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Columbia Criminal Defense Lawyer

KENDRICK & LEONARD, P.C. > Columbia Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal Defense Attorney in Columbia, SC


When it comes to criminal charges, it is important to have the right team behind you. You do have the option to go to court and try to do your own defense, but most individuals do not know how to navigate through this process and often that can make your situation worse. Without understanding the system and the laws, it is easy for your charges to turn into a conviction and many courts are determined to hand out the harshest sentences possible for criminal charges.


This is why it is so important to consider criminal defense attorneys in Columbia, SC for your defense. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony, your legal team can look at your case and provide you with assistance based on your particular situation. There are actually many different ways that criminal defense attorneys will be able to assist you including:


Plea Bargains And Negotiations

When your criminal defense attorney sits down and discusses the case with you, they may recommend that you take a plea bargain and enter negotiations. For some cases where it is obvious that you are guilty, or you are facing some felony charges that will be hard to overturn in court, your legal team may suggest that a plea bargain is the best choice.


No one necessarily wants to go with a plea bargain. You usually have to admit that you did the act and this information can then end up on your criminal record. However, with good criminal defense attorneys, going with a plea bargain may be able to reduce your charges from a felony to a misdemeanor which can save you time in jail and fines.


Whenever possible, the criminal defense attorney is going to work with their client and the prosecutor to come up with an arrangement. This is more likely to happen when the lawyer knows that their client could spend a long time in jail or receive the death penalty if they go to court. These arrangements are known as plea bargains or plea deals, and they function to reduce the burden on the court. In exchange for doing this, the court will agree to remove some of the charges and the sentencing against you.


Depending on the case and the prosecutor, it is possible that they will not want to enter into negotiations. If you were part of a violent crime, it is almost impossible to get a plea bargain and no matter what kind of criminal charges you are facing, these plea bargains are hard to accomplish without a criminal defense attorney. It is best to have a lawyer on your team to help negotiate the best plea bargain for your case.



If you are found liable for the crime, it is up to the criminal defense attorney to work to reduce the penalty that you face. For example, if you are sentenced to jail on a criminal charge, your criminal lawyer may be able to get you tried for manslaughter instead. Alternatively, if you are accused of rape, your criminal defense attorney could reduce the charge to indecent behavior or sexual harassment.


What this means for you is that the possible sentencing could be less. It would be hard for you to convince the court that you deserve a lesser charge, but good criminal defense attorneys know exactly how to get this done. They can uncover mistakes that law enforcement followed, find that laws were not applied properly and more, which in turn can give you more leverage in the case.


Reality Checks And Emotional Checks

Those who are facing criminal charges are often going through some serious emotions. They may deal with embarrassment, fright, and depression, as well as much stress over the criminal proceedings. All of this can combine to make it difficult to make objective decisions. If you try to undertake all of the proceedings on your own, it is hard to separate out what is important and what does not matter, especially when the emotions start to get in the way.


This is where a good criminal defense attorney can come into play. It is their job to give you a reality check when needed. They know how to sort out the relevant facts from any emotional luggage that you may see as important, but are just interfering with a good defense for you.


It is important to remember that just because you see something as important does not mean that the other people who matter, such as the jury, the judge, or the prosecutor, will see it the same way. It is always crucial that the facts about the case be presented in an accurate manner. Criminal defense attorneys are trained to stay objective, no matter what, through the trial and negotiations, and can offer some insights to you, such as what is likely to happen next.


When you are going through these criminal cases, having this insight and this reality check can make a big difference in your case. Your criminal lawyer can ensure that you stay on the right track to do well in court or can help you to get a good plea bargain that can save you time and money in the end.


Technicalities And Loopholes

In many cases, there are loopholes and technicalities that can help to get your case overthrown. In some situations, it can end with the charges against you being dropped, and other times it can at least get the sentencing reduced. As an individual, you may have a hard time finding these loopholes, but criminal defense attorneys are skilled in recognizing these all the time.


