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 Awendaw, 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 Awendaw 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 Awendaw, 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 Awendaw, 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 Awendaw, 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 Awendaw and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.
To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Awendaw, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:
If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Awendaw 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 Awendaw 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 Awendaw, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Awendaw 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 Awendaw, 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.
A $5 million federal investment will soon add 446 acres of land along the South Carolina shoreline.CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A $5 million federal investment will soon add 446 acres of land along the South Carolina shoreline.Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is currently made up of 22 miles of barrier islands. Sarah Dawsey, the refuge manager, has been working with nature preservation since she was in high school and joined the Youth Conservation Corps.“This has been a lifelong goal for me. I mean, I can&r...
A $5 million federal investment will soon add 446 acres of land along the South Carolina shoreline.
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A $5 million federal investment will soon add 446 acres of land along the South Carolina shoreline.
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is currently made up of 22 miles of barrier islands. Sarah Dawsey, the refuge manager, has been working with nature preservation since she was in high school and joined the Youth Conservation Corps.
“This has been a lifelong goal for me. I mean, I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am to get this money. We have barrier islands, the refuge is barrier islands, and they’re only accessible by boat,” Dawsey says.
Coastal Expeditions does run a ferry to Bulls Island for a fee so those interested can visit for the day. There is a public dock on the island for those with boats to use as well.
“This money will allow us to have a tract on the mainland, where we can have trails, we can have hunting, fishing, environmental education, everything that we do on the islands, but to a greater extent and you don’t have to have a boat so it’s really exciting,” Dawsey says.
She also notes that a mainland tract is a step toward a future corridor connecting the refuge to the Francis Marion National Forest.
Durwin Carter is the project leader for Cape Romain, Ace Basin, Santee and Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuges. He says any addition of land is a huge win for conservation efforts, wildlife and the people nearby who can enjoy it.
“It ties directly into what our mission is. Our mission is essentially working with other partners to conserve these lands and habitats and the critters that use it, for the public to enjoy,” Carter says.
Dawsey and Carter pointed out how erosion from storms and sea level rise are threatening the barrier islands and, in their time at the refuge, they have seen the saltwater breach into ponds on Bulls Island and encroach further into the land each year.
“With the threats happening with development and habitat fragmentation and sea level rise, any additional lands that we can conserve are going to be beneficial. We do what we do for the wildlife, for the habitats and for people to enjoy. But we also do it for future generations to enjoy,” Carter says.
The funding comes from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. The fund is made up from the sale of Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps, and import taxes.
The refuge has a visitors center located off Highway 17 where people can learn more about the conservation work and migratory bird protection the islands offer. Dawsey says people are always welcome to visit Bulls Island as long as they come with respect for the wildlife and leave it as they found it.
“If you see birds flying around or acting unusual or dive bombing you, that’s a signal that you’re close to their nest and they’re just trying to protect their babies,” Dawsey says.
Cape Romain is home to more than 290 bird species that migrate through the area as well as other animals like alligators, deer and sea turtles.
“We are just winding up our field season, so we have a really big loggerhead sea turtle project, it’s seven days a week. We do a lot of posting for birds and stewarding to keep people out of the bird areas and educating people on why it’s important,” Dawsey says.
Carter says his staff and volunteers are grateful for the land the refuge currently gets to take care of. They are looking forward to the expansion once the sale is finalized and eventually to hosting wildlife and visitors on the new mainland tracts.
“We’re really lucky to have the jobs that we have because they really enjoy their time out on the water of Cape Romain; really enjoy their times out on the trails, enjoy their times out appreciating the refuge, doing birdwatching, fishing, hunting, whatever it is, we’re constantly reminded of how great our jobs are because we get a chance to see this every day,” Carter says.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
The town of Awendaw was incorporated more than three decades ago, not so much to provide municipal services but to let residents control their planning and zoning decisions rather than relying on county government. In recent years, however, that job has become increasingly challenging because Mount Pleasant is running out of large developable sites, our region’s continued growth is creating dramatic demand for more housing and Awendaw’s location helps it retain much of its rural charm, wedged as it is between two environmental tr...
The town of Awendaw was incorporated more than three decades ago, not so much to provide municipal services but to let residents control their planning and zoning decisions rather than relying on county government. In recent years, however, that job has become increasingly challenging because Mount Pleasant is running out of large developable sites, our region’s continued growth is creating dramatic demand for more housing and Awendaw’s location helps it retain much of its rural charm, wedged as it is between two environmental treasures of national significance: the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and the Francis Marion National Forest.
It’s more important than ever that town officials recognize the growing importance and intensity of their planning work — and rise to the occasion to protect the relaxed, rural ambiance that has defined this part of South Carolina’s coast.
There are some encouraging signs.
