Criminal Defense Lawyers in Columbia, SC
What Sets Our Law Firm Apart
Searching for the right attorney can be overwhelming. With so many defense firms to choose from, how do you find the right Columbia criminal defense attorney for your case? Our firm takes pride in our unique approach to criminal defense in South Carolina. We believe in a collaborative, team-based approach to representation. We treat each client with compassion and serve them with knowledge, expertise, and focused attention to detail. Our compassion and care for each individual we serve is what sets us apart from other firms.
We believe that every person deserves a fair chance at criminal defense in South Carolina court.
We believe that a person should not be judged by the worst thing he or she has ever done.
We believe that a person is not defined by his or her criminal charge or by any false accusation under SC law.
Founded by former United States Attorney Pete Strom, the Strom Law Firm and its attorneys are familiar with criminal defense techniques. We understand how the prosecution investigates and builds cases. We take that knowledge and use it to investigate your SC case and develop the most effective defense possible. The Columbia Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have deep knowledge of South Carolina criminal law, an understanding of and sincere concern for your rights and liberty. If you are facing criminal investigation or arrest in South Carolina, we will ensure that you receive a vigorous, well-planned defense.
When you hire the Strom Law Firm, you get a team of competent and caring lawyers, paralegals and support staff to assist you with every aspect of your criminal defense case at every stage. We want you to feel comfortable and confident knowing that we have your back. During what is likely the most difficult time in your life, you need the peace of mind that comes with competent and compassionate counsel. Regardless of your criminal charge, we can help. If you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, in state court or federal court, let the Columbia Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm get to work preparing your defense. With a professional license and strong reputation, our attorneys understand South Carolina laws and can competently defend your criminal case.
Should I hire a Columbia criminal defense attorney for my case?
You may find yourself involved with law enforcement, whether it’s because you need assistance or due to the investigator’s belief a SC crime has been committed. When law enforcement contacts you because they believe you have information about or were involved in a crime, it is imperative that you contact an attorney before answering questions or giving an interview. The Columbia criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are experienced in navigating criminal investigations and criminal cases and will advise you as to your rights at each step. Pete Strom is the former United States Attorney (Federal prosecutor) and past Assistant Solicitor (prosecutor) in Columbia. Call us today to see how our firm can help you with your defense case.
Being investigated for or charged with a crime in SC can be overwhelming. You need someone working for you. You need someone who will hold the state accountable, investigate your criminal case, prepare a defense and always have your back. Pete Strom and the other providers at the Strom Law Firm understand what it takes to effectively handle a criminal case. Before finding yourself in an unfortunate situation with law enforcement, contact us at (803) 252-4800 for a free consultation.
Let Us Help with Your Defense Case
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime in Columbia, South Carolina, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights at every stage of the case. An arrest arrest alone can negatively impact your life; from employment to professional licensing and financial consequences to the loss of your good reputation. The collateral consequences of an arrest or conviction can be devastating. The Columbia Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC handle all types of criminal charges, both serious and minor. Our criminal defense lawyers practice in courts throughout the state of South Carolina, and take a proactive approach to providing an aggressive defense to every client we represent.
What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Do in Columbia?
We work for you. A Columbia Criminal Defense Attorney represents the accused. When someone has been accused of committing a crime, a prosecutor represents the state/government and seeks to prove that person’s guilt through the presentation of evidence. The South Carolina government must use that evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. While the accused person has no burden to prove himself innocent, it is so important that a person accused of a crime has his own attorney to represent his interests during this process. We will fight for your right to have your side of the story told. We will hold the state accountable to its burden. We will challenge the state’s evidence. We will independently investigate your case and we will fight for the best possible outcome in your defense case.
Why do I need to hire a Columbia Criminal Defense attorney?
When you are charged with a crime, you are one person up against the power and resources of the state of South Carolina. The Government will put its power and resources behind its effort to secure your conviction. You need someone who will work for you and fight for you and hold the state accountable to its burden. You should not go through the process of a criminal case alone. Having competent representation throughout the process is so important. Without quality representation, you run the risk of falling victim to the system. People are wrongfully accused or overcharged for crimes every day, which is why you need a firm that understand criminal defense law. The legal teams at the Strom Law Firm are here to help you through your criminal case. We will fight for you at every stage of the case. Call us today at (803) 252-4800 to see how we can help.
