Rock Hill Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense problems require careful handling. Mistakes in your defense strategy expose you to the risk of serious punishment on the current charge and can also generate problems with your education, your career, or your family life for years to come.

To make sure you are getting the advice you need to manage the risks of a felony or misdemeanor prosecution in the South Carolina Piedmont, Schiller & Hamilton in Rock Hill or Beaufort can provide a complimentary strategy session. In addition, our Rock Hill criminal defense lawyers can develop the right defense strategy to handle your case.

Types of Criminal Offenses Our Lawyers Defend

Our defense lawyers represent people on a wide range of criminal offenses, including:

  • First-offense or repeat DUI and other drunk driving charges
  • Drug crimes involving possession, paraphernalia, distribution, or trafficking
  • White collar crimes involving fraud, embezzlement, or employee theft
  • Criminal domestic violence and family assault
  • Sex crimes
  • Property crimes, including auto theft, burglary, larceny, or robbery
  • Traffic tickets, motor vehicle offenses, and driver’s license suspension or revocation proceedings

Our main goal is to protect you to the greatest extent possible from the consequences of a criminal conviction while looking out for the long-range interests that can be affected by a criminal record.

Our lawyers take a proactive approach to criminal defense. Instead of responding to each step of criminal prosecution as it comes up, we try to take the initiative however we can: investigation, witness interviews, pretrial discovery, pretrial motions, and focused plea negotiations that can reduce or eliminate the most serious charges against you.

How We Could Build a Defense to Your Criminal Charges

Depending on your case, there may be many different ways to handle your defense. Our attorney can examine your situation, evaluate each defense strategy for your case, and then choose the method or methods that could lead to a positive outcome, like a dismissal or an acquittal. For example, our South Carolina criminal defense attorney may consider the following defenses and possibly others:

There Is Not Sufficient Evidence Against You

To convict you, prosecutors will need adequate evidence. We can use this as a defense if they do not have sufficient evidence and argue that your case should be dismissed. For example, our attorney may be able to argue that certain evidence is not convincing enough to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Evidence Was Not Acquired Legally

Each piece of evidence against a defendant must be acquired according to South Carolina law. So, in your case, if any evidence was not acquired legally, it is not admissible in court, it cannot be used against you, and your lawyer can have it dismissed.

Misunderstanding

If you are accused of taking an item, you may have believed you owned it. For instance, you might have taken someone’s wallet from a party and thought it was yours. In such a case, the issue is likely a simple misunderstanding, not a crime.

Self-Defense or Defense of Others

If you harmed someone in self-defense or by defending someone else, and your actions were reasonable, you may not be guilty of a crime. However, if our Rock Hill criminal defense attorney uses this as a defense, the prosecutor may have to prove otherwise in order to convict you.

There Are Other Criminal Defenses We Can Use

For each case, there are potential defenses, like entrapment, false accusation, wrongful arrest, lack of probable cause, and mistake of fact. You can rely on your lawyer to find a solid defense for you in your case.

How Our Criminal Lawyers Might Be Able to Reduce Your Charges

Your attorney might be able to use one or many defenses for an acquittal or dismissal of your charges and your case. If you committed a crime, there might be other ways to protect you and reduce your charges. Your lawyer could:

Ask for an Expunction of Your Charges

If your prior record is clean, but this is your first crime, your lawyer could ask that your charges be expunged from your record. This means your charges could be hidden or even entirely removed from the record.

Per the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), if you were arrested in Rock Hill, you would need to contact the York County solicitor’s office to begin the expungement process. We could handle this process for you.

Argue for Reduced Charges

There can be significant differences between different charges. For example, there is a considerable difference between the charges of grand theft and petty theft. In your case, your lawyer could argue for a lesser charge, such as by arguing the item in your possession was not very valuable, so your offense was only minor.

If you are charged with only a minor offense, you could incur only a fine. Your lawyer could request a minimum fine amount.

Ask for Probation Over Jail Time

Jail time can be devastating for a defendant. The defendant’s family may be devastated, too, as they cannot see their loved one as much. It could also mean less income if the person in jail is the primary provider for the family.

Probation could be much easier on you and your family. During probation, a person must abide by certain conditions, such as not traveling outside of the state. If you qualify for probation, we can ask for it and for fair terms for your sentence.

Legal Services Our Defense Attorneys Can Provide

While working on your case to eliminate or reduce your charges, we can provide invaluable services. You will be able to rely on your attorney to:

Protect Your Rights

You have the right to a fair trial and outcome, so we can safeguard those rights. Additionally, we can protect many other rights you may overlook, such as your right to challenge the evidence against you.

