Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you, someone close to you, or a family member has been arrested and is facing criminal charges, or is under criminal investigation, it is imperative that you reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina as soon as possible. When you are charged with a crime, it is very common to be stressed, overwhelmed, confused, and worried about your future and about your freedom. A Greenville, SC criminal defense attorney can assist you by educating you and lighting the path forward for you, alleviating some of your worries about the case and the process. By working with a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville to construct a solid defense, you may begin to feel confidence rather than fear.
What Are Common Criminal Defense Cases in Greenville, South Carolina?
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is an unfortunate reality in Greenville, South Carolina. With the thriving downtown culture, it can be common to head home after a few drinks with friends. But when you are pulled over for suspected DUI, you may be unsure of what you can do to defend yourself and your best interests.
With a criminal defense attorney on your side who is familiar with DUI defense, you may be able to reduce or eliminate any charges or penalties that could affect you. The penalties for drunk driving can range from license suspension to jail time, depending on how often you have been arrested for this offense. But no matter if this is your first or third offense, having an attorney on your side is always a good idea to protect your rights.
Drug Possession Defense
Nationally, 1.25 million people are arrested every year for possession of controlled substances. About half of these cases involve possession of marijuana. In South Carolina alone, 24,000 were arrested for possession in 2014 – one of the highest arrest rates in the nation. On average, 65 people every day are arrested on charges of drug possession in the state.
Unsurprisingly, many of the cases we see as Greenville, SC criminal defense lawyers are drug-related. If you are facing drug charges, whether those include simple possession or distribution, manufacturing, or trafficking, a Greenville criminal defense lawyer can help you to see those charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
Criminal Domestic Violence
Criminal domestic violence or CDV, is a very serious charge that could impact your life forever. If convicted, it can become difficult to see your family or move forward in life. This is why you need a criminal defense lawyer to help you fight the charges against you.
Whether the incident was a misunderstanding or an outright lie, your criminal defense attorney will examine the details of your case to ensure you are treated fairly under the law in Greenville, South Carolina.
When to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Greenville, SC
Any criminal charge, whatever the crime may be, carries the potential for serious, even severe, consequences which can be life-altering. These include not only hefty fines and jail time, but a criminal record which could impact your ability to find employment or housing in the future. If you are not from the state of South Carolina, then criminal charges may be even more significant. Whatever your situation, if you find that you are faced with criminal charges in South Carolina, including drug charges, shoplifting, DUI charges, robbery, assault, or others, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Greenville, SC today to ensure that your rights are defended and that your defense is strong.
Choosing the Right Criminal Defense Attorney in Greenville, SC
When considering hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina it is necessary to first determine what your needs are. In some cases, charges are relatively minor, and a consultation is sufficient to prepare a defense. However, in more serious cases, it is necessary for a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville, SC to take a more active role in your defense, assembling evidence, advising witnesses and yourself as to the proper defensive strategies, and representing you at hearings, trials, and in negotiations.
Minor charges include shoplifting and simple possession of controlled substances and are generally misdemeanors. More serious charges include robbery, assault, and murder, and can often be felonies. One of these charges on your criminal record can have a significant impact on your future, even beyond any jail time or probation you must serve. For this reason, it is very important that you hire a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville. Your attorney can help you to see these charges reduced or dismissed.
Common Defense Methods in Greenville, SC Criminal Charges
As a criminal defendant, you and your Greenville, SC criminal defense attorney will work on building the strongest possible defense. Every case is unique, and there are many possible defenses which can be very effective. It is impossible for us to give legal advice via a page on our website, but we can inform as to some of the most common methods of criminal defense used by lawyers in Greenville. Whether one of these may work for you depends upon the facts of your case. These are all, for instance, defenses based upon a profession of innocence, and are among the most common defenses toward that goal. Your case may call for a different defense, so consult a Greenville South Carolina criminal defense attorney to learn more.
- Innocent Until Proven Guilty: Anyone accused of a crime in this country is required to be presumed innocent until their guilt is determined, either through a plea or through a trial. This means that the burden of proof rests with the prosecutor in your case, and not with you. As a result, if the prosecution’s case against you is weak, it is often useful to (in addition to providing your own evidence, of course) argue that the prosecution has failed to prove your guilt.
- Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The job of the prosecutor in a Greenville, SC criminal case is not merely to prove the impression of guilt, or to make it seem likely that the defendant is guilty, but to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the jury or judge will need to have an absolute moral certainty of a defendant’s guilt before they render a conviction. Your criminal defense attorney in Greenville may sternly and soberly remind the jury that merely believing that a party is guilty is not sufficient to render that verdict.
