experienced Marion criminal defense attorney in your corner to walk you through the process and advocate for you in court.
Now that we know the basic principles of criminal charges in the state, we can look at some of the most common cases and what they mean. At Axelrod & Associates, we can help with many criminal matters in Marion, SC and provide comprehensive legal coverage. Some of the common offenses are:
When law enforcement places you under arrest, they will read you your Miranda Rights. You’ve probably heard them several times on police procedurals, but to refresh, you have a right to remain silent and to an attorney.
You may be tempted to try and explain the case to the police when they ask questions. This is an understandable mistake to make, as the police will act like they are your friends, and you believe in your innocence. However, we do not recommend speaking with the police about the case without a lawyer present.
As soon as you are under arrest, you must ask for an attorney, like one from Axelrod & Associates. Don’t speak with law enforcement until your attorney is present and can review the case with you.
Hiring an attorney will give you a better chance in court and of avoiding the harshest penalties the judge can give you. Your attorney will work with you to prepare a defense that suits your case and gives you a better chance at a not-guilty verdict.
You have the legal right to represent yourself, but this carries numerous risks. You won’t know the laws as well as your attorney or the prosecutor, and the judge will expect you to have the same level of knowledge as an attorney. You likely won’t have time to get acquainted with all the applicable laws and precedents in time. You need an attorney with extensive experience.
A: A criminal defense attorney in South Carolina will cost you around $300 per hour, with a range between $150 and $500. The price fluctuates because of your attorney’s level of experience or the nature of the case. While you may be apprehensive because of the price, having an attorney on your side is often necessary for avoiding a lengthy prison sentence.
A: Prosecutors may decide to dismiss a case if they believe they don’t have a case against the defendant. They may look at the evidence and see they don’t have enough to mount a full offensive. Your defense attorney may have convinced a judge to suppress evidence law enforcement illegally obtained, and it will put the prosecution’s case at a disadvantage.
A: No, South Carolina is one of the states that is less willing to extradite someone to a state where they committed a crime. This does not mean suspected criminals have sanctuary in South Carolina, as the state may decide to extradite a person if the charges are serious enough. For instance, South Carolina probably won’t extradite someone for petty theft, but it will for a felony drug charge.
A: Yes, you should disclose everything to your lawyer. While it may seem bizarre to tell your attorney incriminating facts, it’s vital to build your case. You have attorney-client privilege with your lawyer, meaning they cannot go and tell the prosecutor things you say in confidence. Your attorney needs all the case information, even if it incriminates you.
Even the most minor criminal offenses are nothing to scoff at. A criminal sentence can lead you to jail time and potential future penalties down the road if you commit another crime. You need a proactive defense that will fight to neutralize some of the prosecutor’s weapons. When you need a Marion criminal defense lawyer and law firm, you should consider Axelrod & Associates.
We have plenty of experience with numerous criminal trials and can help you with yours. Contact us today to see how we can help. Every second counts in a criminal trial, so don’t wait.
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