At King Law, we know that sometimes people put themselves into situations that can get out of control and end with legal consequences. We also understand that setting up a proper criminal defense requires help. Our Spartanburg criminal defense lawyers are available to answer questions and help you try to avoid serious legal consequences for domestic dispute charges, drug charges, and more.
What to Do if You Are Arrested or Charged With a Criminal Offense in Spartanburg
When you are arrested, it is essential that you know from the start that you still have rights. Some of the most basic rights include the right to:
- Remain silent until you have received legal counsel
- Be informed of any charges that are against you
- Receive your due process of the law for life, property, and liberty
- Be treated humanely, regardless of your charges
- Receive a bail that is not excessive for the criminal charges
They state a lot of this through reading you your Miranda Rights, which should be done by the arresting officer at the time of your arrest. As stated by these rights, to ensure you are protected, seek legal counsel even if you cannot afford it.
Your rights will not stop there, though. You will also have rights as you prepare for and enter the courtroom. For instance, you will have the right to:
- Confront witnesses who are against you
- Present evidence and have witnesses in your favor
- Never be charged with the same crime twice
- Have legal representation
- Remain innocent until proven guilty
Regardless of what criminal offense you have been accused of, your basic rights will never change. Knowing this is the first step in gaining control of your situation and restoring your good name.
Is It Possible to Find Out What Evidence the State Has Against You?
Thanks to the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure 5 and Brady v. Maryland, you are entitled to know about evidence that is being used against you and any evidence that may support you. Often, this information can be presented during a preliminary hearing, provided it is not overlooked, which is often the case.
In South Carolina, your preliminary hearing request must be filed within 10 days of a bond hearing. During this hearing, the prosecution, or the state, must be able to prove that there is probable cause that justifies your arrest and criminal charges. This will prompt the judge to decide if charges should continue, be modified, or dismissed completely, allowing you to avoid a trial altogether.
By having a legal team request a preliminary hearing, there may be facts revealed that can help you avoid the charges that are being held against you. Your legal representative will explore:
- How long the police took to arrive: If the police did not arrive on the scene for an hour after the alleged incident, then witness statements and proof may not be valid.
- How you were arrested and where it took place: If you had time to leave the scene, is there actual proof that it happened?
- What witnesses are available and their credibility: If you were at a party and everyone was drinking, the witness statements regarding your assault charges may not be credible enough to stand up in court.
- Whether you committed the crime unknowingly: Things sometimes happen that put you where you may not have the proper knowledge to not commit a crime in the specific situation. One example of this may be asking to borrow a car, unknowingly gaining permission from someone who does not have authority to give it, and being accused of theft.
- Whether there is ample, reliable proof of your alleged crime: When you are arrested, South Carolina prosecutors hold the burden of proof. They must be able to prove beyond a doubt that you committed a crime. If they cannot do so, then it is reasonable to say that a crime may not have been committed.
Each of these things may sway the courts to be more in your favor. However, you must know which may apply to your situation.
Should I Hire an Attorney if I am Guilty of the Crime?
The short answer is, absolutely! In every legal situation, you are entitled to a proper defense, even if you know that you committed the crime. This is to ensure that your case is handled properly, and you do not suffer harsher penalties than you deserve.
In some situations, you may qualify for a Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), which may help you avoid severe consequences. This is a statutorily mandated program, which means that you will be under direct supervision rather than face jail time for a minor criminal offense.
Whether you lost control and assaulted someone or asked to borrow someone’s car and unknowingly carried drugs in the vehicle; there are people available to help you. Your Spartanburg criminal defense lawyer will listen to your side of the events and guide you on the best way to handle your situation, regardless of your guilt.
Reach Out to a Spartanburg Criminal Defense Lawyer at King Law
When you put your trust in King Law Offices, we want you to know from the start that we feel that everyone deserves a second chance. Some of our practice areas include:
- Assault and battery charges
- Domestic abuse charges
- Breaking and entering charges
- Possession or paraphernalia charges
- White collar crimes
We have law offices in both North and South Carolina and can help you take control of your legal situation before it becomes something that may negatively affect the rest of your life. You can reach us at (888) 748-5464 (KING) or by filling out our contact form.