As a criminal defense attorney, located in North Charleston, South Carolina, I work with many clients who have been arrested and there is a lot of work to be done before the first court appearance. At the top of the list should be contacting a criminal defense attorney, who will be your biggest ally during the legal proceedings. In this blog, I will how criminal defense works and the need for a criminal defense attorney.
What Does A Criminal Defense Attorney Do in South Carolina?
Criminal defense attorneys represent people who have been accused of crimes. Their primary objectives are advising defendants throughout the legal process, ensuring that the client’s rights are protected. The criminal defense attorney will be working to get charges against the defendant lowered or dropped altogether.
A defense attorney will:
- Negotiating to lower or drop charges against the defendant
- Conducting a pre-trial investigation including interviewing police, involved parties and witnesses
- Evaluating evidence against the defendant to make sure it was obtained legally
- Obtaining expert witnesses such as medical specialists, private investigators or polygraphists to testify on the defendant’s behalf
- Negotiating with prosecutors to minimize penalties
Criminal lawyers examine the case against the defendant from all angles, searching for evidence that police may have missed, or for signs that the defendant was treated unfairly by the justice system. Having someone on your side who is protecting your legal rights can mean the difference between a harsh sentence and little to no penalty.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney in South Carolina?
If you cannot afford to hire an attorney and are facing charges that threaten to place you in jail for six months or longer, it is your legal right to have one provided to you at no cost. If you do not fit these qualifications for free representation, you will have to pay to hire a lawyer.
If you are required to pay for a lawyer, there are several costs you can expect to encounter the following costs:
- Consultation fee – Most all criminal defense lawyers give free consultations, but there are some who charge a consultation fee.
- Retainer fee – Most attorneys charge a retainer fee for you to acquire their services. The retainer fee is based on the cost of the number of estimated hours of work. Retainer fees can range from $1,000 or much more based on the severity of the charges. Some lawyers charge a flat fee for certain offenses such as DUI, so you will know upfront how much it will cost. When speaking to an attorney, ask about the fee structure so you get a clear picture of how much you will spend.
The Deaton Law Firm, located in North Charleston, South Carolina, has the experience to successfully defend a criminal case. Contact the Deaton Law Firm for a free consultation and together we will examine the options for a positive outcome in your case.