Criminal Law

Criminal Lawyer Lexington, SC - Defense Attorneys

criminal law

It is hard to imagine a more frightening and threatening situation than a person becoming aware they are being investigated in connection with a serious crime or being arrested and charged with a criminal offense.  You may be suddenly faced with a new and confusing series of terms and events, including arrest warrants, bond hearings, preliminary hearings, first appearances, discoveries and trials.  It is important to have experienced and professional representation and an advocate to assist you as soon as you become aware you are the subject of a criminal investigation or have been arrested.  The criminal defense team at Davis Frawley, LLC includes John J. McCauley, who has tried numerous serious felony trials, including death-penalty cases, serious felonies, drug cases and every other criminal offense, including driving under the influence charges.  John began his career as a prosecutor and has now been defending individuals as a criminal-defense lawyer for the last 27 years.  John is a founder of the South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and has served two terms on the Board of Governors of that organization. 

The lawyers here at the Davis Frawley,LLC feel it is extremely important to have early involvement with your legal counsel in any criminal case, if possible, when you first become aware that you are the subject of an investigation.  Your interests are best served by having someone to advise you in the beginning of the case as to your constitutional rights, the procedural aspects of criminal law and making sure that you are fully aware of what allegations are being made against you prior to you making any type of statement.  We have found that early intervention of counsel can make the difference of whether or not you are charged with a criminal offense or potentially what offense you are charged with. 


 If you have already been arrested and charged, we can immediately commence a complete review and investigation of the case that goes far beyond what information the state considers important.  It is important to develop evidence and testimony of witnesses that may tend to show that a person is not guilty of a crime or may tend to mitigate evidence against a criminal defendant or create real, reasonable doubt as to their guilt.


Davis Frawley, LLC works with and has a relationship with criminal investigators who work on behalf of individuals.  These investigators can conduct an investigation and assist defense counsel with a complete investigation of all the facts in the case, not just the facts that the law-enforcement agency considers important.  We can also help to locate independent, professional witnesses to review and counter technical, scientific evidence and issues in your case. 


The attorneys at Davis Frawley, LLC can assure that your case will be handled by experienced, caring attorneys who will work hard on your behalf and prepare your case for trial from the very beginning.  You will be kept advised as to all issues and progress of your case as it develops.  Mr. McCauley can provide personal, caring and effective representation and aggressive advocacy for those times when you are facing a serious criminal charge or investigation.


Practice Areas:

Drug Offenses
White Collar Crimes
Driving Under Suspension
Misc. Criminal Law


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Should I give a statement to law enforcement officials if I am being questioned in connection with a crime?
A: Your best interest would be served by making sure that you are aware of your rights, including your right to legal counsel and your right to refrain from making a statement until such time as you become fully aware of the allegations against you and specifically what it is that you are accused of doing or being involved in.

Q: I did give a statement to police, but they did not read me my Miranda warnings before I gave the statement.  This means they cannot use that statement against me, correct?
A: This is not always true.  The Miranda warnings and rights are normally applicable in a more narrow situation when a person is being subjected to a custodial interrogation.  If you have not been arrested or are in custody, police officers often can secure incriminating evidence and statements from witnesses just by having an interview with a person or listening to a person explain themselves before they are arrested.

Q: If I am arrested, how is my bond set and how do I get out of jail?
A: In South Carolina, the vast majority of charges result in a bond hearing which is conducted by a Magistrate within 24 hours after you are arrested.  The Magistrate at this bond hearing can take into consideration a number of different factors, including prior criminal history, strength of relationships and ties to the community, the position of law enforcement and alleged victims in a case and the factual circumstances of the crime to which you have been charged.  There are several different types of bond, including a personal recognizance (PR) bond which results in a person being released without having to post cash or property; a surety bond which requires property or cash being posted by the Defendant or someone on the Defendant’s behalf; and in some situations, a surety bond where the Defendant is granted the right to post ten percent of the bond as cash and being released upon the same.  Bonding procedures can be complicated and legal advice can be helpful in understanding the same. 

Q: I have now been arrested.  Am I going to have to serve time in jail?
A: This can depend on a large number of factors, including the seriousness of the crime, whether or not you have a prior criminal record, whether the offense was a violent or non-violent offense, and the position of law enforcement or the prosecuting agencies in your case.  This is clearly a situation where experienced, effective legal representation can assist you in a favorable outcome in the case.  There are a number of possible outcomes in a criminal case, including possible dismissal of the charges for technical reasons; referral to diversionary programs such as PTI or ADP; conditional discharges, which can result in the dismissal of a charge; and plea negotiations which result in reduced charges and negotiated sentences.  Each case is different and depend on the factors above, but there are many alternatives to straight incarceration, even if a person is determined to have committed a criminal offense. 

Q: What happens at my first appearance?
A: This is normally a pre-trial status conference where the State assures that you are in compliance with the terms of the bond, including appearing in Court when ordered to, whether or not you have retained legal counsel or had counsel appointed for you at that time and you are typically provided with discovery or the evidence that the State intends on prosecuting you with in your case.  Most typically, the cases in South Carolina are not resolved at a first appearance and you would be scheduled for a second or subsequent appearances in the future as the prosecution and defense both prepare for resolution of the case. 

Q: What are the fees you charge for criminal cases?
A: Fees charged in criminal cases can vary greatly, depending on the seriousness of the offense, whether or not it is clear a trial will be necessary, or it may be a case that could be resolved by referral to a diversionary program and the overall complexity of the case.  Davis Frawley, LLC does not charge for initial consultations in criminal cases.  Typically, at the end of the initial consultation, our attorneys are able to determine the amount of work that will be necessary in order to resolve your case, and a retainer for fees in your case will be quoted at that time.  In addition to legal fees, you may be responsible for additional costs including investigators and/or expert witnesses, which would be your responsibility.  All criminal clients at Davis Frawley, LLC will have a written fee agreement which clearly sets forth how much you are being charged, the basis for charges and what other additional costs you would be responsible for. 

Criminal Elements

Every crime is composed of criminal elements.
Here are the five objectives that are widely accepted for enforcement of the criminal law by punishments: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restitution. There are some differences on the weight given to each.

• Retribution - The act of punishing or taking vengeance for wrongdoing. It is the act of punishment or vengeance. The theory of many Americans is that people who commit criminal acts should suffer in some way.

• Deterrence – Deterrence may take 1 of 2 forms. General Deterrence aims at society by imposing a penalty on those who commit a crime which discourage the general public from committing those offenses. Individual deterrence is aimed toward the specific offender. The aim is to impose a penalty which would discourage the offender from committing the criminal behavior again.

• Incapacitation - Designed simply to keep criminals away from society so that the public is protected from their misconduct. This is often achieved through incarceration.

• Rehabilitation – This is the transformation of an offender into a valuable member of society. The goal is to prevent further offense by having the offender understand that their conduct was indeed wrong. The act of rehabilitation would be to restore the individual’s ability for good behavior.

• Restitution - This is the act of restoring that of what was taken from someone. The act of “making good”. For example, one who embezzles will be required to repay the amount improperly acquired.

John McCauley of Davis Frawley, LLC has experience in defending clients against criminal charges at all stages of the process at the Municipal, Magistrates, and Circuit Court levels in South Carolina State Court, and in Federal Court matters, and can provide the requisite counsel in a quick, reliable, and accurate manner. If you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense and seek an experienced, knowledgeable, zealous defense, call or e-mail the Davis Frawley Law Firm for a consultation.


Criminal Law Resources

Criminal Law Attorneys

John J. McCauley

(Ph) (803) 359-2512

(Fa) (803) 359-7478

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