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How much does a lawyer cost? Understanding Your Legal Situation in South Carolina

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I was pulled over in Aiken County, SC (in a borrowed car, that I put my car insurance on) for failure to maintain lane. The officer told me why she pulled me over, then asked me why I was nervous, as I was handing her my information. I said "because I got pulled over". Then she asked if she could search the vehicle. I said yes, hesitantly, then I let her know that I did have drugs in my purse (pills and cocaine). Her partner came and searched me when they asked me to step out of the car, while the first officer searched my things. Once she pulled everything out and placed it on the car, she walked to me and said I was being arrested then handcuffed me, without reading me any rights. The second officer immediately took me to the car and brought me to jail. I was charged with two misdemeanors and this is my first offense.

My charges are:

Drugs/possession of cocaine, 1st offense ; CDR Code: 3011 ; Offense Statute: 44-53-0370(d)(3) ; Penalty Statute: 44-53-0370(d)(3)

Drugs/ poss. of narc. in Schedule I(b),(c), LSD & Schedule II- 1st offense ; CDR Code: 0176 ; Offense Statute: 44-53-0370(c) ; Penalty Statute: 44-53-0370(d)(1)

Commonly posted questions...

Can I be illegally searched as a passenger with no probable cause ?
3 weeks 5 days ago, Criminal defense attorney, Tennessee
How can this be resolved?
2 months 1 week ago, Criminal defense attorney, Indiana

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to Criminal defense attorney in the jurisdiction of South Carolina. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Understanding Your Legal Situation in South Carolina

Arrest Following a Traffic Stop: You were pulled over in Aiken County, SC for a traffic violation. During this stop, you voluntarily admitted to possessing illegal substances and subsequently got arrested. You also mentioned that the officers did not read you your rights upon arrest. Given this is your first offense, there are specific legal paths and considerations to navigate.

Relevant Laws and References:

Potential Solutions:

  1. Rights Upon Arrest: In some cases, failure to read an individual their rights can impact the admissibility of certain evidence or statements in court. Consult with a criminal defense lawyer to understand if this can benefit your case.
  2. First Offense Consideration: South Carolina may offer diversion programs or alternative sentencing options for first-time drug offenders. This might include probation, community service, or attending drug counseling sessions.
  3. Legal Representation: Having a defense attorney is crucial, especially when facing drug charges. They can provide guidance, represent you in court, and help you negotiate with the prosecution. You can compare lawyers in your area to find the right fit for your case.

Cost of Legal Representation in South Carolina:

Fees Associated with Criminal Defense:

Service Average Price
Consultation with a defense attorney $250 - $500
Representation for a misdemeanor charge $1,500 - $3,000
Representation for a felony charge $3,500 - $10,000
Trial representation $5,000 - $25,000

Please note that these are estimated prices and can vary based on the complexity of the case, experience of the attorney, and other factors.

Seek More Information:

Before proceeding, it might be beneficial to clarify specific details about your case. For instance, the exact charges, the amount of drugs, and any other potential evidence against you. Moreover, if there were any witnesses or if there's a dashboard camera footage of the incident. It's always advisable to find the right lawyer who can guide you through the complexities of your case.

Questions to Reflect Upon:

  1. Were there any other passengers in the vehicle at the time of the stop?
  2. Do you have any prior arrests or legal issues, even if they didn't result in a conviction?
  3. Were there any witnesses nearby when the arrest occurred?

Q1: Can my case be dismissed if the officer didn't read me my rights?

While not an automatic ground for dismissal, if the police did not read you your Miranda rights, certain evidence or statements might be inadmissible in court. However, this depends on the circumstances of your arrest and the specifics of your case.

Q2: What are the penalties for a first-time drug offense in South Carolina?

Penalties can range from fines to jail time, depending on the type and amount of drugs involved. However, first-time offenders might be eligible for diversion programs or alternative sentencing.

Q3: Can a lawyer help reduce my charges or sentence?

Yes, a defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution, argue for the reduction or dismissal of charges, and advocate for alternative sentencing options, especially for first-time offenders.

Q4: What is the importance of dashboard camera footage in my case?

Dashboard camera footage can provide an unbiased account of the traffic stop and arrest. It can be used to validate or challenge the officer's statements and actions during the stop.

Q5: How does prior criminal history impact my current charges?

While this is your first drug offense, any prior arrests or convictions can influence how the prosecution approaches your case and the potential penalties you face.

Disclaimer

This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

Written, answered, changed

Legal question "How much does a lawyer cost? Understanding Your Legal Situation in South Carolina" has been changed 10 months 2 weeks ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of South Carolina & area of law: Criminal defense attorney.
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A criminal defense lawyer is a lawyer (mostly barristers) specializing in the defense of individuals and companies charged with criminal activity. Some criminal defense lawyers are privately retained, while others are employed by the various jurisdictions with criminal courts for appointment to represent indigent persons; the latter are generally called public defenders. The terminology is imprecise because each jurisdiction may have different practices with various levels of input from state and federal law or consent decrees. Some jurisdictions use a rotating system of appointments with judges appointing a private practice attorney or firm for each case. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_defense_lawyer

If you're facing criminal charges (You were detained and imprisoned by the police), You have the right to remain silent. You should remember, that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court. You have - just like anyone else -  the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an criminal defense attorney, you may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. 

  • How to Become a Criminal Defense Lawyer? - wikihow.com
  • Tips on how to find the right lawyer to handle your criminal case - nolo.com
  • Various ways that private criminal lawyers charge for their work - nolo.com

How to find and compare top criminal defense law firms that provide legal aid for DUI and other criminal cases? Search Super Lawyers directory, compare criminal attorneys on Justia or browse detailed Avvo reports on Criminal Defense Attorneys across United States.

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