Plea Bargains and Dismissals
Prison sentencing, jail time, hefty fines, and a criminal record can all result from a criminal conviction and can have devastating consequences for your future.
Criminal charges can be resolved in one of four ways:
Dismissal by the prosecutor can occur if the prosecution concludes that there is insufficient evidence to continue with a case. A clear demonstration to ensure the lack of evidence for a criminal charge must be put forward by the accused for the prosecution to consider dismissal. Otherwise, the prosecution will follow through with the case.
- Pre-trial intervention, PTI, is a diversion program for first time offenders. This program typically consists of 30-50 hours of community service, counseling, passing drug screenings, and written assignments. The main goal of PTI is to provide intervention services to hopefully deter future criminal activity and provides first time offenders a second chance through rehabilitative services.
- Traffic Education Program, TEP, was created by the State of South Carolina as an education program to educate drivers with minor traffic offenses and be used as a tool to dismiss minor traffic offenses thereby keeping their driving record clean.
- Any person aged 17-20 years old that is charged with an alcohol related offense may qualify for the Alcohol Education Program (AEP). This program offers an alternative to pleading guilty or having a trial before a Judge in court and helps combat the problems associated with underage drinking.
- A person with a history of drug use and convictions for drug crimes or drug related crimes may be eligible for Drug Court. During the supervised twelve month, outpatient, drug treatment program, the criminal justice and the public health systems unite together to meaningfully treat chemically dependent offenders, thereby reducing drug use, increasing public safety and improving the quality of life for the community.
- A Conditional Discharge is available for defendants charged with a drug crime who have no prior drug convictions. The sentencing and proceedings are deferred while the accused agrees to be placed on probation and participate in a treatment and rehabilitation program. If the terms of the probationary period set by the court are met, then the charges are dismissed.
Plea Bargain/Guilty Plea
In some cases, an experienced criminal attorney has the ability to negotiate a plea bargain with the state in which the accused would plead guilty to a lesser offense or negotiate to have a portion of the charges dropped.
When cases are not disposed of through dismissal, a diversion program, or a plea, they are taken to trial. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the charges in order to be convicted. To ensure you are properly represented during this stage and your rights are protected, an experienced criminal attorney is crucial to your defense.
South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys
All cases are complicated and having a knowledgeable attorney by your side may be beneficial in securing a better outcome for you. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today.