When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Aiken, SC


If you have been accused of a crime, the only thing standing between your continued freedom and harsh legal penalties is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Aiken, SC. That may seem harsh, but in this time of turmoil and uncertainty, having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key. Because the truth is that dealing with legal charges in Aiken can be a highly distressing ordeal, with even minor violations causing a considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships, and even alienation from loved ones.

At Theos Law Firm, we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has years of experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and can move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases and sexual misconduct offenses, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we have a much better opportunity to achieve the best possible client outcomes.

Service Areas

We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:

  • Homicides
  • Drug Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Misdemeanor Offenses
  • Federal Offenses
  • More

If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in Aiken, where we'll educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps ahead.

At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Aiken, SC

Understanding Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina


In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum sentence of three years or less are categorized as misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than three years in prison are generally classified as felonies.

State and Federal Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into two categories: state crimes and federal crimes. Classifications are based on whether a crime violates state laws or federal laws. Ultimately, it's up to the prosecutor to decide which category to pursue charges under. State crimes generally include assault, robbery, domestic violence, theft, and rape. Federal crimes, on the other hand, may be more complex and can include computer crime, major drug trafficking, hate crimes, and money laundering. These types of crimes are often investigated by agencies like the FBI or IRS.

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The Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies in South Carolina

Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, resulting in fines or a short stay in a local county jail. Trials and plea deals for these cases move quickly due to their nature.

Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes classified by degrees, with first-degree being the most severe and sixth-degree being the least. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentence of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release, making it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in Aiken, SC.

Plea Deals in South Carolina

It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved outside of court through a plea deal. This allows the defendant to acknowledge their guilt on one or more charges without the need for a trial. Both your criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutor collaborate to come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement, which helps avoid the uncertainties and dangers of a trial. By accepting a plea deal, you may receive a lighter sentence and avoid the anxiety that comes with a lengthy legal battle.

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When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Aiken, SC?


At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.

Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.

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When You've Been Accused or Charged

Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. A defense lawyer can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes like retail theft and cyberstalking to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly.

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When Investigators or Police Question You

As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. If they suspect you of committing a crime but lack sufficient evidence to detain you, they may aim to put you at ease and elicit information that can be used against you. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in Aiken, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage.

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When Authorities Search Your Residence

In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.

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When You Are Wrongly Accused of Committing a Crime

Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When law enforcement, a judge, or a prosecutor accuses you of committing a crime that you didn't do, it can be an arduous task to prove your innocence, especially if you have a prior record. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that your past mistakes should not be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.

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When Your Child Is Involved

The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you think or know that your child has been accused of a crime, it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could ruin their life or result in a longer-than-needed jail sentence.

Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.

Criminal Defense for DUIs in South Carolina


In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.

If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.

Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in Aiken and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Aiken, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:

  • Was your DUI stop legal? If not, your case could be thrown out.
  • Is there enough probable cause or evidence for an arrest? If there is not, it's possible to file a pre-trial motion for your case to be dismissed.
  • Did officers explain implied consent rights? One of the most common errors police make is failing to take this step.
  • Did the police maintain your BAC and breathalyzer results? Breath testing often comes with inherent weaknesses. This can create doubt in a juror's mind.
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Criminal Defense for Drug Cases in South Carolina


If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Aiken or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a Aiken drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.

One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?”

Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:

  • Simple Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Trafficking

However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:

  • Drug Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution Near Schools, Parks, or Playgrounds
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Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Aiken, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Aiken and other cities in South Carolina.

Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD and Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Prescription Pain Killers
  • Fentanyl
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Can I be Arrested for Drug Paraphernalia in South Carolina?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes.” Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.

Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery Cases in South Carolina


If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.

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It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in Aiken, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.

Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:

  • Age of Victim
  • Severity of Injuries Sustained
  • Size and Weight of Accused vs. Size and Weight of Victim
  • Whether or Not the Victim Presses Charges
  • Whether or Not Weapons Were Involved
  • Whether or Not the Victim's Privates Were Touched

Understanding the Degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina

Third Degree

Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.

Second Degree

Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

First Degree

Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent,” and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.

Everyone Deserves a Reliable Criminal Defense Attorney in Aiken, SC


At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.

That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:

  • Thorough Knowledge of South Carolina Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Seasoned Legal Representation in the Courtroom
  • Years of Experience Structuring Plea bargains
  • Ability to Identify Due Process Violations
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients & Vigorous Representation
  • Skilled Negotiation Tactics Involved with Bail, Sentencing, Appeals, and More
  • Familiarity with Local Prosecutors

Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.

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Latest News in Aiken, SC

South Aiken volleyball team wins class 4A upper state championship

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - For the second year in a row, the South Aiken girl’s volleyball earned a spot in the class 4A upper state championship, otherwise known as the state semifinals.Things didn’t go according to plan for the Thoroughbreds last year in this game, but the talented team led by seven seniors was ready to put that heartbreaking loss to Aiken in the rearview mirror.This time, the upper state championship was in their own gym, and the crowd was certainly in their corner on Halloween night....

