If you are being investigated for a crime, or you have already been arrested, it may be beneficial to retain an attorney as early as possible in this adversarial process. A seasoned Summerville criminal lawyer may be able to defend you in court successfully.

An experienced lawyer could negotiate with prosecutors to drop charges or work for alternative sentencing programs. They may also be able to collect evidence of police misconduct or other constitutional violations that may cause a case to be dismissed.

Constitutional Violations

Officers of the law in Summerville are required to act in accordance with citizens’ constitutional rights. As such, an improperly obtained confession or an illicit warrantless search may offer an opportunity for a case to be dismissed.

Warrantless Searches

Per Title 17, Chapter 13 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, there are only a handful of circumstances that may allow Summerville law enforcement to search a person or place without a valid warrant. If an officer finds alleged contraband through a warrantless search, those items might not be admissible as evidence against the accused.

Interrogation

Under the sixth amendment of the constitution, an accused citizen is afforded the right to counsel during all critical stages of the criminal proceedings. If a resident of Summerville is not read their rights, or they ask for an attorney but questioning continues, any alleged confession may not be admissible in court.

Common Criminal Charges in Summerville

Prosecutors in Summerville charge arrestees for any number of various crimes, but some a more prevalent and more readily pursued than others. Among the most common types of criminal charges in Summerville are drug and firearm offenses.

Drug Charges

The severity of a narcotics charge may depend on the type of substance and the amount. In Summerville, drugs are classified by schedule. For example, a Schedule I controlled substance may include an especially serious and dangerous drug such as heroin or opiates.

Moreover, a drug arrest may be significantly elevated, depending on the alleged amount. If officers seize enough of a narcotic, they might charge an individual with trafficking, which could carry a heavy penalty after a conviction. For example, per S.C. Code Ann. §44-53-370, if law enforcement seizes more than ten pounds of marijuana, the accused may be charged with trafficking marijuana.

Firearms Offenses

If a person is indicted for possessing and carrying a firearm without a permit, they may face criminal charges. The knowing possession of stolen firearms or restricted types of guns and ammunition may result in even harsher consequences.

Additionally, a criminal indictment for actions such as assault and battery might be elevated if a gun is alleged to have been involved. A skilled criminal lawyer in Summerville might be able to mitigate the consequences of an arrest involving a gun.

Call a Summerville Criminal Attorney

If you or a loved one has been criminally charged, you may feel both overwhelmed and frightened. Even misdemeanor convictions could lead to a loss of liberty, and a criminal record could negatively affect housing, education, and employment opportunities for the rest of a defendant’s life.

An informed Summerville criminal lawyer may be well-versed in charges similar to your own. Contact an attorney today for legal representation.