Marion Felony Offense Attorney
Federal law classifies a felony as any crime with a punishment exceeding one year in prison. If you have been charged with a felony in South Carolina, you face prison time, hefty fines, and the loss of certain rights. Depending on the punishment connected with your charges, the presence of a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be the difference between freedom and serving a lengthy prison sentence. When your freedom, reputation, and future are on the line, you need an attorney who will stand with you and fight for your best interests.
At Law Office of William J. Luse, we put clients first. We know that when you’ve been charged with a crime, you are frightened about what your future holds. We partner with you to make sure that you are informed and spoken for every step of the way. Because we’ve been defending members of the Marion community for years, we’ve seen firsthand the various ways that an arrest, criminal charge, and subsequent conviction can derail your life. Call (843) 839-4795 today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer who has the skill, tenacity, and experience to protect your rights.
Do I Need a Felony Offense Lawyer?
Any felony charge is serious. While other criminal charges like misdemeanors could potentially involve jail time, the sentencing is typically far less harsh and can sometimes be resolved through community service and fines. Though you may feel frightened and unsure of which steps you should take to protect yourself, the answer is simple: get a good defense lawyer.
Even if you think you are familiar with the legalities surrounding your case, it is best to entrust a lawyer with your care. A defense lawyer’s job is to help you. They can be a steadying hand at a time that causes many people unrelenting stress.
Especially when you are up against criminal charges for the first time, you are in uncharted territory. Although everything is unfamiliar to you, rest assured that an experienced defense lawyer well-versed in the legal process will guide you every step of the way. Your lawyer will be there to answer your questions, provide you with the information you need, and achieve the best possible results on your behalf.
Felony charges are typically punishable by at least five years with a successful conviction. Depending on your charges and how your case is handled, legal consequences for felonies can result in a prison life sentence and even the death penalty. When you are on the opposite side of the prosecution, you need to know that someone has your back, and your defense attorney is dedicating their time and efforts to do just that.
Why Hire Law Office of William J. Luse to Handle my Case?
At Law Office of William J. Luse, we are focused on results no matter what your case is. You can feel confident you are in good hands as we listen to you, investigate your case, speak with prosecutorial witnesses, and understand the implications of your charges. We’ve worked with many individuals and families across South Carolina. As a result of our familiarity with the state and federal criminal law and the Marion community, we’ve earned the trust of many Marion area residents in need of legal counsel.
At Law Office of William J. Luse, we emphasize service. We know you’re stressed and concerned about what a conviction could cost you both personally and professionally. While we are never going to sugarcoat anything for you, we will guide you with compassion and tact. Fighting for your rights against criminal charges is a matter of freedom, and when you hire us to carry the torch, you can feel confident that we are deeply invested in your legal outcome.
South Carolina Felony Offense Cases
If you are charged with a crime in South Carolina, the prosecution is going to try your case to the fullest extent of the law. You need someone on your side who will fight back with the same vigor. To determine sentencing, the state organizes felony charges in several classes. The following are the different felony classes and their legal consequences:
- Class A Felony – This includes crimes such as kidnapping, aggravated assault, attempted murder, and voluntary manslaughter. Class A Felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
- Class B Felony – Arson, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, second-degree assault, and battery. These felonies are punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
- Class C Felony – Carjacking, attempted armed robbery, child abuse, child neglect, and the sexual exploitation of a minor are all punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
- Class D Felony – A first offense for selling or manufacturing methamphetamine or cocaine, third-degree arson, second-degree burglary, and assisting another person’s suicide are all punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- Class E Felony – Class E felonious crimes are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and include first-degree sexual misconduct, reckless homicide, causing harm to a child.
- Class F Felony – These crimes include the possession and sale of counterfeit cigarettes, threatening a public official’s life, and stalking. These crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison.
In addition to the felony classification system, South Carolina law considers felony crimes that are more serious in nature as exempted felonies. Exempted felonies are not beholden to the same punishments that apply within the felony classification system. Exempted felonies can include murder, failure to register as a sex offender, and incest. In some instances, these charges carry harsher punishments like life in prison and the death penalty.
A skilled defense lawyer can help you understand your options and fight against the prosecution to secure the best possible outcome. Whether your claim is resolved with a reduced sentence, dismissal, or a “not guilty” verdict, you could benefit from the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer when you face felony charges.
What is the Criminal Process in South Carolina?
Each case is different, and especially if this is your first time facing a criminal charge, you may be confused about what the next steps are. When you are arrested for a crime in South Carolina, your situation will generally align with the following process.
- Bond hearing – Held within 24 hours after the arrest, the purpose of this hearing is for the judge to determine if you can be released on bond.
- Preliminary hearing – These hearings, which follow the bond hearing, are only applicable when a person has been charged with an offense that must be brought to trial in the General Sessions Court. Cases brought in General Sessions Court are typically more serious in nature. If you have been charged with a felony, you will likely have a preliminary hearing.
- Grand Jury – A group of citizens is assembled by the court to determine if charges should be formally brought against you. In the event that the grand jury decides to bring charges, an indictment will be issued.
- First Appearance – Also known as “roll call,” this court date is scheduled within 45 days of an initial arrest. At this court appearance, the judge will set expectations and the scheduling for the case, verify that the defendant has access to a lawyer and will appear for court in the future.
- Second Appearance – Typically scheduled within 120 days, or four months, of the initial arrest, the judge will confirm how you, the defendant, wish to plead during this court appearance. Based on your answer, a judge will arrange a plea or trial schedule.
- Trial – If at the second appearance you request a trial rather than pleading out, a jury will listen to your case and, based on the arguments of both the prosecution and the defense, decide on your innocence or guilt. Based on the jury’s verdict, the judge will sentence your punishment.
- Appeals – Within 10 days following sentencing, you have the option appeal a trial verdict or guilty plea. You may be granted a retrial if the South Carolina Court of Appeals finds any misconduct in the legal process.
When you discuss your situation with a lawyer, they will be able to give you a better idea of how your specific case will progress through South Carolina’s legal system.
Let a Marion Felony Offense Lawyer Fight for You
A felony is a serious criminal matter. At Law Office of William J. Luse, we know that you have questions when you are facing jail time. We are ready to answer all of your questions and address your concerns. Prosecutors take felony cases extremely seriously, so if you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer who truly knows how to advocate for your rights. When your freedom is at stake, the team at Law Office of William J. Luse has the experience that you’ll want on your side. We lead with compassion, diligence, and tenacity as we defend your rights. To speak with a Marion criminal defense attorney today, call us at (843) 839-4795.