McCormick County Criminal Defense Lawyer

A crime under South Carolina law can run the gamut between misdemeanors and serious felony offenses. These various crimes and offenses can carry lengthy prison sentences or less serious misdemeanor offenses, which may not result in jail time. 

Regardless of the seriousness of the offense, criminal defendants can benefit significantly by retaining an experienced McCormick County criminal defense lawyer who can understand what is at stake and can evaluate and explain your options and the risk that lies ahead. 

An experienced McCormick County criminal defense lawyer will take every step to find and exploit weaknesses in the State’s case and bring the best strategy to court on your behalf.  

 

When is a Criminal Defense Lawyer Needed?

Regardless of the severity of the situation, no one should have to face criminal charges feeling as if they are not getting the best defense possible. This uncertainty not only adds more stress to a stressful situation, but it can also end up costing your livelihood, your reputation, and in some cases, your freedom.

An experienced McCormick County criminal defense lawyer can evaluate and explain your options and the risk that lay ahead. In defending their clients, a criminal defense lawyer should take every step to find and exploit weaknesses in the State’s case and bring the best strategy to court on your behalf.  

If you are the subject of a criminal investigation or are detained by law enforcement, it is essential to seek experienced counsel as soon as possible.  

If you are the subject of an investigation or are arrested by law enforcement, a skilled and committed criminal defense lawyer can advise you of the risk involved with the charges you are facing and the best available defense strategy. 

 

Classification of Crimes in South Carolina 

McCormick County, like many other counties, designates a broad range of behavior as being criminal.  As a result, one can quickly end up on the wrong side of the law, facing charges that, in some cases, carry a small fine or a more serious offense, which can result in a term of imprisonment and substantial fines. 

South Carolina law generally places crimes into two broad categories: felonies and misdemeanors, with the former being the most serious offenses and the latter consisting of less severe crimes.  

 

Felonies

Felony offenses are broken down into six categories, ranging from Class A to Class F with Class A felonies involving the most severe crimes and Class F representing the least serious of felony offenses. 

  • Class A Felonies: Class A felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
  • Class B Felonies: Class B felonies are punishable with prison time up to 25 years. 
  • Class C Felonies: Class C felonies are punishable with prison time up to 20 years.
  • Class D Felonies: Class D felonies are punishable with jail time up to 15 years. 
  • Class E Felonies: Class E felonies are punishable with jail time up to 10 years.
  • Class F Felonies: Class F felonies are punishable with jail time up to 5 years.

 

Exempted Felonies

South Carolina criminal law also classifies certain felonies as “exempted” felonies. These felonies typically involve the most severe crimes with a conviction resulting in misdemeanors. 

 

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanor crimes under South Carolina law generally include less severe offenses when compared to felonies. However, a misdemeanor conviction can still carry significant consequences. 

  • Class A Misdemeanors: Class A misdemeanors are punishable with jail time of not more than three years.
  • Class B Misdemeanors: Class B misdemeanors are punishable with jail time of not more than two years.
  • Class C Misdemeanors: Class C misdemeanors are punishable with jail time of not more than one year.

 

Enhanced Penalties

South Carolina Criminal Code SECTION 16-1-120 states that certain repeat offenders should be subject to increased sentences beyond the maximum term of imprisonment under the appropriate felony classification. The law states:

“When an individual, who was convicted of a Class A, B, or C felony offense or an exempt offense which provides for a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years or more and sentenced to a period of time, has been released from prison, whether on parole or by completion of the sentence, is convicted of another felony offense, the individual will be subject to an increased sentence.”

 The law provides the following increased sentences for repeat offenders: 

  • If the subsequent offense was committed within forty-five days of his release, add five years to the punishment mandated by the subsequent conviction.
  • If the subsequent offense was committed within ninety days of his release, add four years to the sentence mandated by the subsequent conviction.
  • If the subsequent offense was committed within one hundred eighty days of his release, add three years to the sentence mandated by the subsequent conviction.
  • If the subsequent offense was committed within two hundred seventy days of his release, add two years to the sentence mandated by the subsequent conviction.
  • If the subsequent offense was committed within three hundred sixty days of his release, add one year to the sentence mandated by the subsequent conviction.

 

Fines

South Carolina law allows for a criminal court to impose penalties and fees on a criminal defendant as part of their punishment. These fines and fees generally increase with the seriousness of the crime. A defendant who has been convicted of a crime are expected to pay the entire obligation within a certain amount of time or to make payments over an extended period.   

 

Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Due to increased policing and prosecution, the chance a person may face some form of criminal charges in their lifetime is becoming a reality. A person in the criminal justice system can be facing charges involving minor offenses that carry just a fine or a more severe crime, which can lead to a term of imprisonment, among other penalties.   

Regardless of the seriousness of the offense, facing criminal charges without the best possible defense can end up costing your livelihood, money, reputation and in some cases, your freedom. In the information age, a criminal conviction for even a minor offense or an arrest for a criminal offense in which the defendant was later found not guilty or the case was dismissed can have consequences. 

For better or worse, our lives are part of the full web of information available to the public. As a result, individuals may have trouble in securing employment or gaining admission to a school with any marks in their criminal history.    

If you are the subject of a criminal investigation or are detained by law enforcement, it is vital to seek experienced counsel as soon as possible. If you are the subject of an investigation or are arrested by law enforcement, a skilled and committed criminal lawyer can advise you of the risk involved with the charges and the best defense strategy. 

If you have been arrested or are being investigated for a crime, contact experienced criminal counsel, for a confidential case evaluation as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. 

 

Call a McCormick Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been arrested or are being investigated for a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer, for a confidential case evaluation as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.

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James McCutchen was an excellent attorney in helping my wife and me in our son’s name change. He helped guide us through the whole legal process and very professional throughout. I will definitely use him and his firm in the future for other legal matters.
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