What Kind of Columbia Criminal Cases Does Strom Law Firm Take?
The Columbia Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are prepared to handle your criminal case. Whether you have been charged with a traffic infraction or minor criminal offense in magistrate or municipal court, or a serious or violent felony in General Sessions or federal court, our attorneys stand ready, willing and able to help. From speeding tickets, DUIs, fraud, tax – to drug, or white collar, or violent felony cases, we have the resources and the experience to represent you in your criminal case.
The Strom Law Firm, LLC has been handling criminal cases for more than 20 years. We have experience with every type of charge, including: ABHAN, Aggravated Voyeurism, Aiding and Abetting, Animal Cruelty, Arson, Assault & Battery, Attempted Murder, Bank Robbery, Breach of Trust, Blackmail, Bond Reduction, BUI, Burglary, Carjacking, Child Endangerment, Child Pornography, Computer Crimes, Controlled Substance Violations, Criminal Solicitation of a Minor, Criminal Sexual Conduct, Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Domestic Violence, Driving Offenses, Drug Charges, DUI, DUS, Embezzlement, Expungement, Extortion, Federal Criminal Defense, Failure to Stop for Blue Light, Failure to Stop on Police Command, Felon in Possession, Felony DUI, Financial Crimes, Fraud, Gun charges, Hate Crimes, Hazing, House Arrest, Human Trafficking, Identity Theft, Immigration, Indecent Exposure, Kidnapping, Marijuana, Minor in Possession, Misconduct in Office, Money Laundering, Murder, Perjury, Plea Bargains & Dismissals, Pointing & Presenting, Possession of Drugs, Possession of Marijuana, Probation Violation, Prostitution Solicitation, Public Disorderly Conduct, Reckless Driving, Resisting Arrest, Restraining Orders, Sex Crimes, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Simple Possession of Marijuana, Stalking, Statewide Grand Jury, Tax Fraud, Trafficking, Voyeurism, Weapons Charges, White Collar, Violent Crime, and more.
How much does a Columbia criminal defense lawyer cost at Strom Law Firm?
There is no “fee sheet” or “schedule” with fixed fees for a Columbia Criminal Defense Attorney. The fee in a criminal case typically depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the case, a person’s criminal history, the skill level and experience of the attorney working on the case, and whether the case is high or low profile. The legal teams at the Strom Law Firm are happy to schedule an appointment with you for a free consultation to discuss how we can help. At that consultation, we will work with you to set a fair fee that takes each of these factors into consideration and fits within your budget. In certain circumstances, we may be able to offer flexible payment plans for your convenience. Call the Columbia Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today at 803-252-4800 for a free consultation to discuss your criminal charges.
How will I be investigated in Columbia, South Carolina?
You may hear through others that an investigator with law enforcement wants to speak with you about a situation you may or may not know about or in which you have been involved. You should contact a lawyer prior to engaging in any conversations with a South Carolina law enforcement officer. Having someone there to protect your rights and advise you is so important.
In other instances, law enforcement may reach out to you by phone or come by your home or place of work to ask you to speak with them. Again, you should not speak to any law enforcement officer without at least consulting with an experienced Columbia criminal defense attorney to review what you will say.
Common Questions About Giving A Statement in a South Carolina Criminal Case
Should I give a statement?
You should never give a verbal or written statement to South Carolina law enforcement without consulting an experienced Columbia Criminal Defense Attorney. The best and top-rated criminal defense attorneys in Columbia SC agree that law enforcement officers are specifically trained in using interrogation techniques that elicit information from you and that may harm your defense. To get this information, an interrogating investigator may claim he is just there to help you and just wants to get to the truth. In reality, they want you to give a statement that could be used to prove you were at the scene, involved in the act, or know pertinent information about the crime.
Law enforcement will use interrogation techniques to attempt to get a confession to use against you in court. Sometimes, law enforcement officers will already have a warrant for your arrest prior to contacting you. It is imperative you contact a legal representative before meeting with any law enforcement officers. Contact the Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC at 803-252-4800 our on our website. We offer free consultations to discuss how we can help you in your case.
How do I avoid giving a statement?