For example, if the police searched your home for evidence and seized some, you, along with a lawyer, can challenge the search and seizure method. The United States Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Fight for No or Low Bail

If you or your loved one is in jail, an attorney from our firm can ask for no bail or a low-cost bail. This may help you or your loved one get released from jail early.

Look Into the Charges Against You

Upon hiring our criminal defense attorney, we will investigate the charges against you and review the prosecution’s case. We will look for any issues resulting in your charges and the case being dropped or reduced.

Look for Evidence for Your Case

The prosecution may have evidence against you, but your lawyer can gather evidence that may contradict that evidence, such as a witness’s testimony or any security camera footage of the incident.

Help You Get Your Driving Privileges Back

If you lost your driver’s license, our lawyer could appeal for its return. This could let you get back on the road.

Help You Explore All Your Legal Options

You likely have many options, such as getting a drug court or making a plea deal. Regardless, your lawyer can help you explore all your options and decide on the best course of action for your case.

About Our Rock Hill Criminal Defense Attorneys

For decades, the criminal defense lawyers at our Rock Hill criminal and DUI defense law firm have served Rock Hill, South Carolina citizens. We have seen how criminal convictions affect people like you and their families, and we have dedicated our efforts to help them. To help you and your loved ones, we can:

  • Assess your case and your legal options thoroughly and honestly
  • Determine exactly which method or methods of defense will benefit you the most
  • Gather evidence for your case from multiple sources, including experts in certain professional fields
  • Answer all your questions thoroughly
  • Do everything necessary to have your charges eliminated or reduced

If the judge or the prosecution refuses to drop charges, your case may go to trial. We can help you in this situation as well. Trying to defend yourself is very risky, as you could end up missing evidence or run afoul of courtroom rules you are unfamiliar with. However, a lawyer from our criminal defense team can:

Schedule the Trial Dates

We work with the judge and the prosecution to pick suitable dates and times for the trial. While we do not want the process to drag on too long, we also want to leave enough time to build a strong case and to continue working for a plea deal or reduced charge.

Select Jury Members

The only way you will get a fair trial is if all jury members have no prejudicial knowledge or opinions about you or your case. We can pick the right people to give you a fair chance.

Submit Trial Exhibits

All evidence we use in your case must be approved and submitted to the court on time and in the correct format. Otherwise, it could be rejected. Our team can ensure all evidence is appropriately submitted so we can use it in your defense during the trial.

Question Witnesses

There will likely be witnesses for both sides of the case. We can prepare witnesses testifying in your favor and ask them questions on the stand, allowing them to explain what they saw or heard clearly and convincingly.

When it is time for the prosecution’s witnesses to speak, we can research the witness to find discrediting information about them and ask incisive questions that raise doubts about the reliability of their statements.

Raise Objections

Sometimes, the prosecution tries to employ an unfair tactic, like asking a witness a leading question or submitting evidence that was not acquired legally.

If you try to represent yourself at trial, you may not realize that your rights are being violated, or you may realize it is too late to do anything about it. The criminal lawyers at Schiller & Hamilton are very familiar with such violations and are not afraid to speak up if the prosecution does something objectionable.

The Consequences of a Criminal Conviction Can Be Dire

Depending on the type and severity of the crime you are convicted of, you could face hefty fines, extensive prison time, and months or years without a driver’s license. Such consequences could:

  • Deplete your financial resources and cause your family to suffer
  • Deprive you of your job and the opportunity to work
  • Have severe ramifications on your mental and physical health
  • Cost you close relationships with friends and loved ones
  • Make it hard to find a job, go to school, or find a place to live

We do not want any of this to happen to you. The sooner you contact our law firm, the sooner we can begin working on your defense.

Call Our Rock Hill Criminal Defense Attorney for Assistance Today

Your best options for resolving a criminal charge often appear in the earliest stages of the case. For example, a Rock Hill criminal defense lawyer could help with the bail process, when to plead guilty, and when to fight the charge.

To learn more about how experienced defense attorneys can help you resolve matters ranging from traffic tickets to felony drug charges in South Carolina, do not wait to contact Schiller & Hamilton in Rock Hill, Indian Land, or Beaufort.

We at Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm hope you and your family are safe & well. We wanted to let our friends and clients know that we are currently working regular office hours. However, in an effort to decrease in-person contact we encourage our clients to schedule an appointment by phone or Zoom. If an in-person appointment is necessary please note our offices are locked so please call our office number upon arriving. Our plan is to continue serving you and your family and providing the same level of professional service you’ve always received from us.
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