Top-Rated Criminal Lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina

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843.284.5500

Give Us Your Problems.
We’ll Give You Solutions.

Top-Rated Criminal Lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina

Get a Free Consultation

Give Us Your Problems.
We’ll Give You Solutions.

Top-Rated Criminal Lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina

Get a Free Consultation

Give Us Your Problems.
We’ll Give You Solutions.

DRUG CRIMES

If you’ve made bad choices, then make a good one by calling our firm today.

 

DUI DEFENSE

Our DUI defense lawyers have exactly what you need – the drive to win.

 

OTHER CRIMES

Our goal is to get the best possible result for your assault case – your freedom.

 

Criminal Lawyers in Charleston, South Carolina

Looking for a Criminal Lawyer in Charleston? Your Best Legal Defense is Our Business.

Sometimes bad things just happen like when you get pulled over for DUI. Other times, good people just make bad choices like when a college student gets arrested for disorderly conduct or your teenager gets caught with marijuana at a party. No matter what the circumstances may be, you can meet with our Charleston criminal lawyer Stephan Futeral or criminal defense attorney Thomas Nelson for FREE.

Our Criminal Defense Services – Free Consultation

We strive to be the best at what we do. That’s why we’re top-rated (AV) by Martindale-Hubbell, Stephan Futeral is rated 10 (Superb) by AVVO. Thomas Nelson is one of Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Stephan and Thomas are both members of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers. This is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state in the nation who meet stringent qualifications as criminal defense trial lawyers. Also, our clients endorse us with 5 stars ★★★★★ on Google Reviews.

The right criminal defense lawyer in Charleston can make the right difference. Here’s a list of some of the charges we defend. If you need a criminal defense attorney in Charleston for any of the following, then contact us today for a FREE consultation:

  1. ASSAULT & BATTERY
    • Our criminal lawyers have decades of experience defending people in the Lowcountry with charges such as Assault & Battery.
  2. CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (CDV)
    • Being accused of CDV can have major consequences on your future. Our top-rated attorneys have helped hundreds of clients over the years with CDV charges.
  3. DRUG CHARGES
    • Drug arrests are commonplace in the Lowcountry. From simple possession charges to manufacturing and distribution, we are here to defend your rights and to set you at ease.
  4. DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (DUI)
    • There’s NOTHING simple about a DUI. That’s OK. The more complicated a charge may be, the more ways we have to defend you.
  1. EMBEZZLEMENT
    • Embezzlement and other financial crimes are serious under South Carolina law with steep fines and a long jail sentence. Let us work on your defense today.
  2. SHOPLIFTING & THEFT
    • We have over 30 years of combined experience defending people in the Charleston area who’ve been arrested for shoplifting by stores such as Wal-Mart and others. 
  3. JUVENILE CRIMES
    • In South Carolina, a minor who is taken into custody is treated differently than an adult. As juvenile justice lawyers in Charleston, we’ve helped children who’ve been accused of committing a crime in South Carolina. 
  4. WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES
    • White-collar crime is a highly technical area, which is why partnering up with an experienced attorney in this legal field matters. 

Our Criminal Defense Services – Free Consultation

We strive to be the best at what we do. That’s why we’re top-rated (AV) by Martindale-Hubbell, Stephan Futeral is rated 10 (Superb) by AVVO. Thomas Nelson is one of Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Stephan and Thomas are both members of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers. This is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state in the nation who meet stringent qualifications as criminal defense trial lawyers. Also, our clients endorse us with 5 stars ★★★★★ on Google Reviews.

The right criminal defense lawyer in Charleston can make the right difference. Here’s a list of some of the charges we defend. If you need a criminal defense attorney in Charleston for any of the following, then contact us today for a FREE consultation:

  1. ASSAULT & BATTERY
    • Our criminal lawyers have decades of experience defending people in the Lowcountry with charges such as Assault & Battery.
  2. CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (CDV)
    • Being accused of CDV can have major consequences on your future. Our top-rated attorneys have helped hundreds of clients over the years with CDV charges.
  3. DRUG CHARGES
    • Drug arrests are commonplace in the Lowcountry. From simple possession charges to manufacturing and distribution, we are here to defend your rights and to set you at ease.
  4. DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (DUI)
    • There’s NOTHING simple about a DUI. That’s OK. The more complicated a charge may be, the more ways we have to defend you.
  5. EMBEZZLEMENT
    • Embezzlement and other financial crimes are serious under South Carolina law with steep fines and a long jail sentence. Let us work on your defense today.
  6. SHOPLIFTING & THEFT
    • We have over 30 years of combined experience defending people in the Charleston area who’ve been arrested for shoplifting by stores such as Wal-Mart and others. 
  7. JUVENILE CHARGES
    • In South Carolina, a minor who is taken into custody is treated differently than an adult. As juvenile justice lawyers in Charleston, we’ve helped children who’ve been accused of committing a crime in South Carolina. 
  8. WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES
    • White-collar crime is a highly technical area, which is why partnering up with an experienced attorney in this legal field matters.