A law enforcement officer may contact you to “talk” about a pending investigation. He or she may do this by showing up at your home or office or calling you on the phone to schedule a time to meet. It is important that you not answer any questions or give a statement at that time. You can always tell the officer that the timing is not good for you, and you will call them back with a better date and time to meet. You can also let them know that you are in the process of hiring an attorney and you will have your attorney give them a call back soon. Make sure you either get a business card from the investigator or write down his or her name and number, so you or your attorney are able to get back in contact. The Columbia Criminal Defense Attorneys are experienced professionals who can walk you through every step of this investigative process. If you or a loved one have been contacted by law enforcement in connection with an ongoing investigation and law enforcement wants to speak with you about that investigation, it is important to retain counsel as soon as possible.
What can an attorney do if I am being questioned or investigated for crimes?
An experienced Columbia Criminal Defense Attorney close to me will know how to handle a law enforcement request for contact. The first step is to determine what exactly the officer is investigating and what role he or she believes you played. A criminal defense lawyer will also try to determine the stage of the investigation – whether law enforcement just wants to ask questions to gather additional information during its investigation, or whether there is already a warrant for your arrest.
Law enforcement officers are not under any obligation to relay this information to the attorney, but will usually provide some sort of direction as a courtesy. Once the Columbia Criminal Defense attorney at the Strom Law Firm LLC knows what stage the investigation is in, our firm will be better able to protect your rights and guide you through the investigative process. The attorney will act as a go-between to facilitate the communication between you and South Carolina law enforcement.
Once The Investigation Is Completed
When a law enforcement agency has concluded its investigation, there may be a warrant for your arrest in SC. Once an arrest warrant is issued, there is nothing that can be done to recall it. At that point, the person for whom the warrant is issued will need to self-surrender to law enforcement to be booked and arraigned on the charges. A qualified Columbia criminal defense attorney will be able to walk you through the process of turning yourself in, accepting service of the warrant, being booked into the local detention facility, and getting processed. Your attorney can also represent you at your bond hearing.
Once you have been arrested for a crime, you will be booked into the local detention center and formally charged. You will wait for a few hours before you can see the magistrate judge at the jail who will determine if a bond will be set. At the bond hearing, a magistrate does not consider evidence or make any decisions about the merits of the case. The judge considers two factors: (1) risk of flight and (2) danger to the community. The judge may ask about your education, employment, family, ties to the community, and criminal history to determine whether a bond should be set and, if so, what the amount should be.
The judge can set a Personal Recognizance bond (PR bond) where you will not have to post money or property to secure your release from jail but will sign yourself out with a promise to appear for all court dates. In other situations, a surety bond may be set where a certain amount must be paid before you can be released. In a few circumstances, a bond may be denied completely, and you would be required to stay in jail. Pete Strom and the team at the Strom Law Firm will work diligently to get the best possible bond for you in your case.
What is Next?
After you are formally charged with a crime and have bonded out of jail, you now have a pending criminal case against you. At the bond hearing, you will be given a court date. You must always appear for every scheduled court appearance or hearing that you are given. Failure to appear in South Carolina court could result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest. Representing yourself or going before a judge without the proper representation could have devastating consequences. You should always have an attorney present when you are required to appear in court for criminal charges.
You are entitled to a preliminary hearing for any charges that are handled in General Sessions Courts. The purpose of these criminal defense hearings is to determine whether your charge is supported by probable cause. At this hearing, the investigating officer will testify under oath about what probable cause he or she had to make the arrest and charge.
If your attorney has made a motion, the judge will hear that motion and any response from the prosecution. At the close of the hearing, the judge will decide whether to dismiss the charge, remand it to a lower court or reduce the charge or to send it on to General Sessions. The Columbia criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will ask the right questions on cross-examination and present any appropriate motions to the judge at your preliminary hearing.
While many cases are resolved outside of a trial, many proceed to a trial by jury or a judge. Depending on the charge and the court in which it is adjudicated, trials can last a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks. Many attorneys may be hesitant to go to trial. At the Strom Law Firm, we do not shy away from trial. The Columbia Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will work tirelessly to present the best possible defense at trial.
