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

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Georgetown, SC

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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 Georgetown, 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 Georgetown 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 Georgetown, 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.

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Understanding Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

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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 Georgetown, 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 Georgetown, SC?

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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 Georgetown, 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

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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 Georgetown and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown, 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

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If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Georgetown 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 Georgetown 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 Georgetown, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Georgetown 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

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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 Georgetown, 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 Georgetown, SC

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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 Georgetown, SC

Track Covid-19 in Georgetown County, S.C.

Daily Covid-19 admissions in the Georgetown County areaAbout the dataData is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalization data is a daily average of Covid-19 patients in hospital service areas that intersect with Georgetown County, an area which may be larger than Georgetown County itself.The number of daily hospital admissions shows how many patients tested positive for Covid in hospitals and is one of the most reliably reported indicators of Covid’s impact on ...

Daily Covid-19 admissions in the Georgetown County area

About the data

Data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalization data is a daily average of Covid-19 patients in hospital service areas that intersect with Georgetown County, an area which may be larger than Georgetown County itself.

The number of daily hospital admissions shows how many patients tested positive for Covid in hospitals and is one of the most reliably reported indicators of Covid’s impact on a community.

Total population

Ages 65 and up

Total population

Ages 65 and up

An updated vaccine is recommended for adults and most children. Statewide, 7% of vaccinations did not specify a home county.

Nearby hospitals

Share of I.C.U. beds occupied

About this data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notes: The hospitals map shows the average I.C.U. occupancy at nearby hospitals in the most recent week with data reported. The data is self-reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by individual hospitals. It excludes counts from hospitals operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service. Numbers for hospitalized patients are based on inpatient beds and include I.C.U. beds. Hospitalized Covid-19 patients include both confirmed and suspected Covid-19 patients. The C.D.C. stopped reporting data on cases in May 2023.

How trends have changed in Georgetown County

About this data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notes: Weekly county death data prior to Jan. 2021 was not reported by the C.D.C. and is sourced from reporting by The New York Times. Hospitalization data is a weekly average of Covid-19 patients in hospital service areas that intersect with Georgetown County. Hospitalization numbers early in the pandemic are undercounts due to incomplete reporting by hospitals to the federal government.

Historical trends in Georgetown County

The data in these charts has been archived and they are no longer being updated.

About this data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data in these charts has been archived and they are no longer being updated. Weekly county case data prior to Jan. 2021 was not reported by the C.D.C. and is sourced from reporting by The New York Times. The C.D.C. stopped reporting data on cases in May 2023. Test positivity data is based only on test results reported to the federal government and is a seven-day average.

By Jon Huang, Samuel Jacoby, Jasmine C. Lee, John-Michael Murphy, Charlie Smart and Albert Sun. Additional reporting by Sarah Cahalan, Lisa Waananen Jones, Amy Schoenfeld Walker and Josh Williams. See a full list of contributors to The Times’s Covid-19 data reporting here.

About the data

Data on this page is reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Population and demographic data is from the U.S. Census Bureau. Hospitalization data is reported by individual hospitals to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and it includes confirmed and suspected adult and pediatric patients. The C.D.C. does not provide complete vaccinations data for some counties and caps its vaccination rate figures at 95 percent.

The C.D.C. may make historical updates as more data is reported.

The C.D.C. stopped reporting data on Covid cases in May 2023.

Bill Murray was spotted at a South Carolina restaurant. Here's why that's not surprising

While it certainly made someone's day to see the Ghostbusters star, seeing Murray along the South Carolina coast isn't as rare as seeing a ghost might be.GEORGETOWN, S.C. — Beloved actor and comedian Bill Murray made quite the impression Monday night when he stopped into Root in Georgetown, South Carolina for dinner."The legend!!" a Face...

While it certainly made someone's day to see the Ghostbusters star, seeing Murray along the South Carolina coast isn't as rare as seeing a ghost might be.

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — Beloved actor and comedian Bill Murray made quite the impression Monday night when he stopped into Root in Georgetown, South Carolina for dinner.

