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 Augusta, 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 Augusta 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.
We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:
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 Augusta, 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.
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.
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.
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 Augusta, SC.
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.
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.
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.
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 Augusta, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage.
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.
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.
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.
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 Augusta and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.
To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:
If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Augusta 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 Augusta 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?â
Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:
However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:
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 Augusta, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Augusta and other cities in South Carolina.
Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:
The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes.â 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.
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.
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 Augusta, 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:
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.
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.
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,â and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.
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:
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.
More than 170 acres of North Augusta property are looking to be turned into new homes and businesses. But while the city looks to grow, many neighbors are only growing in worry.On Monday, North Augusta gave its initial approval to The Hive, a mixed-use development in an area southeast of West Martintown Road and I-20. While there are homes and a few businesses in this area, this would really fill up the space.The residential portion of the plan is a mix of detached single-family residences, townhomes and apartmen...
More than 170 acres of North Augusta property are looking to be turned into new homes and businesses. But while the city looks to grow, many neighbors are only growing in worry.
On Monday, North Augusta gave its initial approval to The Hive, a mixed-use development in an area southeast of West Martintown Road and I-20. While there are homes and a few businesses in this area, this would really fill up the space.
The residential portion of the plan is a mix of detached single-family residences, townhomes and apartments. In total, it would create more than 600 homes. About 27 acres has been designated for commercial use, and while the list of new businesses is still being nailed down, one of the developers, Bobby Bagwell, said Lowes Foods has expressed interest. If built, it would be the only nearby grocery store for many residents.
Fun in the Sun:Here are some Augusta-area festivities coming this summer
However, several people who live near the proposed development expressed how upset they were over their quiet neighborhoods seeing huge boosts in traffic because of the project. Part of the plan is to use Pinion Road as a connector for ease of access to first responders, and residents like Jean Norris found this particularly frustrating.
"The safety overall, the appeal of our neighborhood, it's just not going to be there anymore," Norris said. "Those that have moved away from other neighborhoods into Pinion to have that quiet atmosphere, we're not going to have that anymore."
The Pinion Road residents also cited a neighborhood covenant established more than 50 years ago which potentially gives them certain protections in these matters. North Augusta's City Attorney Kelly Zier could not definitively comment on this without investigating further. The developers explained that there are currently no other options to replace the connector and it was already part of the masterplan, but they spoke with the residents following the meeting and said they would look over the covenant and discuss it further.
Another resident that lives on Wellington Road expressed concern over many natural backyards disappearing and residents losing that privacy with all of the new buildings. He requested some kind of natural buffer be included, which the developers and North Augusta City Council agreed to.
These were some of the highlights of an ongoing debate between city council, residents, and the developers, and it's likely not to be the last. The council will review and give a final vote on the plan's latest details during their next meeting at 6 p.m. June 19.
There’s a new course coming to Augusta.North Augusta, that is.We should specify: North Augusta, South Carolina. Still, the point remains: there’s a new course in the works less than five miles from Augusta National.Some sleuthing from Eureka Earth first uncovered the all-new website for Cypress Shoals, a 1,742-acre planned development self-ide...
There’s a new course coming to Augusta.
North Augusta, that is.
We should specify: North Augusta, South Carolina. Still, the point remains: there’s a new course in the works less than five miles from Augusta National.
Some sleuthing from Eureka Earth first uncovered the all-new website for Cypress Shoals, a 1,742-acre planned development self-identifying as “Augusta, Reimagined” and “America’s Next Great Masterpiece.”
The website emphasizes that Cypress Shoals will be a spot for “outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy active lifestyles.” But there’s a clear selling point highlighted by one line near the top:
4.5 MILES FROM THE AUGUSTA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB
That brings us to the golf. Cypress Shoals plans to eventually have two 18-hole courses, but we only know about one of ’em right now: the first course will be designed by Tom Watson.
Watson’s name carries weight in most golfing towns, but this one especially: Watson won the Masters in 1977 and 1981, two of his eight major championships. He played in his final Masters in 2016, but at last year’s Masters he joined Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as Augusta National’s honorary starters. That connection is not lost on Cypress Shoals, which cites “the mind of the man with the magic touch” as well as his brand recognition.
“Adding Watson’s signature touch to Cypress Shoals not only broadens its appeal to golfers but also assures the value his name brings to enhancing a luxury lifestyle.”
The planned courses would mark significant additions to the area’s golf offerings, making it a particularly intriguing place to have access to during Masters Week. There are others, of course — Augusta Country Club sits next door to Augusta National, Champions Retreat is just a short drive away, Forest Hills is the home course to Augusta University, Aiken Golf Club is a hidden gem and The Patch is a beloved local muni — but nothing this close and this massive in scope.
They hammer that point home on the website: “Cypress Shoals’ close proximity to the Augusta National Golf Club allows it to be equally suited for guests that can take advantage of its hospitality offerings for conferences, conventions, and corporate retreats.
