What to do if You are arrested in South Carolina.
What to do if you get arrested. When do you go to court? Should you talk to police about your charge? What’s your first step?
Hi, my name is Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, SC. Today we’re talking about what you should do following your arrest in South Carolina.
Step #1 – Get out of jail
The first thing you should focus on is getting out of jail. It sounds obvious but there is both a personal and legal basis for this. First, is that being locked up is not something that anybody wants to experience, not only can it take a personal toll on you, but it can it personally impact, your family, your loved ones and your job. Secondly, being in jail puts you at a legal disadvantage. It’s harder to participate in your own defense from jail, and often times people make decisions on the resolution in their case based on getting out of jail rather than on the facts or evidence in the case. I certainly don’t fault anyone for doing that but because of that pressure of being in jail I have made this the number factor after your arrest.
The good news is that you will have a bond hearing in front of a Magistrate or Municipal judge typically with 24 hours but if that judge does not have jurisdiction to hear the charge then you will have to wait for a circuit judge and now you are looking at a minimum of 30 days before a judge makes a decision to give you a bond.
Step #2 – Don’t talk to police
Next is don’t talk to police, at least not without a lawyer. You’re not going to talk your way out of it because they already think you’re guilty, thy are the ones who drafted the warrant to make the arrest in the first place. Don’t make the situation any worse than it already is. Right now you should be thinking damage control and getting a lawyer to help you navigate the best path forward for you.
Step #3 – Discovery
You need to see the discovery in the case, that is all the evidence the state claims to have against you, so you know what you are dealing. A lawyer can help you with that and look for any defenses you may have such as misidentification, an illegal search, self-defense, being merely present at the crime scene rather than a participant or co-defendant.
Step #4 – Preliminary hearing
If your case is in general sessions, then you should always request a preliminary hearing. This gives you attorney a chance to challenge the facts in the case while the officer is under oath. The only other chance you will have is in trial and that may be too late depending on the facts and evidence.
Once you have all the evidence and have reviewed any defense that may be available, your attorney will start to move towards a resolution of the case.
So, if you follow these basic steps you will be in a better position make an informed decision in your case, I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.