A year ago, we lamented proposals to develop two large subdivisions, with 249 and 204 homes respectively, to be served by individual septic tanks since there are no sewer lines in the town. Those are still in the permitting stages and we hope they will be scaled back if they’re built at all. They certainly underscore the need for state regulators to consider the cumulative impact of large subdivisions with dozens, even hundreds, of septic tanks that can compromise nearby waterways, as they have done along Shem and James Island creeks.
But the encouraging news is when yet another septic-tank subdivision was proposed recently, the Awendaw Planning Commission voted unanimously against Sewee Landing’s 72 homes on 50 acres. At the same meeting, the commission recommended an update of the town’s planned development ordinance that these subdivisions had relied on.
Awendaw Town Council could consider both the subdivision proposal and the ordinance rewrite as early as this week, and we urge council members to follow their planning commissioners’ advice.
Even when a septic system is well-maintained, it can face problems if the water table is too high, and rising groundwater can carry the resulting contaminants to rivers and marshes, a problem that’s expected to grow more acute as climate change pushes sea levels higher. Awendaw’s proximity to the pristine Cape Romain makes it a desirable place to live, but too many septic tanks too close to the refuge (and too close to each other) could taint the very thing that makes the area an attractive place to visit and to live.
These developments don’t pose a threat simply because they would rely on septic systems. They also would increase the amount of impervious surface and stormwater runoff, exacerbate habitat loss and degrade the community’s rural character.
Awendaw is a small town that seems to have been pushed around at times. Its deal for a new park to be created by then-Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey in exchange for Mr. Summey’s right to mine dirt on the park site ended badly. The mining stopped in 2019, but the town had to sue to try to get an accounting of what was done there; the park itself is still a distant dream. In another part of town, the King Tract mine was allowed to expand even though it had been hit with more than a dozen water quality violations.
So we’re encouraged that there’s a proactive solution in the works. Awendaw is drafting a new comprehensive plan to replace one that’s 13 years old. This process will provide town leaders, residents and others a perfect chance to forge a shared vision of how the town should manage growth, and they should make sure they make the most of this chance.
After all, the pressures on their town are only expected to intensify in the years to come.
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AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) — For the past three years, two months, and 17 days, Middleton & Maker Village Barbeque has been providing good food for a good cause, and has provided a safe space for customers.“It’s a backyard family reunion type of effect," said Eliot Middleton, one of the co-owners of the popular business....
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) — For the past three years, two months, and 17 days, Middleton & Maker Village Barbeque has been providing good food for a good cause, and has provided a safe space for customers.
“It’s a backyard family reunion type of effect," said Eliot Middleton, one of the co-owners of the popular business.
This family reunion started back in 2016 as a mobile business bringing barbeque to different areas throughout the Lowcountry, but once those wheels parked, the business began to grow.
"From that opportunity coming into this opportunity with this restaurant being available and getting this literally two days before Covid start, so it’s just been a very strong strong battle for the last four years," Middleton said.
Middleton's passion didn't stop there. After realizing transportation was hard to come by for some people, his love to help the community kicked in.
“On the Middleton side, whatever profits I get from the restaurant, it all went back into the cars and making sure I could fix and develop cars that needed," Middleton said.
Unfortunately, the popular BBQ spot, located on 5105 N HWY 17 in Awendaw, will be closing due to new development plans moving into the area. But the business is now going back to its roots.
“We’re going back mobile. It’s going to be Middleton’s Village Mobile Barbeque LLC, and we’re going to be in all of the other areas and counties, and we’re going to do more community-oriented events," Middleton said.
Despite the change in locations, the passion remains, and the village will only grow.
"And they say if you build it they will come, and that’s what we did here—we built it, and people are coming," said Charles Maker, co-owner of Middleton & Maker Village BBQ.
Middleton and Maker will also start having village field days throughout the community for people of all ages to come out, play games and get some good food.
Middleton's service to his community dates back years. In October 2020, he was recognized with the Jefferson Award after he started fixing up old cars and giving them out to people in need of reliable transportation.
Birders, photographers, and Flamingo enthusiasts join Coastal Expeditions on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023 at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge on Bulls Island. (Sam Griswold/WCIV)Awendaw, S.C. (WCIV) — “If you come out here enough, you’re going to find something really, really crazy, eventually.”That's exactly what happened for Coastal Expeditions' Naturalist Annie Owen on Friday at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge on Bulls Island.Boat is the only way to the South Carolina coastal i...
Birders, photographers, and Flamingo enthusiasts join Coastal Expeditions on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023 at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge on Bulls Island. (Sam Griswold/WCIV)
Awendaw, S.C. (WCIV) — “If you come out here enough, you’re going to find something really, really crazy, eventually.”
That's exactly what happened for Coastal Expeditions' Naturalist Annie Owen on Friday at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge on Bulls Island.