Helpful Information by Our Charleston Criminal Attorneys

As criminal defense lawyers & criminal attorneys in Charleston, we’ve prepared this overview of what to do in the unfortunate event that you are arrested in South Carolina and to answer some of the common questions clients ask us:

What Should I Do if I am Arrested in South Carolina?

Don’t argue with the police. You can’t talk your way out of being investigated, arrested or prosecuted. Don’t try. Cooperate, but don’t incriminate yourself!  YOU MAY REFUSE TO ANSWER ANY QUESTION IF THE ANSWER WOULD TEND TO INCRIMINATE YOU. Pay attention to what happens when you first encounter the police and afterwards. Try to memorize who was there to see and hear what happened.

What are My Rights if I am Arrested in South Carolina?

  • You have the right to be told why you are being arrested and the nature of the charges against you (the crime for which you are being arrested).
  • You have the right to be told your constitutional rights (commonly called Miranda rights) before you are questioned — not before you are arrested.

You also have the following rights:

  • The right to contact, by telephone or otherwise, a responsible person, to tell them you have been arrested and what the charges are. You are not limited to one telephone call if more are needed to contact such a person.
  • The right to have your attorney present at any line-up or other identification procedure in which you are viewed by possible eyewitnesses to a crime.
  • The right to reasonable bail or bond to secure your release from jail unless you are charged with a capital crime.
  • The right to be brought before a court as soon as is reasonably practicable after your arrest, so that you can request a preliminary hearing to challenge whether there was “probable cause” to arrest you.
  • The right to a jury trial to determine your guilt or innocence.

What Happens if the Police Didn’t Read Me My Rights?

Many people incorrectly believe that law enforcement doesn’t read you your “Miranda” rights (such as the right to remain silent), the charges will be dismissed. In South Carolina and elsewhere, the police only have to give you a Miranda warning AFTER you are arrested but BEFORE you are questioned. If the police fail to give you your Miranda rights, then your statements can’t be used against you in court, but the charges won’t be dismissed.

What Happens After I’m Arrested in South Carolina?

Bond Court – After you are arrested, fingerprinted, and jailed, you’ll appear before a magistrate judge in bond court. In Charleston, this is done by video conference. You have a right to an attorney during your bond hearing. In setting a bond amount, the judge will decide whether you’re a risk of flight or a risk of harm to the community. Unless the court releases you on your own “personal recognizance,” you’ll have to post bail to get out of jail.

Bail is financial assurance that you will return to court after you’ve been released from custody. There are two ways to post bail. First, cash (or property) may be posted with the clerk of court. If you don’t have the cash, you can hire a bail bondsman to post bail. A bondsman charges a fee which isn’t refunded at the end of your case. If you post bail yourself and you are found not guilty or the charge is dismissed, then you’ll get your money back. If you are found guilty, then your money is returned to you after you are sentenced.

Preliminary Hearing – In South Carolina, you have the right to a preliminary hearing, and you have ten days after your bond hearing to request it. During the preliminary hearing, the prosecution must show a judge that there was “probable cause” to arrest you. To establish probable cause, your arresting officer must be able to point to the factual circumstances that led the officer to believe you committed a crime. If the judge doesn’t find probable cause, then your charge may be dismissed.

Discovery – To plan your defense, you need to know what information the prosecution intends to use against you. In South Carolina, you have the right to ask the prosecution to disclose this information through discovery made by way of formal, written motions. First and foremost, you are entitled to the disclosure of any evidence that tends to clear you of guilt (exculpatory evidence). Additionally, you are entitled to information such as witness statements, photographs and documents, results from experiments or tests, and other information.

Trial – In Charleston and surrounding areas, most cases take several months to a year to be set for trial. You can choose either a bench trial (a judge hears and decides your case) or a jury trial consisting of 12 jurors in felony cases in General Sessions Court or 6 jurors in misdemeanor cases magistrate’s court. During trial, the prosecution goes first and the defense follows last. Because you are “innocent until proven guilty,” the prosecution must prove that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that you aren’t required to put up any evidence or testimony to show that you’re innocent.

When the lawyer’s arguments, the witnesses, and closing statements by the attorneys are done, the jury renders a verdict. If you’re acquitted, the case is over and you free to go. If the jury decides you’re guilty, then the judge must decide your punishment such as fines, probation, and/or time in jail.

Recent South Carolina Criminal Defense Articles

Get Our Free Book on DUI Defense in South Carolina

Based on over 50 years of their combined experience defending DUI’s in Charleston and elsewhere in South Carolina, Stephan Futeral and Thomas Nelson wrote this free ebook – DUI in South Carolina – Piecing It All Together. In the book, Stephan and Thomas help you understand more about the laws and defense against DUI and to explain your rights in easy-to-understand terms.

In this informative and insightful guide for drivers, you’ll find information covering DUI and Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC) law; your rights before, during, and after arrest; administrative implied consent hearings; license suspension; field sobriety tests; the DMT DataMaster breath test machine; blood tests; penalties & costs for a DUI; preparing for court; how to be an effective witness; and much more. If you are charged with a DUI, then this book is a “must-read.”

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Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Give Us Your Problems. We'll Give You Solutions.