Criminal Cases We Handle in Rock Hill
Our firm handles all types of criminal defense cases in Rock Hill, but the most common cases in this area have to do with substance related charges, such as DUIs or possession of drugs. And we handle many misdemeanor level personal interaction crimes, like assault and battery, domestic violence, and a few things like that.
Misconceptions About Being Arrested in Rock Hill
In general, the top misconception when someone is arrested is the lack of understanding of the process. An arrest is nothing more than a police officer asserting himself and his authority over you to make you do, or stop doing, something that he wants. Sometimes, it is related to what you might be doing, or it is a valid crime. For example, you are arrested for drinking and driving, because you were drinking and then chose to get behind the wheel of an automobile, and the officer pulled you over for possible erratic driving. Other times, you were arrested because the police officer feels the need to arrest somebody just because he was called to an incident, and that was his mood for the night.
It does not mean you have done anything wrong, and it does not mean you have been convicted of any wrongdoing. Many people feel that once they are arrested, it usually is a completely bogus arrest. Some folks feel they should receive a free pass over most illegal issues related to most incidents, or they feel their life is over, because there is no way they can get out from underneath these charges. Both these statements are completely incorrect. Whatever you might be charged with can be changed. It is part of the process, and any good lawyer can get whatever you have been charged with either altered or reduced in most cases which does have many benefits. Some charges carry more consequences, and sound worse with reference to public knowledge, than some other charges.
An experienced attorney can explain to you that just because you were arrested for a crime it does not mean you are going to be convicted of this crime, because all the facts do not add up, or the facts do not line up with the crimes you might be arrested for. A good attorney can help set your expectations the right way, calm your fears, and help you make an educated decision on how to proceed with whatever trouble you might be facing.
How Do People Generally Incriminate Themselves in a Pending Criminal Case?
When someone starts talking to the police, whatever they say may incriminate themselves, so we tell you not to say anything. There is nothing you can say to a police officer that will get you out of trouble, no matter what. At best, you are going to be breaking even. Every case is neutral; it will be against your best interests to not say anything. For example, if you are pulled over and an officer says “Do you know why I pulled you over today?” Any answer you give him is the bad answer, because if you say, “Yes, I do”, well now you are almost admitting that you have done something wrong. In addition, if you say, “No, I don’t”, and it is something painfully obvious, like speeding, then, again, you are lying to police officer.
If a police officer asks you, “Have you had anything to drink tonight”, once he pulls you over and you say, “I had a couple of beers with dinner”, you just admitted to potentially drinking, and driving. There is absolutely nothing you can say to answer the police officer’s question that will help you at this point. I try to advise clients that if you are going to interact with law enforcement, keep it as simple, short, and as factual as you need to. Do not be afraid to question their authority a little. I do not mean challenge them, but I mean “why you have pulled me over, officer?” you do not have to answer the question of why you think they pulled you over. You can ask them specifically. You can offer your name, give them your driver’s license, or otherwise do not participate other than to ask, “Am I being arrested or am I free to go?” That is why you hire an attorney, because attorneys can act as that buffer between anything you say, which can and will be used against you in court.
Misdemeanors Versus Felonies
A general explanation is that it is the amount of penalties, and the type of penalties, that matter when we are discussing the differences between misdemeanors versus a felony. Typically, misdemeanor sentences are less than a year served with most cases. Felonies tend to be a bit more than a year, but statutes define them; most crimes go back to statutory code sections of South Carolina law. In the code section, it says what sort of activity the law prohibits, and it will set forth the penalties, whether it is a misdemeanor, or a felony.
If you are confined in a local jail or, in a state prison level, that plays into the analysis as well. The more serious the crimes, the longer the prison time. Most misdemeanors tend to be things you do not even go to jail for, especially if it is a first time misdemeanor.