"The legend!!" a Facebook post from the restaurant reads. "We were super excited to have BILL MURRAY stop by for dinner tonight. Our sous chef Micah got an awesome picture with him. One of the funniest men on the planet is also one of the coolest!!"

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app and enable push notifications.

While it certainly made someone's day to see the Ghostbusters star, seeing Murray along the South Carolina coast isn't as rare as seeing a ghost might be. Murray owns a house in Charleston and co-owns the Charleston restaurant Harold’s Cabin.

Georgetown is about an hour north of Charleston.

The legend!! We were super excited to have BILL MURRAY stop by for dinner tonight. Our sous chef Micah got an awesome picture with him. One of the funniest men on the planet is also one of the coolest!! Do you have a favorite Bill Murray movie?

#dineat919 #rootrestaurant #chophousemenu #georgetownsc #pawleysisland #murrellsinlet #MyrtleBeach #billmurray #funniestmanalive #legend #supportlocal #SupportSmallBusiness

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‘Getting bombarded’: Georgetown looks to regulate short-term vacation rentals

GEORGETOWN — Short-term vacation rentals such as Airbnbs and Vrbos could soon face additional regulations in Georgetown as city leaders seek to avoid the problems that other South Carolina tourist destinations have faced with these properties.City ordinances already define short-term rentals, but the city has never outlined which areas can offer this type of activity.“A lot of municipalities are being impacted by short-term vacation rentals,” said Robert Cox, the city’s interim director of planning and c...

GEORGETOWN — Short-term vacation rentals such as Airbnbs and Vrbos could soon face additional regulations in Georgetown as city leaders seek to avoid the problems that other South Carolina tourist destinations have faced with these properties.

City ordinances already define short-term rentals, but the city has never outlined which areas can offer this type of activity.

“A lot of municipalities are being impacted by short-term vacation rentals,” said Robert Cox, the city’s interim director of planning and community development. “Whether that be parking, whether that be revenue, getting no revenue, whatever. Places like Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms, city of Charleston, Moncks Corner, Summerville to name a few, are just getting bombarded like we are.”

The lack of zoning was discovered by Zoning Administrator Peter Gaytan when he looked through city ordinances to find whether a River Road home could be used for short-term vacation rentals. Gaytan found Georgetown’s definition of short-term vacation rentals, but he realized the city never mapped out where they are allowed to operate.

“We also have a zoning use classification chart that breaks down different businesses or different uses, and it’ll tell you if it’s permitted or not,” Gaytan said. “And short-term vacation rentals is nowhere on that list. So because it’s not on the list, per our zoning ordinance, it’s not allowed.”

Gaytan estimated there are about 40 such rentals in Georgetown, but he cautioned that he has only worked for the city for a few months.

Gaytan outlined five choices for the council: do away with short-term vacation rentals altogether, allow them in all zoning districts, allow them in all residential districts, allow them in only some residential districts or limit their numbers per zoning district.

Councilman Jim Clements said the council has learned lessons from other communities, such as the ones Cox named. Though the council’s role is not to react but to anticipate, Clements said, in this case, the council will be reacting in bringing about a new policy.

“I don’t think anybody at this table wants to be handed problems,” Clements said. “They want to be handed solutions, they want to get ahead of the curve. None of us like surprises, right? So let’s work together to achieve that. … At the end of the day, we’re going to have a consensus agreement for the betterment of this entire community.”

Mayor Carol Jayroe said the matter will be on the council’s agenda for Sept. 21 after a plan is compiled by city staff.

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City to turn former Liberty Steel office building into new Georgetown City Hall

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — Being South Carolina's third oldest city, Georgetown has several iconic sites in its more than 290 years of history. For the past half a dozen years, it's been lacking a formal home for those who run the city.Thursday, that changed with the official unveiling and handing over the keys to a new city hall site along Hazard Street just a block from the Liberty Steel Mill.It will be a new chapter for the city, but it will be written on top of a storied past for the location. The building that ...

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — Being South Carolina's third oldest city, Georgetown has several iconic sites in its more than 290 years of history. For the past half a dozen years, it's been lacking a formal home for those who run the city.

