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Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Greenville, SC


Once you have been arrested and charged with a crime, there are often serious consequences that you must face. Some people think that the situation is not that bad and will try to navigate the laws and the court system on their own. This is usually a terrible idea. Instead, you should consider consulting with one of the criminal defense attorneys in Greenville, SC so that they can take a look at your case and help advise you on the proper steps to take to limit the damage during the case.


There are many times when your criminal defense lawyer is going to be able to specialize in various matters of criminal law. This can be beneficial to your case and you. They will understand how the court system works, what kind of bargains you can get based on your current and history, and they know how to work with you to get the best results. However, before you enter into a new relationship with your criminal defense attorneys in Greenville, SC, it is good to know a little bit more about what you can expect when you choose to work with them.


What Will A Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

Criminal defense attorneys will be in charge of representing you when you are charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, which are the two categories that fall under criminal law.


When it comes to the severity of the offense, a misdemeanor is usually seen as a less severe charge. This means that if your charges are misdemeanors, it is likely that you would spend less than a year in prison and maybe get a small fine.


However, when you are charged with a felony, these are considered more serious. Most criminal defense attorneys will try to get felony charges dropped down to at least a misdemeanor by doing a plea bargain that is in your best interest. Those who are actually found guilty of a felony could spend more than a year in prison, have high fines, and can even face the death penalty depending on the crime that was committed and where they reside.


It is the job of your lawyer to help you get the least amount of consequences after a criminal charge. Be aware that while they work for you, they can’t guarantee that they can get you off without any penalties at all. They will work to reduce your charges and your sentences, and in some cases, if it was your first offense and is a minor misdemeanor, you could get off with a simple fine.


However, for more significant charges, you may end up having to spend some time in jail and paying fines. It is essential to work with your criminal defense lawyer to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible based on your situation.


When will I need a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville, SC?

Since you could run the risk of a prison sentence for both misdemeanors and felonies in a criminal case, it is important to consult with a criminal defense lawyer as early as possible in these scenarios. For a misdemeanor, you should consult with your criminal defense lawyer in Greenville, SC when you are charged with the following:


  • Petty theft
  • Public intoxication: This is true whether it is your first time or your second or third time.
  • Prostitution
  • Simple assault
  • Trespass
  • Vandalism
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Reckless driving
  • Possession of marijuana or possession of some other drugs


If you are uncertain about whether you would need a defense after one of your charges, it is still important to contact a lawyer to discuss your case. Even misdemeanors could end you in jail time and hefty fines, and having counsel in your corner can make all the difference in how substantial the penalties are.


Also, there are times when the criminal charges are considered a felony. You will need to have the right legal counsel on your team in these situations to help limit the consequences that you can face. Some of the situations where you may need the help of criminal defense attorneys in Greenville, SC include:


  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Treason
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated battery or assault
  • Burglary or robbery
  • Many different forms of fraud
  • Possession of certain drugs that are considered illegal (note here that some drug possession are misdemeanors and some are considered felonies)
  • Intent to distribute a certain type of drug or a certain quantity of a drug that is illegal
  • Grand theft or grand larceny


Remember that these lists are not all-inclusive. There are other situations where you may need a criminal defense lawyer on your side. If you are uncertain about whether your charges are considered criminal charges or whether you would need legal guidance, make sure to contact a legal defense lawyer in Greenville, SC right away.


Is It Expensive To Work With A Lawyer?

Understanding all the aspects of working with your lawyer is essential. Many people worry that they will not be able to afford their lawyer and so choose to navigate the court systems on their own. This can lead you to more fees and more trouble than working with a lawyer, and it is usually best to have a lawyer on your side with criminal cases.


Most criminal defense attorneys will choose to work with an hourly rate or a flat fee with a retainer. The retainer is a fee that you will pay upfront to reserve the criminal defense lawyer to work with you, but it will be put towards the amount that you owe your lawyer. The rates that you will pay to your lawyer will be based on where you live, the severity of the charges, and more. It is always possible to negotiate a rate with your attorney, but make sure that you do these negotiations right up front.


