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Sumter Criminal Defense Lawyer

Sumter Criminal Defense Lawyer

Sumter Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime is a frightening situation to be in. It’s very intimidating to feel the weight of the justice system against you. However, despite the way things may appear, it’s critical that you recognize that you still have rights and the opportunity to answer the accusations you face. It’s possible to win a criminal trial, and the right Sumter criminal defense lawyer can help you do just that.

At Axelrod & Associates, P.A., we work hard to ensure that our clients are given the strongest defense that we can put together on their behalf because we understand what’s at stake for them.

Sumter Criminal Defense Lawyer

Some Common Sumter Criminal Charges

Criminal charges cover a broad category of potential offenses. The less serious charges may result in misdemeanor charges, with lighter sentences. In many cases, defendants can even avoid jail time. However, criminal charges also include felony charges, which have the potential to keep someone in prison for years. These charges are sorted into different categories of crime, including:

  • Violent Crimes – Some of the most harshly punished crimes are violent crimes. These involve harming, or attempting to harm, another person. Offenses include murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, and assault.
  • Drug Crimes – These crimes are charged for possession of drugs, and more serious offenses involve the manufacture, distribution, and possession of drugs. Often, this means a controlled substance, but there are also prescription drug crimes that could be charged as well.
  • Property Crimes – It’s illegal to damage or take someone’s property without their permission. The crimes that involve this kind of behavior include theft, burglary, and vandalism.
  • White Collar Crimes – When a crime generally involves the use of technology or complex schemes to commit financial crimes, it is usually considered a white-collar crime. Offenses like fraud and embezzlement are generally included in this category.

What a Sumter Criminal Defense Law Firm Does

A criminal defense lawyer in Sumter, SC is essential for those who want to be sure that they are taking advantage of every opportunity to secure their defense. In the process of representing and defending you, your lawyer can perform a number of critical tasks.

Defending Your Rights

You have a number of different rights throughout the legal process that should be respected and asserted. A lawyer can help with this, whether it be in the courtroom or even before an arrest is made. Even during an investigation, you have a right to be free from violations like unlawful searches and seizures, and a criminal lawyer can help you assert those rights.  That’s why it’s critical that you contact us as soon as you learn that you’re being investigated for a crime.

Investigating Your Charges

We engage in a full investigation of the charges against you to understand their extent and to look for evidence, witness testimony, and anything else that may be helpful in your defense. Through discovery, we can understand what evidence the prosecution has access to, but we can also be looking for anything vital that they may have missed in the process. We may also use our subpoena power to help collect the necessary evidence for a defense.

Preparing a Defense

There are a number of different ways that you can defend against criminal charges, but it’s important that you have a defense that fits the situation. The process often begins with understanding how the prosecution will argue their case. The burden of proof is on them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of whatever crime or crimes you’re accused of. We may be able to identify weak points in their evidence or narrative that, when emphasized, may serve to create doubt in the minds of jurors.

In other cases, the evidence that an action was committed is so overwhelming that the better option is to admit that it happened but argue that, because of the surrounding circumstances, it was justified. Self-defense is an example of this kind of defensive strategy. Others include entrapment by law enforcement, along with acting under duress or threat of violence.

Pre-Trial Representation

Executing a defensive strategy begins before a trial has even started. In the process of representing you in pre-trial hearings and other processes, we can begin your defense. We can seek a dismissal if there are any viable legal grounds on which that might be done.

We can also look for any evidence that may have been collected or handled improperly and seek to get that dismissed as well. Sometimes, the dismissal of a key piece of evidence is enough to get the prosecution to withdraw their case altogether.

Defending You in Court

When the trial reaches the courtroom, we can be prepared to offer a challenge to the prosecution’s narrative and case. We can also be ready to make a proactive defense of your position. However, since even the strongest of cases can sometimes not return the desired verdict, we can also argue on your behalf for a lighter sentence if necessary.

FAQs for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Q: What Kind of Legal Penalties Could a Crime Receive?

A: The legal penalties of a crime are determined by a variety of different factors. Generally, misdemeanors are going to receive lighter penalties than felonies. Repeat offenders are also more likely to receive more severe penalties than first-time offenders. Of course, the specifics of the offense will also be a critical factor, as most crimes have minimum sentences or other guidelines involved. Some of the potential penalties include:

  • Jail time
  • A prison sentence
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Behavioral classes
  • Therapy

A judge will determine the appropriate punishment at a sentencing hearing after a guilty verdict is given.

Q: What Are the Impacts of a Criminal Record?

A: A criminal record can, in some misdemeanor cases, end up being even more impactful than the legal penalties. Having a criminal record that appears on background checks has the possibility of affecting almost every aspect of your life. It could hurt your career by reducing the potential jobs you could get, making it nearly impossible to get certain professional licenses, and preventing you from getting into college in some cases.

A criminal record can have a further financial impact by making it very difficult to get credit, as lenders see a much higher repayment risk when they see a criminal record. It could even negatively affect your social life, as friends and family may treat you differently, and it can be hard to build new relationships, as the social stigma of a criminal record can be an obstacle.

Q: What Should You Do If You’re Arrested?

A: If you’re arrested, you likely will be experiencing a wide range of emotions and thoughts. Frustration, anger, fear, and confusion are all common. However, it’s important that you try not to act out of those emotions. It’s very easy to take a situation and make it much worse. You could easily say or do something that would later be used against you.

It’s better to exercise your right to silence and wait for your lawyer. Although it may be difficult, the smartest thing you can do if you’re arrested is to remain composed and let the system work. No one has ever beaten charges by protesting and fighting back when arrested, but some have won at trial.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Crime?

A: The statute of limitations is a deadline by which time a person can no longer be tried for a crime. One of the primary reasons for these limits is that evidence can tend to become less reliable and available over time. Physical evidence could degrade or be lost, digital evidence could be unknowingly deleted, and the quality of memory gets worse with age, making eyewitness accounts less reliable.

The statute of limitations is determined in the legislation for a particular crime, so each limit will depend on what the crime involved is. There are, though, a few crimes that have no statute of limitations, although questioning the quality of evidence may be a viable defense against those charges. These include murder, certain crimes against minors, and embezzlement of government funds.

For Your Strongest Defense, You Need a Sumter Criminal Defense Lawyer

Even if you feel overwhelmed by the weight of the charges against you and the judicial system, it’s important to remember that there are a number of factors that are working in your favor as well. You are presumed to be innocent until the prosecution proves your guilt. You also have the opportunity to answer the charges that you’re facing and be defended. Every day, criminal cases are won and charges are successfully dismissed.

You may have a chance of avoiding a guilty verdict, but your strongest opportunity is most likely to be found with the help of a Sumter criminal defense lawyer from Axelrod & Associates. Our clients’ charges are thoroughly investigated, and we prepare a robust defense on their behalf. We make sure that every possible option to defend our clients is considered. If you need help defending against criminal charges, contact us today.


Need help? Contact Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

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