Criminal Defense

Criminal defense is a major part of my practice.  It's important to realize that you're not guilty just because you've been arrested or charged with a crime.  The State has to prove that you're guilty, not the other way around.  Oftentimes, your case can be resolved quickly, without a trial.  Sometimes, however, a trial led by a dedicated criminal lawyer is necessary.  Either way, I work with you and explore every option to help you get the best possible result.

Whether you've been ticketed for underage possession of alcohol or arrested and charged with DUI or assault and battery, you're probably in the middle of the most stressful time of your life.  I take the time to understand your position and represent your best interests in court and in negotiations with prosecutors.

Every defendant has a story that needs to be told.  The focus is on you and working toward a result that satisfies you.

Specific Areas of Criminal Practice:

DUI

A DUI or DUAC conviction carries serious consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life.  It may be difficult for you to find a good job, you'll have to pay large fines, and you'll lose your driver's license.  You may even be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car -- you'll have to blow into a machine everytime you want to start your car.  I always take a proactive approach and carefully analyze the State's evidence and allegations against you.  There are many ways for a defense attorney to challenge DUI or DUAC charges.  If you need help with a DUI or other alcohol-related criminal charge, contact me or send me an email.

Livability Court & Magistrate's Court

Charleston is the only city in the United States with a Livability Court.  You will have to appear in Livability or Magistrate's (city) Court if you are accused of a relatively minor crime, like underage possession of alcohol or trespassing.  Magistrate's Court also hears traffic cases.  Even though these are "lower" criminal courts, you still have the same rights as you would in General Sessions Court, including the right to a jury trial and to challenge the prosecution's case against you.  Even though these courts handle relatively minor crimes and are in some ways less formal than General Sessions, a criminal conviction in Livability or Magistrate's Court leaves you with a criminal background.

Drug Charges

Even though you might not go to jail for a simple possession of marijuana conviction, it's still a serious problem to be charged with any type of drug crime.  It's important to understand the extra consequences a drug conviction carries.  You can lose your driver's license and any government or financial aid for college, just to name two.  You also might not be able to find the type of job you want with a drug conviction in your background.  Contact me, and I'll review your case.  If it's your first offense, you may be eligible to participate in a drug education program and have your arrest expunged.  We'll work together to find the best way to pursue a favorable outcome.

Violent Crimes

If you're being charged or questioned in connection with a violent crime, you should seek an attorney immediately.  The Solicitor may be willing to negotiate with an attorney who can help them understand the full circumstances involved.  A conviction for a violent crime can seriously undermine your future, affecting job opportunities and other privileges.  Even a simple assault and battery charge can carry significant consequences.  Contact me to set up a meeting where we'll discuss the best way to resolve your violent crime charge either in or out of court.

It's always best to get out in front of your charges as soon as possible to make sure we prepare the best defense available.  Even if your particular charge doesn't fit into the categories above, you can still contact me to discuss your case, as I offer representation for a full range of criminal charges.