Why You Should Consult an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Before You Plead Guilty.
If you are arrested in South Carolina and your criminal charge is pending in General Sessions Court or Magistrate’s Court, you have the option to plead guilty or not guilty.
The decision of whether to plead guilty in South Carolina should only be made after obtaining the advice of a criminal defense attorney. Your life and welfare are at stake.
A guilty plea can have lasting consequences beyond a fine or prison sentence including the loss of your right to carry a firearm, custody or visitation with your children, lifetime registration on the sex offender registry, as well as professional consequences that can ruin your livelihood and end your career.
Centrally located in Columbia, South Carolina, the criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC understand what is at stake. We have the skills and the resources to help you determine how to proceed. We offer free consultations to help you decide your best course of action.
What Happens if I Decide to Plead Guilty?
If you decide to plead guilty after receiving the advice of an attorney, you will attend a guilty plea hearing before a judge who is assigned to your case.
In South Carolina State Court, Judges have discretion to sentence within statutory range – set by legislatures.
Possible punishments include:
- a time-served sentence,
- a monetary fine,
- home-detention or house arrest, and
- active incarceration
Given the possible range of sentences it is extremely important that you consult a criminal defense attorney so that you are aware of all of the possible consequences of a crime before you decide how to plead in your case.
If you are not satisfied with the sentence imposed in your case, you may appeal the decision within 10 days after the completion of your case. Failure to file within ten days, except in very limited circumstances, will cause you to lose your appellate rights.
Pleading Not Guilty in South Carolina
Getting arrested in South Carolina does not mean that you are guilty or that you do not have any rights. If you are arrested, you have the right to plead not guilty and ask for a jury trial.
The Strom Law Firm encourages all individuals who receive a traffic citations or warrant for what seems to be minor traffic or criminal offenses to seek a free consultation with an attorney before giving up valuable rights such as the right to contest the charge by jury trial or otherwise. The criminal defense lawyers with Strom Law Firm provide a free consultation for these matters and have the experience you need to protect your rights and guide you through the legal process. Contact us today to discuss how we can help.