March 2017 Archives

What are South Carolina’s laws regarding shoplifting?

Shoplifting may be a crime that Charleston residents dismiss as being only a juvenile issue. However, the state’s laws regarding this offense cover several different scenarios, many of which adults may participate in. If you have been charged with shoplifting, you may want to understand what penalties you could face, as well as whether or not your actions justified being accused of such a crime.

Vandalism charges and defenses

Destroying another person's property is considered vandalism. This could include making unnecessary changes to a piece of property, graffiti, breaking windows and even hacking into someone's personal website and making changes. Although some people consider vandalism like graffiti to be artistic, the law does not agree.

What are ignition interlock devices?

If you find yourself charged with drunk driving in Florence, then you may have to come to grips with the idea that your driving privileges being suspended. First offenses usually net a license suspension of six months. Yet if this is a subsequent offense, or your blood-alcohol content was exceedingly high, then you may also have to participate in the state’s ignition interlock program once you are allowed to drive again.

Work with experienced attorney to address search and seizure issues in drug cases

In criminal cases involving drug violations, there can be a number of potential effective defense strategies, depending on the facts of the case. One important area for defendants to keep in mind is the constitutional protections provided by the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Under the Fourth Amendment, the government is required to conduct searches and seizures reasonably.

DUIs and the Holidays: By the Numbers

Holidays and drinking seem to go hand-in-hand. The most popular portrayal of the holidays includes at least one drunk scene with a depressed uncle or lonely single person. Unfortunately, this is one the rare situations in which Hollywood gets reality right. The holidays do lead to increase in drinking which does increase the likelihood that people will operate vehicles while under the influence. In fact, data collected by Scram Systems, an anti-drunk driving resources, found that alcohol consumption during Thanksgiving jumps by 35 percent. Furthermore, it rises by 41 percent on Christmas, 40 percent throughout the entire holiday season and by a whopping 58 percent on New Years.

What's the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Not all crimes are created equal. The criminal justice system divided them into convenient categories, usually based on how severe the penalties are. In a broad sense, there are three types: infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. Here are the key differences between all of them:

  • Infractions. Infractions classify as the least serious of all the crimes. Infractions are things like speeding tickets, loitering and even sometimes minor possession of drugs. With infractions, you'll generally just be handed a ticket and expected to pay it or have a brief appearance in court.
  • Misdemeanors. Misdemeanors can be much more serious than infractions and can include time in jail; as much as one year. Usually, if jail time is given it will be in a county jail rather than a prison. With misdemeanors, prosecutors have a huge amount of leeway with which to handle defendants. This can make misdemeanor charges tough to predict in terms of plea bargains and penalties.
  • Felonies. Felonies are handled more seriously by the justice system than any other crime. They are typically punishable by more than one year in prison and include crimes like murder, burglary and rape.