Boat is the only way to the South Carolina coastal island near Awendaw, and the charter company is the federally designated concessionaire to the refuge. Friday, Owen was surveying parts of the island after Hurricane Idalia had passed through earlier in the week. That's when she spotted the pair of pink birds she knew weren't the "usual suspects."
"There are pink birds that we expect to see on Bulls Island and in South Carolina this time of year – which would be the Roseate Spoonbill. And, right off the bat it was very clear that those were not two Roseate Spoonbills, that they were actually Flamingos," says Owen. She conferred later in the day with two others who had made the sightings independently.
Over the course of the weekend, social media "blew up" with reports of Flamingos - not just in South Carolina - but across the Eastern U.S., from Florida to Ohio. The consensus? These birds - that normally make their home in places in the Caribbean like Cuba, Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula - were displaced due to the effects of Hurricane Idalia.
“I heard about it on social media, and I found out that they were here. And, I was like, 'Mom, we got to go,'” says Amanda Vargo, a Flamingo enthusiast from Folly Beach.
Vargo elected to close her artisan boutique Folly Sol on Tuesday so she could join the crowd on Coastal Expedition's ferry excursion to the island.
Vargo developed her love for the pink-feathered fliers when friends threw her a Flamingo-themed birthday party. "I’ve got flamingo artwork. And, I’ve seen them in zoos, but never in the wild,” says Vargo.
Expert birders, enthusiasts, and photographers filled the ferry Tuesday morning hoping at least one of the two birds remained. The group's first stop on the island garnered success - with a look at the bird about a 1/2 mile away, but another vantage point gave way to some closer looks.
Owen says while this week's sightings of the American Flamingos stands out - the rewards Bulls Island has to offer are liable to make a "birder" out of anyone who loves nature.
“In a place like this you have no option but to be. Once you start learning about it you just can’t stop." Owen continues," You see your first - not even Flamingo level stuff - this is really cool for anybody. But, you see your first Painted Bunting - which is colors you didn’t even know existed. It’s just really spectacular.”
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - The Awendaw McClellanville-Fire Department is celebrating a historic milestone for its team.Firefighter Kohen Etheredge and engineer Isaiah Graham became the district’s first all African-American crew to be assigned to an engine company, last week.“At first like I said we thought it was a joke,” Graham said. “Because Chief just pulls up and he’s like, ‘Hey the big Chief is here.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh somebody probably got in trouble,’ Graham and Eth...
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - The Awendaw McClellanville-Fire Department is celebrating a historic milestone for its team.
Firefighter Kohen Etheredge and engineer Isaiah Graham became the district’s first all African-American crew to be assigned to an engine company, last week.
“At first like I said we thought it was a joke,” Graham said. “Because Chief just pulls up and he’s like, ‘Hey the big Chief is here.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh somebody probably got in trouble,’ Graham and Etheredge laughed. “We thought we were getting fired.”
Graham has been with the Awendaw-McClellanville Fire Department for about a year and a half, while Etheredge has been there since July. Both were shocked to learn they were making local history just by working to protect the almost 11,000 people of unincorporated Mt. Pleasant.
“We was like, ‘No. No way!’ Graham said. “Yeah it was really awesome. It was. I’m not going to lie. Just to see just now in 2023, it’s kind of crazy to me to think about it.”
They said the staffing move is being well-received in the Awendaw-McCellanville community, which is upwards of 85% African American, according to the department.
“When you hop out of the truck and people see that it’s you, they feel a lot better. They’re like, ‘He looks like me.’ You know, ‘He’s going to take care of me. He knows the terminology that I’m going to use.’ Like they’re in good hands,” Etheredge said.
“I just like being a part of something bigger than me,” Graham said.
Their presence is opening a larger conversation of diverse representation among first responders. Of a crew of 33, the department cites having seven African-Americans, one Latino-American and three women, marking the first time it’s had that many people of color and women working at the same time.
The team includes engineer Ebony Jenkins, who’s been with the department for two years, firefighter Brooke Barr, who’s been with the department for 16 months, firefighter Ethel Mezyck, who’s been with the department for about two months and firefighter Sarah Coker.
“You don’t normally see a lot of females in the service like this,” Coker said. “It’s not as common. So it’s cool to just be one and be able to represent. We can do it just like everyone else can.”
Coker explains much of her work as a firefighter includes fire prevention within the community, giving her a chance to connect with those living in the area.
“It’s also a lot of fun like seeing little girls and they come up and they get excited and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh! Like a girl is doing this.’ I have a lot of little girls say that before and I take them personally and bring them around in the truck. It’s very nice to be able to do that.”
Chief Shaun Gadsden said representing people from all walks of life was an important element of staffing the department.
“We live in a diverse and we work in a diverse community. And I think it’s important that our department you know reflects our community,” Gadsden said.
As for what the future holds for the Awendaw-McClellanville Fire Department, Gadsden said you can expect more milestones to come.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.