Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers in Florence, South Carolina

Are you facing criminal charges, or is a loved one sitting in jail right this minute? If so, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal law attorney as soon as possible. At Roberts Law Group, our South Carolina defense attorneys have decades of collective experience defending clients against state and federal charges.

Criminal Defense Strategies For Florence, South Carolina

You should not have to spend a minute longer in jail than necessary. After you contact our law office, one of our attorneys can represent you during the bond hearing and help you arrange bail. From there, we will begin working on your defense.

We believe that a good criminal defense lawyer does several things for their clients to establish a strong attorney-client relationship, including:

  • Listening to your side of the story carefully and without judgement
  • Being present during police questioning
  • Contacting you regularly to provide updates and answer your questions
  • Carefully examining the evidence for weaknesses in the case
  • Performing detailed legal research into the elements of the charges and other legal nuances when necessary
  • Arguing to get illegally obtained evidence suppressed
  • Negotiating with the prosecutor to get your charges dropped or reduced
  • Taking your case to trial to fight for the best possible result

Our law firm practices in state and federal criminal court. We are highly knowledgeable about all types of charges, including drug crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes and white collar crime. Our criminal defense lawyers take on cases involving multiple charges and complex situations. No matter what you are accused of doing, do not hesitate to trust us with your defense.

I've Been Arrested In Florence. What Should I Do?

If you have been arrested, you should exercise your constitutional right not to talk to the police without a criminal defense attorney present to advise you. You have the right to remain silent, no matter how much the police try to intimidate or manipulate you into answering questions. Instead, contact us as soon as possible so we can protect your civil rights.

How To Choose A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Florence, South Carolina

Your choice of criminal defense attorney matters. No matter how weak the prosecution's case is, your chances of a favorable outcome are slim if you retain the wrong lawyer for the job. Here are a few characteristics you should look for when you are deciding whether to hire a defense attorney:

  • Compassionate: Your attorney should care about what happens to you. You should be able to count on them to do everything possible for you to maintain your freedom.
  • Determined: A good defense attorney will do more than accept the prosecution's first plea offer just to avoid a difficult negotiation. They will prepare a strong defense and use it as leverage to try to settle your case fairly before trial. They and their law office will work diligently and not give up on pursuing the best possible result.
  • Experienced: Ideally, you will have a lawyer with many years of experience in criminal defense - someone who knows how the system works in Florence County and how the sheriff's office, judges and prosecutors operate. Look for an attorney who has represented thousands of people in your situation and knows what you need.
  • Available: Finally, you deserve a lawyer who takes the time to listen to you and explain your legal issues and your rights. Your emails and phone calls should get a prompt response from your attorney, not a paralegal.

This is the standard we hold ourselves to at our law firm. We will provide you with aggressive representation and the attentive client service you deserve.

Understanding The Legal Process For Criminal Offenses In South Carolina

While no two cases are the same, South Carolina has a formal process for trying people charged with a crime. We have handled thousands of criminal charges in Florence and around the state, so we are highly familiar with how criminal courts operate. We also know the real-world practicalities of guiding a case through criminal court.

The process generally begins with getting arrested, though you may learn that a law enforcement agency is investigating you before charges are issued. Once you are arrested, you have the right to have an attorney represent you, such as during police interrogations and at the bond hearing. Whether you are granted bail could depend on if you have a prior criminal record.

After you post bail, you are responsible for attending all hearings and your court date, or the judge may forfeit your bail and order you arrested.

The Pre-Trial Period

Before trial, our attorneys will request access to the evidence against you. This is known as the "discovery" phase. It is the time when we assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case. For example, there could be evidence that police obtained illegally, or that is more ambiguous than prosecutors want to admit.

Taking Your Case To Trial

Whether you are charged with a felony, a misdemeanor or a combination, you may or may not go to trial. Many criminal cases end in a plea agreement, often shortly before trial is due to begin. Once we know what the prosecutor is claiming, we are able to begin negotiating to have the charges against you reduced or dropped. Prosecutors tend to be reluctant to risk losing at trial.

However, sometimes trial is the best way to preserve your rights and defend you against the charges. Jury selection is usually the first phase. The judge will question potential jurors to learn if they can be fair and neutral when deciding your case. In some cases, it might make sense to opt for trial before a judge alone (a "bench trial") rather than a jury.

Once a jury is in place, trial begins with opening statements from each attorney. We and the prosecutor will each summarize our case and the evidence we will present. Then the prosecutor will call their witnesses for questioning. Your attorney will have the chance to ask questions during cross-examination. Once the prosecutor has finished making their case, your lawyer may call witnesses in support of your defense.

Following the trial, the jury goes to decide how to rule. If your trial ends in a conviction, an appeal or petition for post-conviction relief may be possible.

Court-Appointed Versus Private Attorneys In South Carolina Criminal Defense Cases

You may be wondering whether to retain a defense attorney from a private law firm or seek a public defender. Here are some things to consider:

  • You might not qualify for a public defender. In South Carolina, public defenders are for people who are indigent and cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. Not everyone is eligible.
  • Public defenders are overworked. Most public defenders have overwhelming caseloads, often handling hundreds of case files at once. They work hard, but generally cannot provide you the level of service and attention that a private defense law firm can. Instead, a public defender may be more inclined to encourage you to accept a plea deal so they can move on to the next client.
  • Private practice attorneys may be more experienced. Because you can't choose your public defender, you may end up with someone who has little experience handling the charges you are facing. When you hire your own lawyer, you can find one who has experience with your type of case.
  • There is a lot at stake. Even outside of capital cases, defendants facing felony charges in criminal court could be sent to prison for decades. Depending on the charges, you could jeopardize your driving privileges, lose the right to see your children or have to register as a sex offender. Why not invest your future in defense counsel equal to the task of helping you take on serious and complex charges?

The Difference Our Law Firm's Defense Attorneys Can Make

At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of collective experience in criminal law. We have argued in state and federal courts at all levels in South Carolina. Because of our depth of experience, we know how to watch out for mistakes that can unnecessarily drag out your case and end in an unjust verdict or plea deal. Our representation can go a long way toward protecting your rights, freedoms and future.

Schedule A Free, No-Obligation Legal Consultation

Call 877-880-5753 to reach Roberts Law Group, PLLC, and schedule your free initial consultation. You can also reach us online. We represent clients throughout the Florence area of South Carolina.