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - For the second year in a row, the South Aiken girl’s volleyball earned a spot in the class 4A upper state championship, otherwise known as the state semifinals.

Things didn’t go according to plan for the Thoroughbreds last year in this game, but the talented team led by seven seniors was ready to put that heartbreaking loss to Aiken in the rearview mirror.

This time, the upper state championship was in their own gym, and the crowd was certainly in their corner on Halloween night.

MORE | South Aiken volleyball team prepares for upper state

The Thoroughbreds put the Catawba Ridge Copperheads on their heels from the opening serve.

South Aiken won the first set 25 to 13, and with little to no turbulence, the Thoroughbreds won the second set as well 25 to 5.

The Copperheads didn’t take the lead until the third set, but once the home team regained the momentum, it was all over.

This match was shocking over an hour because South Aiken dominated and swept all three sets against Catawba Ridge to punch their ticket to state for the first time since 1988.

“Oh my gosh, it’s amazing. We worked so hard all season. We brought it together on the court, we worked as a team, it was just awesome,” said Annie Dziczkowski, senior.

Katie Roberts, senior, said: “It’s just so great seeing everyone come out here to support us. Like, our student section, all the players, and like the fans, everything, it’s just so great.”

Head Coach Cassie Mckie said: “I’m just so proud of them. I have so many emotions right now. I probably won’t sleep all night and then I will go and teach second graders tomorrow. They’re going to be all hyped up and so am I. They’re going to be jacked up on candy and I’m going to be jacked up on a big win and going to state.”

By getting the job done on their home court, South Aiken is moving on to the class 4A state championship on Saturday at Dreher High School against North Myrtle Beach.

MORE | Former North Augusta football player makes Cypress Point debut

Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

Back to Business: Your CBD Store of Aiken continues to educate through consultation and partnerships

Sponsored contentBack to Business is a sponsored feature. If you want your business to sponsor a future Back to Business, contact Diane Daniell at 803-644-2369 or ddaniell@aikenstandard.com.Your CBD store of Aiken is continuin...

Your CBD store of Aiken is continuing to disprove the misconceptions about cannabidiol through education and partnerships.

It opened as one of the first CBD dedicated storefronts in Aiken six years ago. Since then, they have become a staple in the community, most recently winning an Aiken’s Choice award for best CBD shop.

“It’s a great recognition,” co-owner Jim Olson said. “I think it’s a big deal in Aiken. Aiken’s a really interesting community. They’re very much tied to what’s going on.”

At the beginning, owners MaryEllen and Jim Olson had to explain to people what CBD is and how it differs from marijuana. They said the World Health Organization regards CBD as legal, safe and non-habit forming.

“Still a big part of what we do here is education,” MaryEllen Olson said. “And we had a lot of people that came into our store the first week that we were here saying, ‘We don’t want a pot shop in our community,’ and now they’re all customers of ours.”

Your CBD Store offers a large variety of CBD-based products that help with pain relief, weight loss and more.

CBD is derived differently than marijuana and the biggest difference is that CBD contains minuscule amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive element of marijuana, Jim Olson said. Most of Your CBD products have it removed to contain no THC, he said, but the store does carry some products that have the federal legal amount which is .3% by volume.

“We have a whole line of topical creams, bath bombs, lotions, oils, massage oils, bath soaks, and those are a wonderful product, along with our staple product, the pain relief cream, which we’ve had since the beginning, and we’ve won all kinds of awards on,” MaryEllen Olson said.

They also just introduced a trim product that is meant to assist with weight loss through appetite suppression. The product went through clinical trials where participants reported weight loss as well as improved mood and sleep, she said.

“It’s the THCV that’s in the product,” MaryEllen Olson said. “So, everyone’s familiar with THC for marijuana, THC gives you the munchies, THCV suppresses your appetite.”


She added that the product does not have any additional side effects and does not act as a stimulant.

SunMed products and Your CBD Store has worked with the Association of Professional Pickleball and most recently the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Throughout October, 3% of SunMed’s online product sales were donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to assist with early detection, support services and education.

“This really appeals to a lot of people and has a particular place in my heart because my mom is a breast cancer survivor,” Jim Olson said. “She’s unfortunately now battling Alzheimer’s, but she’s free of her breast cancer and has been for almost 20 years. So, I think this is a good relationship. It’s going to build more awareness.”

The partnership is also beneficial because of the amount of cancer survivors that shop at Your CBD stores, MaryEllen Olson said.

“I feel like it’s just going to continue to bring more awareness to the benefits of CBD, whether you’re just diagnosed, you’re mid treatment or you’re out of treatment and just going on with your life,” she said.

Your CBD Store of Aiken is located off Whiskey Road on Aiken Lane. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Its website is cbdinaiken.com.

Salty Tomatoes, a restaurant and bar, set to open soon in downtown Aiken

The winner of a culinary competition on television is preparing to open a new restaurant and bar in downtown Aiken.Kelsey Lucius will be the owner of Salty Tomatoes at 148 Laurens St. S.W.She appeared on the Food Network show, “Chopped Sweets,” several years ago and defeated three rivals to earn the $10,000 prize for her efforts to create fancy desserts.“It is a phenomenal location,” said Lucius during a telephone interview earlier this week of the Salty Tomatoes’ space, which most recently ...