Sentencing in South Carolina
Sentencing is handled by the judge, subject to the range set by the legislature in the statute you’re charged with violating. If you plead guilty or you are found guilty at a trial, your sentence could include jail or prison time, fines, community service, or probation. The experienced and qualified legal team excellent at presenting mitigating evidence at your sentencing to assist the judge in making the right sentencing decision.
In Which Court Will my Case be Handled?
Types Of Courts in South Carolina:
There are many different courts that handle varying levels of criminal charges.
Federal Courts – federal courts handle charges brought for violations of federal law or for charges arising from conduct taking place on a military base. Many times, the investigations in these cases may span long periods of time before an arrest is made.
General Sessions Courts – General Sessions Courts handle charges brought for felony or misdemeanor violations of state law. General Session Court is where murder cases, serious drug cases, online criminal solicitation, child pornography, and other felonies and upper-level misdemeanors.
Magistrate and Municipal Courts – Magistrate and municipal courts handle traffic tickets and lower-level misdemeanors such as DUIs, Shoplifting, Public Disorderly Conduct, Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Public Drunkenness, Trespassing, and Simple Possession of Marijuana.
Collateral Consequences…An Arrest Can be Devastating
There’s no question that being charged with a crime can be one of the most difficult times you and your family will ever experience. Our clients frequently tell us the personal and familial crisis that follows a criminal arrest is unlike any they have experienced before. An arrest can have an effect on your social life too, as the news of your situation circulates among friends and acquaintances. A conviction can cause you to lose your job, prevent you from obtaining new employment, interfere with your ability to practice a licensed profession, own a firearm, vote, or hold public office. A conviction can wreak financial havoc on you and your family. Whether you are in jail, awaiting trial, or dealing with court dates and appearances, the time away from your job can be devastating to your livelihood. A conviction can damage your reputation in the community. Certain criminal convictions may stay on your record forever.
We understand the impact an arrest has on the lives of our clients, and we use that understanding as the starting point and basis of our approach to handling criminal cases. The most important thing you can do to lessen the toll on your life and livelihood is to let us get started planning your defense as soon as possible. Contact the Columbia Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC at 803-252-4800. Our firm offers free consultations and it would be our pleasure to speak with you about your criminal case.
Will I have to Go to Court?
While it is reasonable to expect that you will need to appear in court at some point during the pendency of your criminal case, we will do everything we can to minimize the amount of time you need to take off from work to appear in court. Our firm recognizes that your time is valuable. We know that oftentimes, if you are not at work, you are not getting paid. While many cases end up going to trial, many cases do not go to trial or are resolved before we get to trial. Some cases are resolved by participation in a diversion program by plea agreement or by outright dismissal. However, there may be times your appearance is required in court, and when that happens, we will work with you to ensure that you are as prepared as possible and that you know what to expect at every stage of the process. In the event that your appearance is required in court, the Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm will work to ensure that you will feel as prepared as possible. Our main goal is to ensure that all of our clients in criminal cases feel comfortable and confident that they are in the best possible hands.
We Are Here For You
Facing criminal charges is not something you should do alone. You need a knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense attorney who understands your situation and genuinely cares about the outcome of your case. We believe everyone deserves a strong and robust defense and that no person is guilty unless proven otherwise. Having an experienced, competent and compassionate lawyer you trust on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your South Carolina case.
If you are facing criminal charges, the experienced Columbia Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Whether you have recently been contacted by law enforcement and are under investigation for a crime, or you’ve already been arrested and need representation, we can help protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly under South Carolina law.
Our Columbia criminal attorneys are licensed to practice law across the state and have defended clients in every type of court setting, from municipal courts to federal courts. We are ready to take your case whether you’ve been charged with a traffic citation or misdemeanor in municipal or magistrate court, or you’ve been charged with a serious felony in General Sessions or federal court. No case is too small. No case is too complicated for our firm. We will treat each client with dignity and respect.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges or have been contacted by law enforcement in relation to an ongoing criminal investigation, call the Columbia Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today at 803-252-4800. Our firm offers free consultations and flexible payment plans. It would be our pleasure to represent you.
Should I hire a Columbia criminal defense attorney?
Pete Strom and the other Columbia criminal defense attorneys in our law office understand what it takes to effectively handle a criminal case. Before finding yourself in an unfortunate situation with law enforcement, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm at (803) 252-4800 for a free consultation.
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