“For both interests, whether it be a resident or guest, we look for Cypress Shoals to be fertile ground for establishing lasting connections that create enduring legacies.”
There’s no clear timetable for Cypress Shoals’ development. Nor can we guarantee it will happen exactly as planned. But if it does…
Earlier this year, a series of rumors circulated around social media — and then in real life — that LIV had bought land in the Augusta area for a new golf course and potential tournament venue. “The rumor mill around Augusta is reaching a fever pitch,” tweeted one account, Tour Junkies, citing an alleged purchase on the other side of the Savannah River. An accompanying viral TikTok spawned a series of speculative blogs. The rumors involved a theoretical Coore and Crenshaw design.
But one landowner and then the North Augusta mayor, Britton Williams, each denied those. Ben Crenshaw denied it, too.
“Land is being bought. I think we all know that. I can assure you there’s nothing that I’ve heard of, know anything about LIV,” Williams said in a conversation with WJBF. “That is a rumor. That’s not happening.”
One possible reason for confusion? A company called “LIV Development” has a 280-unit community called Ironwood as part of its portfolio in North Augusta, just down the Savannah River from the proposed Cypress Shoals site. LIV Development is based in Birmingham, Ala. and is not related to the golf league. But Ironwood is just down the Savannah River from the new proposed development.
As for Cypress Shoals? It’s just across the Savannah River on the South Carolina side, bounded by the river on one side and West Martintown Road, and Interstate 20 on two others. The land is just 10-15 minutes from the front gates of Augusta National. Except during tournament week, of course. The whole town works differently during the second week of April.
The vision for Cypress Shoals is expansive: a 1,742-acre mixed-use development with plenty of places to stay and play.
The “stay” include 200 residential lots, 60 “club condominiums,” 20 “golf cottages,” 40 “luxury cabins”, a conference hotel with 40 villas and a planned boutique riverfront inn.
The “play” includes the 36-hole golf vision, plus a nine-hole short course, golf swing suites and a learning and performance facility. Equestrian facilities are planned, too, to go with 30 miles of hiking trails as well as a 624-acre hunting and fishing preserve with private lodge, gunroom, and on-site gunsmith. The property borders both the Savannah River and Sumter National Forest.
There are also two islands intended for use as “private reserves.”
And, depending on time of the year, there might even be a high-profile golf tournament going on nearby.
You can read more here.
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the new detour on the South Carolina side starts Thursday night, learn about what to expect and who will be mostly impacted on the road.MORE | Roadwork shuts down part of 13th Street for rest of the yearDriving over the state line may get messy once more for about two months, as crews work to build more lanes from exit one, right across the Savannah River bridge on I-...
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the new detour on the South Carolina side starts Thursday night, learn about what to expect and who will be mostly impacted on the road.
Driving over the state line may get messy once more for about two months, as crews work to build more lanes from exit one, right across the Savannah River bridge on I-20.
The I-20 construction project at the state line is nearing its fourth full year.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is warning you to slow down as you’re approaching Exit 1.
Although the detour will only apply to people visiting the welcome center, it could cause delays for anyone exiting eastbound I-20 at Martintown Road in North Augusta.
MORE FROM NEWS 12:
The detour will start overnight Thursday and is planned to last around two months as part of the I-20 and Savannah River bridge improvements.
As weather allows, crews will close the auxiliary lane to continue work on the roadway.
People leaving the welcome center will need to use Exit 1 at Martintown Road, make a slight left onto Martintown and continue right onto I-20.
The roadwork will only affect trucks and cars stopping at the welcome center. So if you aren’t stopping, one lane will still be open.
But if you are trying to get off I-20 at Exit 1, Martintown Road, there will be a backup, so it’s important to slow down, officials say.
The welcome center will remain open and accessible during this time, according to officials.
We talked to some who say this roadwork will be messy.
“They’re doing road work and bridge work. And so, the exit for this location is very narrow and has the potential for accidents. It’s hard to see. And it’s very easy to miss,” said Skip Playford.
Exit 1 is known lately for its narrow cement barriers and large supply of orange barrels. With constant construction, Playford says it’s a route he tries to avoid.
“They changed it, and they’re fixing to change it again. So, the memory thing doesn’t always work unless you travel it a lot. And I think at this point, I’ve decided to try to avoid that area, you know, just altogether,” said Playford. “I wish there was another way they could do it. But I understand roads need repairing, replacing, because we complain about the roads enough. And we want people that we want to do something about it. But they also need to do it in a safe manner.”
Georgia Department of Transportation say within the next two months they are grading for new roadway, asphalt and concrete paving and putting up barrier wall replacements.
The change will cut off the ability to merge back onto I-20 from the rest stop, diverting drivers to Exit 1 to get back on I-20. It’s something Playford says if drivers from this area don’t pay attention to, there will be issues.
