Sumter County Criminal Lawyer

Defense Attorney in Sumter County, South CarolinaIf you have been charged with a criminal offense in Sumter County or surrounding areas, you may need legal help. A Sumter County criminal defense lawyer could answer your questions and guide you through this stressful and challenging time. An experienced attorney could fight for you to ensure that your rights and freedom are protected. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Criminal Law in Sumter County

The criminal laws of South Carolina generally fall into two classes of offenses. Depending on the facts of the case, an individual can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Felonies are more serious offenses, and a defendant can be imprisoned for several years and to life in prison. Misdemeanors are criminal offenses that, upon conviction, can carry a term of imprisonment of generally up to three years but up to 10 years in South Carolina for some common law offenses.

Many offenses carry additional penalties beyond custody time, including fines, loss of the right to vote, loss of the right to own or possess a firearm, the requirement to register as a sex offender, or attendance at mandatory and expensive classes. Therefore, it is important for someone facing charges to reach out to an accomplished Sumter County criminal lawyer.

Felonies Someone May Face

Felonies are charged when the alleged facts of a case involve serious offenses and most serious offenses. Felonies include:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Rape
  • Sale of Narcotics
  • Grand Theft
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Classes of Felonies

South Carolina generally classifies felonies into various classes, from Class A to Class F, with each carrying a range of potential prison time. Class A felonies can carry a term of up to 30 years. Unclassified felonies can carry a term of up to life in prison or a death sentence.

Defense of Felonies

For individuals charged with a felony, an assertive Sumter County criminal lawyer could attack the evidence the police and prosecution have in the case. An attorney could also highlight any procedural errors and illegitimate search or arrest warrants that could also impact the outcome of a case.

Misdemeanors in Sumter County

First offense Misdemeanors are generally less serious offenses but can still have a devastating effect. The consequences of a misdemeanor sexual battery conviction, for example, can follow a person for the rest of their lives. Drug offenses, such a possession with intent to distribute, trafficking or possession of drug paraphernalia can limit future job opportunities and housing options.

Classes of Misdemeanors

South Carolina misdemeanors are divided into Classes A, B and C. As with felonies, the classes of misdemeanors carry a range of sentences. A Class A misdemeanor carries a term of no more than three years. Class B carries a term of no more than two years, and Class C misdemeanors carry a term of one year or less.

Defense of Misdemeanors

First offense misdemeanors can often be reduced to a lesser charge or referred to pretrial intervention programs or a dismissal. Pretrial intervention is referred to as diversion programs are available for assault and battery charges, some drug offenses, alcohol, and traffic offenses.

Contact a Sumter County Criminal Attorney Today

If you are facing criminal charges, either a misdemeanor or a felony, contact a dedicated attorney today. A skilled Sumter County criminal lawyer could advocate on your behalf and work tirelessly to build a proper defense. Call today to learn what options you have to fight the charges against you.