Strom Law Firm Columbia SC
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St. Matthews Criminal Defense Attorney


If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime in South Carolina, you need an experienced St. Matthews Criminal Defense Attorney who will fight to protect your rights. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC handle all criminal charges, practicing in courts throughout South Carolina, and we provide an aggressive and proactive defense to every client we represent. Call us at 803-252-4800. Our conversations will be strictly confidential.

Whenever you have been or are about to be contacted by law enforcement because they believe you have information about or were involved in a crime, you must call an attorney before answering questions or giving an interview. The St. Matthews criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are experienced in navigating criminal investigations and criminal cases and will advise you at each step.


St. Matthews Criminal Defense AttorneysSometimes 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 MUST contact an attorney prior to engaging in any conversations with a law enforcement officer.

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 St. Matthews criminal defense attorney.


Should I give a statement?

You should never give a verbal or written statement to law enforcement without consulting an experienced St. Matthews Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Matthews. Like when dealing with insurance companies after an accident, anything you say can be twisted and used against you. Law enforcement officers are specifically trained in pulling information out of you, promising they are there to help you, acting as though they are your friend and want 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 an attorney before meeting with any law enforcement officers.

How do I avoid giving a statement?

A law enforcement officer may contact you to “talk.” 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 vital 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. Make sure you obtain the officer’s name and number, so you or a lawyer can return their call. At that point, contact Pete Strom and the Strom Law Firm to walk you through this process.

What can an attorney do if I am being questioned or investigated?

An experienced criminal defense attorney 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 do not have to relay this information to the attorney, but will usually provide some sort of direction as a courtesy. Once the attorney knows what stage the investigation is in, he or she will be better able to assist you through the investigative process. The attorney will act as a go-between to facilitate the communication between you and law enforcement.


When a law enforcement agency has concluded its investigation, there may be a warrant for your arrest. Once an arrest warrant is issued, there is nothing that can be done to recall it. A qualified 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 St. Matthews Criminal Defense Attorney at the Strom Law Firm will work diligently to get the best possible bond for you in your case.


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 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.


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, 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.


You are entitled to a preliminary hearing for any charges that are handled in General Sessions Courts. The purpose of these hearings is to determine whether your charge is supported by probable cause. At the preliminary hearing, you are not allowed to present a defense or speak. 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 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 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.


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 St. Matthews Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are excellent at presenting mitigating evidence at your sentencing to assist the judge in making the right sentencing decision.


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 St. Matthews Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will work tirelessly to provide you with the best possible defense at trial.


Pete Strom and the other St. Matthews Criminal Defense Attorneys 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, call the experienced St. Matthews criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm at (803) 252-4800 for a free consultation.

St. Matthews Criminal Defense Attorney

How this works

Step 1 - Welcome
In this step, you'll experience a warm welcome as you enter the Strom Law Firm.
Step 2 - Initial Meeting
You'll meet with professionals. They will go through the facts of your case, explain the entire process.
Step 3 - Preparations
We builds your case by interviewing witnesses, conducting legal research, drafting pleadings, and hiring experts.
Step 4 - Trial
You'll learn that the firm is trial-ready. They've been preparing since day one and will guide you through the process.
Step 5 - Resolution
your case concludes with the firm hoping for a positive outcome. They assure enduring friendships and a commitment to being there for you, regardless of future legal needs.
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What Our Clients Say

They truly care
Mrs Vallery, who answered the phone took more care and attention to detail than any other law office, that I have called, in 2 years+. She diligently took notes to give to the lawyers and cared about my situation and let me actually tell everything without cutting me short. Out of over 100 law offices, this is rare treatment. Care. Consideration. That means more than anything going through this…
Professional Representation, Satisfying Legal Outcome!
My wife and I retained Bakari Sellers to represent our son in a case in Richland County. We found Mr. Sellers, his assistant Stephanie, and the rest of the staff at Strom, extremely courteous and professional. We really appreciated Mr. Sellers’ straightforward and honest approach. We believe this is a very competent law firm, and are satisfied with the legal outcome they achieved. We would highly recommend them!
Bryan B.
Exceptional Legal Team After Our Car Accident!
We retained Atty Jessica Fickling to help us after a terrible car accident. She and her paralegal Mallory were wonderful! Professional, skilled, savvy – we couldn’t have asked for a better legal team. Many thanks!!
Jocelyn C.
Strom Law Firm's Consistent Excellence
I have been a client with The Strom Law Firm for thirty years and have been incredibly blessed to have the assurance that they will do everything possible to provide excellent service to my needs. Ally Benevento is exceptional and represents the firm in a professional manner.
Timothy O.
From Self-Representation to Victory in SSDI Case!
My experience with Mario and his staff was outstanding. When everyone said to give up my case with SSDI and after being poorly represented and losing. I had to file my own appeals and represent myself. I literally called every attorney in the book. Then I called Mario cold – I expected one more no! Well, this gentleman took my case and won. He knows the law and cares a lot. I am proud to call him my friend. If you need a professional to help you, call these guys.
Robert L.
A Pleasure to Work With, Outstanding Case Outcome!
Thanks Olivia, It was a pleasure working with you. You were well prepared and presented our case in a very professional manner. I could not have ask for a better outcome. Working with everyone at the Strom Law Firm has always been a pleasure and I will be happy to recommend your Law Firm to anyone.
Nancy G.
A Lifesaver in the Courtroom, Ensuring Freedom with A1 Professionalism
Needed a lifesaver. I had gotten myself into a bad situation and the possibility of going to prison. Through the diligence and hard work done by attorney Alley B., I was able to walk out of that courtroom a free man. No tricks just hard down attorney work. She was an A1 professional and knew every inch of the Law pertaining to my case. For that, I am forever grateful.
A Winning Team at Strom Law Firm!
John Alphin was great. We basically worked together for 22 months. Bakari Sellers was also on the team and together those 2 guys were fabulous. Won the case and I’m still a client of Strom law firm. Thank you and awesome law firm.
Steve T.
Excellence in Action for Workman's Comp Case!
Strom Law Firm was really great and professional. I had a great experience with Mario as my attorney and his paralegal, Brian. These two are amazing, they worked very hard on my husband’s workman’s comp case and we were very pleased with the services and results 👍. Brian was so prompt at returning phone calls and getting things ready for the case. I strongly recommend this firm for any of your legal matters. If I had to use you guys again, I would be happy to do so.
Mary W.
Mastering Complex Legal Issues with Care and Compassion
Mario Pacella at Strom Law Firm LLC in Brunswick, Georgia, is a masterful, no-nonsense lawyer. His caring and compassionate approach, along with prompt responsiveness, sets him apart. Mario and the firm exhibit exceptional professionalism and attention to detail, emphasizing genuine care for every client.
L. Gilder
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