Criminal Defense Lawyer in Conway, SC
If you have been charged with a crime or believe that you are under investigation for a crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer – get help right now.
All too often, people believe that they can handle things on their own until it is too late. Police may lead you to believe they are trying to help you when in fact they are gathering evidence and building a case against you. Many cases involve multiple charges in multiple courts. There may be lesser charges in the magistrate court or municipal court, more serious charges in general sessions court, and license issues in the administrative court with separate court dates and instructions for each court.
Without the advice of a competent criminal defense lawyer, you are likely to unknowingly waive important rights that the police or courts are not going to tell you about. If you inadvertently miss a court date, you can be found guilty in your absence and a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest. If you have multiple charges and are found guilty on the lesser offenses, it may foreclose potential defenses that we would have had in the more serious case.
Criminal Defense in the Magistrate and Municipal Courts
If you are charged with a lesser offense in the magistrate or municipal court, you will be given a court date, usually written on a blue ticket, on which you must appear in court.
If you do not request a jury trial prior to that court date, you may lose your right to a jury trial and the court may give you a bench trial instead. The police, prosecutor, and court are not likely to look for and provide exculpatory evidence to you that would help your case although they are required to by law.
Once a jury trial has been requested, we can obtain the evidence in your case and conduct an independent investigation to obtain additional evidence that we need to defend you against the charges. Once we have your discovery materials and results from our own investigation, we then have the time to negotiate with the officer or prosecutor in your case to obtain either a dismissal or reduced charges. If there is no dismissal or we do not agree to reduced charges, we still have the option of trying your case to a jury and seeking an acquittal.
Criminal Defense in General Sessions Court
Most offenses that carry a potential penalty of more than 30 days will go to what is called general sessions court which is the criminal side of South Carolina’s circuit courts.
You will have two roll call dates at which you must appear unless you have been excused from them through your attorney. Your case will be handled by a prosecutor from the solicitor’s office for the county in which you were charged or, in some cases, the Attorney General’s office.
If you do not appear for the roll call dates, usually called the Initial Appearance and the Bond Returnable or Docket Appearance, the prosecutor will seek a bench warrant for your arrest.
- Murder/ Homicide
- Domestic Violence
- Drug Offenses
- Property Crimes
- Traffic Offenses
- If you are Under Investigation
Contact Johnny Gardner Law Now
If you have been charged with a crime or believe that you are under investigation, contact Johnny Gardner Law before talking to police or prosecutors to find out what your rights are and how we can help.