- Alibis: In criminal defense, alibis are among the most common defenses. By showing that you were somewhere else at the time that the crime was committed, you can present strong evidence for your innocence. Alibis usually need to be backed up with evidence such as financial records, physical evidence such as receipts, and testimony from friends or family members.
The Process of Criminal Defense in Greenville, SC
Before you are charged with a crime, you may find yourself as a part of a criminal investigation. In certain cases, it is possible to learn that you are being investigated. If you do, you can – and likely should – contact a Greenville, South Carolina criminal defense attorney to begin constructing your defense and ensure that your rights are not violated during the investigation process.
During the investigation, the police may arrive at your door seeking to interview you. You do not need to speak with anyone involved with law enforcement. You have no obligation to answer their questions, or even to answer the door when they arrive. You may certainly ignore them, but they will likely return several times. Instead, inform them politely, but firmly, that you will not be answering any questions without an attorney present, and ask them to leave.
After the pre-arrest investigation, which you may or may not know about, you may find yourself arrested for a crime. During this process, you will be handcuffed and booked. Booking procedures usually include fingerprinting, taking a mugshot, and a medical exam given at the jail. Then, usually within 24 hours, you will appear before a judge at a bond hearing. If you are arrested and have not consulted with a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville, SC, then you still are not required to answer any police questions without an attorney present. Once again, you may inform the police that you are exercising your right to remain silent and that you wish to speak with a criminal defense attorney in Greenville, South Carolina.
After you are transferred to bond court, a magistrate judge will hear the evidence in your case thus far, as well as arguments from the prosecution against you. You will have the opportunity to defend yourself – another reason hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville as soon as possible is helpful. At the end of this hearing, the judge will make a determination as to whether you may be released as the charges against you remain pending, and will set an amount for your bond, if applicable.
Your Greenville, SC criminal defense attorney can help, not only by presenting a defense on your behalf, but by persuading the judge at your bond hearing to reduce the bond amount, or to release you on your own recognizance. This indicates that you are released with no bond at all, saving you quite a bit of money and effort.
Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant in Greenville, SC
Most of us are familiar with the concept of Miranda rights. These rights usually proceed something like, “You have the right to remain silent; anything you say may be used against you in court. You have the right to a criminal defense attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to your case at no cost.” It is important as a criminal defendant that you understand these Miranda rights, how to invoke, them, and the other constitutional rights that you have at any point during the criminal defense process.
Miranda rights are the formalized version of your right to refuse to answer questions from law enforcement. Miranda rights only apply to questioning by police, and will not apply to statements given to family or friends or to voluntary statements which are not answers to police questions. Miranda rights also only apply to persons in police custody and facing interrogation. In addition, in order to invoke these rights, it is necessary that you state that you are doing so. Simply refusing to speak will often only result in prolonged, stressful interrogation. Instead, state that you are invoking your right to remain silent and will not be answering any questions without a Greenville, SC criminal defense attorney present.
Your right to refuse to answer questions without an attorney present belongs to you whether you have been arrested or not, and regardless of whether you have been informed of those rights. This is important to remember because at a situation such as a traffic stop, answering a question such as “Do you know how fast you were going?” could be repeated in court, even if you were not informed of these rights.
Your Miranda rights, when used properly, can minimize intimidation tactics and even abusive techniques sometimes (unfortunately) used by law enforcement. However, while you always have the right to remain silent and to an attorney, the Miranda rights per se only apply to criminal suspects who are in custody during police interrogation. Outside of this environment, any statements you make outside of interrogation can and will be used by the prosecution against you.
In certain cases, criminal defendants’ rights are violated by police. If law enforcement is found to have violated a suspect’s Miranda rights, you may think that this could result in your case being dismissed. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case. However, even though the criminal case against you may stand, any statements made or information gained during the time that your rights were violated will not be able to be used by the prosecution. This can be severely damaging to their case, which can work in your favor – however, if there is sufficient additional evidence against you, violation of your Miranda rights in no way guarantees a “not guilty” verdict.
Reach Out to An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina
If you have been arrested for a crime in Greenville, hiring a criminal defense lawyer should take a high priority for you. Together with a Greenville, South Carolina criminal defense attorney, you will be able to find your way through the complex maze of criminal law and ensure that you appear at every interview, negotiation, hearing, and trial with the proper preparation and the strongest defense.
Here at Brumback & Langley, our experienced criminal defense attorneys serve Greenville, SC clients charged with a variety of crimes and help them through the entire process. Whether the case against you is still under investigation, you have been arrested, or are about to attend a bond hearing, you do not have to handle the matter on your own. Trust a criminal defense attorney in Greenville and proceed to your trial and negotiations with the highest possibility of success.