Thursday, that changed with the official unveiling and handing over the keys to a new city hall site along Hazard Street just a block from the Liberty Steel Mill.

It will be a new chapter for the city, but it will be written on top of a storied past for the location. The building that will now house city offices for decades stood as the administrative building for the Georgetown Mill now called Liberty USA.

What has been Steelworkers Square will now be City Hall nestled next to the Mike Johnson ballpark, the United Steelworkers Union Hall, and the Georgetown County operations center as well as Howard Auditorium.

Mayor and Council alongside the city administrator and LIBERTY Steel officials unveil the future site for the city hall. (Jendaya Fleming/WPDE)

"What a pleasure it is to stand before you here today and know that we the City of Georgetown have the privilege of owning one of the most beautiful pieces of property in our beloved city," said city Mayor Carol Jayroe.

The property has been home to mill workers and mill officials for decades. It was not up for sale, but mill officials say the city persuaded them to convey it since it was sparsely used since the pandemic.

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"We will miss it, but Liberty is proud to have a hand in bringing in the next chapter of Georgetown's storied history," said LIBERTY Steel plant manager Tom Houlihan.

It's a deal you would not have seen struck between the city and the mill a little over a year ago. In early 2021, the city aimed to see the mill close for good with the former zoning administrator declaring it had violated city law by remaining shuttered for too long during the COVID-19 pandemic. That decision was later overturned by an appeals board and went in favor of the mill's reopening and remaining in operation.

Union leaders for mill workers call the transaction between the city and LIBERTY a win-win.

"We have formed a great working relationship and we see now that the city wants to come in and be a part of that relationship," local union president James Sanderson said.

The city purchased the land as well as a neighboring parking lot for a little more than $1.5 million. Mayor Jayroe says the city has access to $3.5 million in reserve funds from insurance payments when the city had to destroy the old city hall due to structural concerns from sinkholes.

The city has an active request for builders to offer quotes for renovating the building. It's expected to house a majority of city business offices.

"We will, the city of Georgetown promise to be good stewards of this property that has meant so much to our city and steelworkers for decades. That is our pledge," Jayroe said.

The mayor hopes to see another ribbon-cutting ceremony take place roughly a year from now to welcome a fully operation City Hall for the residents of Georgetown.

Georgetown Co. students head back to school on new modified year-round calendar

This year, the Georgetown County School District is trying out a new modified year-round calendar.GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - This year, the Georgetown County School District is trying out a new modified year-round calendar.On the new calendar, students get out for summer break at the end of May instead of the first part of June. However, the summer break will be shorter, with students going back to school in early August.In exchange for the shortened summer break, kids will have two additional breaks on top of the ty...

This year, the Georgetown County School District is trying out a new modified year-round calendar.

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - This year, the Georgetown County School District is trying out a new modified year-round calendar.

On the new calendar, students get out for summer break at the end of May instead of the first part of June. However, the summer break will be shorter, with students going back to school in early August.

In exchange for the shortened summer break, kids will have two additional breaks on top of the typical Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

They will have a week off in October and another week out of school in February.

Superintendent Keith Price said parents, students and employees took a survey and voted on the decision.

He said he believes this new calendar will give everyone the boost they need to finish the school year strong.

“It gives our teachers and students kind of a chance to catch their breath, re-energize and keep pushing forward with lots of momentum,” Price said. “That should help with teacher burnout, and student burnout, so that’s one of the pros.”

Price said the new calendar will also allow students to finish their first semester before winter break, meaning they will knock out all their exams before winter break.

Elementary and students grades 4th through 6th will also have a slightly longer day than last year. The district is tacking on an extra 15 minutes.

Price said the idea for the change first started during covid when they used that time to clean. However, some worried it took away time from learning.

Parents and school principals then voted to bring back the time lost.

Price said while another 15 minutes a day may not seem like much, it makes a huge difference.

“When you spread that out over a school year over 180 days, you’re looking at between 40 and 45 hours of instruction we’ll be able to add to those levels,” Price said.

There are no changes in school hours for middle and high school students.

The first day of school for the county is Thursday.

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