The winner of a culinary competition on television is preparing to open a new restaurant and bar in downtown Aiken.

Kelsey Lucius will be the owner of Salty Tomatoes at 148 Laurens St. S.W.

She appeared on the Food Network show, “Chopped Sweets,” several years ago and defeated three rivals to earn the $10,000 prize for her efforts to create fancy desserts.

“It is a phenomenal location,” said Lucius during a telephone interview earlier this week of the Salty Tomatoes’ space, which most recently was the home of another restaurant, The Whitney.

“Aiken is such an up-and-coming place right now. I’m very excited,” she added.

Lucius’ plans for Salty Tomatoes call for the eatery to be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday for brunch.

The new restaurant’s launch is scheduled for November.

“We’re looking at being a very casual, pocketbook-friendly option for downtown Aiken,” Lucius said. “We’ll be a quick service café offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ll have a pastry counter and our house-made ice cream.”

Lucius also provided examples of the other kinds of food that Salty Tomatoes will offer.

“We’ll be serving things like a nice steak dinner, a nice scallop dinner and house-made pasta,” she said. “Breakfast will be anything from avocado toast and a smoothie bowl to a nice French toast dish with fresh berries. At lunch there will be nice, casual sandwiches, and we’ll also have salads and pasta available. We’ll have a gluten-free flatbread that is almost like a personal-size pizza.”

Lucius is the owner of the Bottom Line Bakery in Evans, Georgia. A variety of pastries and custom-made cakes are sold there.

Salty Tomatoes customers will be able to order Bottom Line sweet treats for holidays and other special occasions, and they will be available for pickup in Aiken.

Lucius also is in the process of opening a Salty Tomatoes Café in Augusta.

The Aiken Standard previously reported that hotelier Rakesh Jasani, philanthropist and businessman Rob Johnston and their wives would be launching a new restaurant in The Whitney’s former location this past summer.

But that didn’t happen and Jasani, who spoke to the Aiken Standard in April about the plan for eatery, couldn’t be reached for comment prior to the deadline for the publication of this story.

Aiken Olive Garden welcomes nearly 3,000 ‘friends and family’ for soft opening

And then there was never-ending soup, salad and breadsticks.Aiken’s Olive Garden held a ribbon cutting and a soft opening for around 1,000 “friends and family” Friday afternoon. The soft opening continued for another 1,000 people Saturday and is expected to conclude Sunday evening for a slightly smaller amount of people...

And then there was never-ending soup, salad and breadsticks.

Aiken’s Olive Garden held a ribbon cutting and a soft opening for around 1,000 “friends and family” Friday afternoon. The soft opening continued for another 1,000 people Saturday and is expected to conclude Sunday evening for a slightly smaller amount of people.

A soft opening is a preview held to give employees an opportunity to learn and gain experience before a restaurant officially opens.

Many of the restaurant’s 235 seats and 117 parking spaces were filled Saturday morning as people arrived to eat an early lunch.

The Olive Garden is located on an outparcel of the East Gate Shopping Center. It was constructed this year after the former Golden Corral building was demolished.

The Aiken City Council gave final approval for the plans May 9, 2022. The developers needed to have the property rezoned from general business to planned commercial to allow the demolition and construction.

The council approved first reading of an ordinance approving the plans April 25, 2022.

The Aiken Planning Commission recommended approval April 12, 2022.

The official opening of the Olive Garden is slated for 11 a.m. Monday.

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Tiffany’s at the Stables, Almost There Cafe no longer in business

Tiffany’s at the Stables and the Almost There Café have shut their doors for...

Tiffany’s at the Stables and the Almost There Café have shut their doors for good.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that Tiffany’s at the Stables is permanently closed,” wrote the restaurant’s owner, Tiffany Smith, on Facebook on Tuesday. “We apologize for any convenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding and support during this time.

“Due to the situation with the owners of the property … we have made the decision to close the restaurant at this time,” Smith continued. “Thank you for being a part of the Tiffany’s at the Stables family. It was because of you that we made it as far as we did.”

Tiffany’s opened last summer on the grounds of Rose Hill, a Winter Colony estate at 221 Greenville St. N.W. in Aiken.

In his Taste of the Town column for the Aiken Standard, Michael Stern described Tiffany’s as a “colorful” eatery that also is a “beer garden, live music venue and happy hour gathering place.”

The food served there included Creole and Cajun dishes, “fine dining fare” and “souped-up hamburgers,” Stern wrote.

Almost There was at 245 White Pond Road near the Aiken County/Barnwell County line.

The following message appeared on the restaurant’s Facebook page Oct. 7: “Well folks, that’s a wrap! We are now permanently closed. Thanks for all the support and well wishes. I wish you all the best!”

Dawn Redmon, who owned Almost There, launched the café in September 2022.

This past August, she announced on Facebook that she had put Almost There up for sale, and that the restaurant would continue to be open and serve “the same great eats you have enjoyed until we can no longer, or until the sale is final.”


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