Why Should I Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Looking for criminal defense attorneys can seem like a daunting task. You are already facing criminal charges and possible hefty sentencing, and now you need to sort through a list of lawyers to find one to represent you. While you may wish to go through the process on your own, there are many reasons why you should consider hiring a defense lawyer to help you out including:


  • The experienced lawyers know the system: A good criminal defense lawyer knows the law, and they know what will give you the best results in most criminal cases. If you defend your case on your own, you do not have the knowledge necessary to go against prosecutors or a judge and get favorable results. These defense attorneys know how to talk to the court, who the prosecutors are, and more so they can work the system in your favor.
  • Design a good strategy: A good lawyer is going to be able to provide you with a robust strategy that is tailored towards your case. Criminal defense attorneys can measure all the circumstances and events surrounding your case and will design the right strategy based on that information. They can make negotiations, prepare you for trial, do investigations, and more to help you get the best results.
  • Can reduce your penalties: Working with a criminal defense lawyer can help to reduce the penalties that you face. Many times, the prosecution is ready to come down hard on you when it comes to a criminal case. Your lawyer will be able to protect you from sentencing that is too harsh, whether or not you are guilty of the charges.
  • Can do damage control: Having a good defense attorney on your side can prohibit the amount of contact law enforcement can have with you without having the lawyer there. This can eliminate how intimidated you get or the information that you give away that could cause harm to you. With the right criminal defense lawyer, all documents, conversations, and more will go through them first.
  • Can limit your risks by acting immediately: Waiting can be a death sentence in the legal world. The sooner that you are able to take action against the criminal charges that are against you, the better your chance of success. The longer that you wait, the easier it is for the prosecution to come up with a good case against you. Hiring the right legal team can help you take action right away, which could help save you.
  • Saves you money in the long run: While you will have to come up with a retainer and some fees to have your lawyer, having one can save you money. The amount of fees and time in jail that you will receive without legal counsel will be way more than what you will pay to them.
  • Save yourself time: Defense attorneys know how to save you time. Rather than waiting around for a court date, they could get you into a settlement situation quickly. They can handle all the work for you, freeing up your valuable time.
  • Support: Facing these criminal charges can be hard and often can result in depression, fear, and anxiety. A good criminal defense lawyer will be able to provide you with ways to effectively cope with these emotions while also helping you get through the case. They can even bring in professional help to ensure you are getting the care and attention you need.


What Will Happen When I Meet With My Lawyer

It is the job of criminal defense attorneys to do everything that they can to either prove that you are innocent or find a way to lessen your sentence. The path that they choose will depend on your particular case. If the evidence is stacked up against you and your lawyer feels that they will not be able to help you win the case, they could advise that you settle it out of court. You will still get a sentence of some sort, but it usually results in a shorter or an easier sentence since you are willing to work with the court, rather than go through a lengthy trial.


If you do end up going to court and get charged with a felony, there are still some steps that criminal defense attorneys can take. They can try to prove that you are innocent. They can find ways to lower the felony charge down to a misdemeanor which would lessen the sentence. They can even advocate to help you to get a shorter sentence or get you placed inside a better facility if you have to spend some time in jail.


Your criminal defense lawyer will not be able to guarantee that the outcome you get is favorable to you. Many defendants want to be able to get off with no sentencing after a criminal charge, but this is not likely either. Hiring one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys in Greenville, SC, will make a big difference on the amount and type of sentencing that you will get, but it is unlikely that you will get off without anything unless the charges are very small.


It is important that you take the advice of your legal counsel. Many times when a defense lawyer recommends settling out of court, it is because they feel that this will be your best chance at reducing your sentence and even staying out of prison. Going to court after being advised to settle can often be a waste of your time and money, and can often lead to much harder sentences. If you feel that your lawyer does not have your best interest at hand or has other reasons for settling out of court, you can always request new legal counsel to discuss your options with as well.


If you are looking for the best legal defense attorneys in Greenville, SC, make sure to contact us as Kendrick and Leonard. Our team is ready to help you get the best results for your criminal defense case. We can take a look at your case and the pending charges and discuss the best course of action. Contact us today to get started!

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