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 or failure of the State to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, 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 including probation. Each case is different and depends on the factors above, but there are many alternatives to straight incarceration, even if a person is determined to have committed a criminal offense.
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. Some more serious charges require that bond be set by a Circuit Court Judge. There are several 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.
This is not always true. The Miranda warnings and rights are normally applicable in a narrower situation when a person is being subjected to a custodial interrogation. If you have not been arrested or are not 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.
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.
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.
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 second or subsequent appearances in the future as the prosecution and defense both prepare for resolution of the case.