As an American citizen, you are guaranteed certain freedoms and rights. There are literally thousands of laws created that are there to ensure that your basic rights are never violated. Most people have at least an idea of what these laws are, and some even know what their civil rights. However, most people do not spend their time studying court cases, laws, the Civil Rights Act, or even the Bill of Rights. When it comes to your case, this means that it is unlikely that you would recognize if a law was broken in regards to your case.


And considering that there are more than 20,000 laws just governing simple things like using and owning a gun, and more than 7000 pages of tax law, it is easy to see how you as an individual could miss out on something important that could be pertinent in your case.


It is up to your criminal defense attorney to know these laws and how they pertain to your case. And while the public or the victim may not be happy about hearing how charges are reduced or dismissed because of a technicality, these procedures are in place to help ensure that your rights are not infringed.


Criminal defense attorneys are trained to know all the laws regarding your particular case and to make sure that any law enforcement officials related to the case did their job correctly within the law. Your defense lawyer will be able to look through the case and can determine if any violations occurred. This would be hard for you to do on your own.


Hidden Costs That Come With A Guilty Plea

Criminal defense attorneys in Columbia, SC can help decide what the hidden costs of a guilty plea would be. In most cases, both sides will want to avoid an expensive trial that will last for a long time. With the help of your lawyer, you can bargain for a guilty plea that will save the state money and resources that come with a trial.


While the guilty plea can be beneficial to you to reduce your sentencing, there are sometimes consequences that you may not be aware of. It could include things like losing your right to vote, losing your license for some time, or even your right to own a gun. It is not the job of the prosecutors to tell you of all these long-term consequences. However, having a good criminal defense attorney on your side can help you gain all this information so you can be fully prepared when the case is done.


These hidden costs are not going to occur with each guilty plea, but it is still important to understand all the consequences that come with this plea. You do not want to get in trouble later on because you are breaking a part of your guilty plea without even realizing it and your criminal defense attorney can help you be prepared.


Going through all the steps of a criminal case can take a lot of time. From doing the research on the case, deciding if you will do negotiations or go to trial, to preparing for both, it takes a lot of time to come up with a strategy for your case. Your defense attorney is even able to speed up the time it takes to get the negotiations and the trial to happen, rather than waiting until the courts get around to it.


If you tried to do this all on your own, it could waste a lot of time and resources. And many defendants go straight to thinking they need to go to trial. But in many situations, it is better to go with a plea bargain. Most judges and juries do not look kindly on criminal charges, and the prosecutor is trained to make your sentencing as high as possible. With a plea bargain from your criminal defense attorney, you will be able to avoid the lengthy trial, get a reduced sentence, and get back to your life quicker than ever.


Witness Statements

Another way that your criminal defense attorney can help you is to assemble proof from witnesses to the case. With your own representation, victim statements are almost impossible to get because of an unwillingness to talk with you as the defendant. Even if you are able to get a few witness statements, you will not know the right questions to ask and could potentially waste time and resources in the process. However, criminal defense attorneys have a lot of resources they can use, such as a private investigator and even expert witnesses, that they can use to give you good testimony and help during your trial. If you do take your case to trial, these witness statements can make a big difference in the defense that you can have against the prosecution.


Picking out criminal defense attorneys

Many times, the process that happens after being charged with criminal activities can be confusing and can cause a lot of stress for you. While it may seem like it will save money and time to do the defense on your own, this is usually not the case. Hiring a good criminal defense attorney can make a big difference in the outcome that you get, and can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long term.


It is possible to take on your criminal case by yourself. Many individuals who are charged in these cases worry that they will not be able to afford a defense lawyer and decide to go through the process on their own. However, criminal defense attorneys are there to walk you through the process of a criminal trial and can help to make it easier, and less costly for you overall. If you are facing criminal charges, a good legal counsel is best in most situations rather than trying to do it on your own.


If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney after facing criminal charges in Columbia, SC, make sure to contact us at Kendrick and Leonard. We will be able to take a look at your case and discuss the best course of action to lessen your sentences and help you get back to your life. Contact us today to help you today!

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