“Somebody’s not paying attention, going too fast for conditions. If they hit one of those barriers, they are designed to bounce the car back over, so you don’t go over them. They work very well. But they almost work too well, because you’ll end up pinballing back and forth. And if other cars are involved, it’s just a mess,” he said.
Drivers can expect issues in downtown Augusta, too.
Officials say 13th Street between Telfair and Walker streets is closed to thru traffic due to repair work on the bridge over the Augusta Canal that started over the weekend.
All traffic will be detoured using 12th Street for the rest of the year.
Try to find alternate routes and expect heavy traffic delays.
Also downtown, CSX will close the railroad crossing between Twiggs and Fifth streets from 9 a.m. Aug. to 5 p.m. Aug. 18. The railroad will install a new switch near the crossing.
There are also a few ongoing and upcoming lane closures in Columbia County:
Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A local resident is relieved that an alligator has been removed from her backyard pond.We spoke to Sally Wertz last week when she was afraid to go outside because of the reptile that had taken up residence in the pond.But on Tuesday, the 8-foot alligator was removed and euthanized by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.S...
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A local resident is relieved that an alligator has been removed from her backyard pond.
We spoke to Sally Wertz last week when she was afraid to go outside because of the reptile that had taken up residence in the pond.
But on Tuesday, the 8-foot alligator was removed and euthanized by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources staff removes alligator from North Augusta pond with fishing poles and hooks
Sally’s world has been turned upside down.
“So it’s just been a big mess. It’s still an inconvenience for me and my neighbors. It’s just been difficult,” said Wertz.
She has been scared to go outside because of an alligator taking over her backyard pond since last Thursday.
“I’m still on pins and needles. I can’t walk out in my backyard. He’s not afraid,” said Wertz.
Wertz had been trying for a few days to get authorities to remove the reptile.
On Tuesday, South Carolina DNR came out to handle the situation.
“So they may be unsafe, they may be aggressive, they may have been fed and habituated to people. But something that’s happened is that the public is unable to coexist with that animal. And so when that happens, unfortunately, we do euthanize those animals, we have nowhere to put them,” said Will Dillman, SCDNR Assistant Chief of Wildlife.
Around the pond on Tuesday, crushed bushes showed where the gator had been in its quest for food.
Wertz said she’s been in the home for decades, and the alligator only recently moved into the pond.
“With this warm weather, we’re seeing alligators move around quite a bit, you know, they’re trying to get places they’re trying to escape the heat, just like we are, you know, we try to stress to people that alligators are a natural part of South Carolina’s environment,” said Dillman.
SCDNR said the alligator was eight and a half feet long, and due to its size, it had to be euthanized. DNR also says if they were to place it a few ponds away, it would make its way back to where they caught it.
“I’m thinking to myself, being an older person that has physical handicaps, I don’t want this thing chasing me,” she told News 12 last week when she was trying to get different agencies to come out and do something about the beast.
“This has been my property or my parents’ property for over 60 years,” she said. “And we’ve never had a gator in the pond.”
Since the alligator is captured now the neighborhood can go back to how it was.
“We can go back to somewhat normal lives. But I’ll still be wary. And I’ll still keep an eye out in case this one managed call up a mate, because you never know,” said Wertz.
WHAT TO KNOW:
Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.
Chief John Thomas of North Augusta Department of Public Safety announced Sept. 25 that he will retire at the end of the year after 42 years in public safety.Thomas joined North Augusta in 2009 and will continue serving as chief through Dec. 29.“This has been a very difficult decision on my part,” Thomas said. “But...
Chief John Thomas of North Augusta Department of Public Safety announced Sept. 25 that he will retire at the end of the year after 42 years in public safety.
Thomas joined North Augusta in 2009 and will continue serving as chief through Dec. 29.
“This has been a very difficult decision on my part,” Thomas said. “But after 42 years, I think it’s time to do something different.”
Thomas said he was grateful for the support of those who live in the city and of those who have served on North Augusta City Council during his time with the department.
“I think we’ve accomplished a lot, and that’s because of the great people that surround me now,” he said.
Shortly after Thomas started with North Augusta, he and now recently retired Patrol Capt. Billy Luckey had pushed for the city to OK the formation of its SWAT Team.
Much more recently, in October 2022, Thomas welcomed the opening of North Augusta’s new Fire Station No. 1.
He’s also been at the helm as the city has gone through the process of designing and now constructing the new Public Safety headquarters, an undertaking that is expected to turn operational by end of 2025.
Thomas was chief when North Augusta Public Safety first gained national accreditation for best practices in law enforcement, a designation the department again pursued this past year and again attained.
“We are in a really nice position with our Public Safety,” Mayor Briton Williams said Monday. “And at the end of the day, our citizens are protected, and you’ve done that for over 14 years. Thank you for that.”
City administrator Jim Clifford said the city has not begun its search for a new chief but will do so soon with the hope of filling the position before Thomas leaves.