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 Goose Creek, 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 Goose Creek 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 Goose Creek, 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 Goose Creek, 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 Goose Creek, 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 Goose Creek and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.
To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Goose Creek, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:
If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Goose Creek 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 Goose Creek 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 Goose Creek, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Goose Creek 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 Goose Creek, 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.
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — A white dust emitted from the Century Aluminum plant has been spreading through parts of Goose Creek.Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib addressed the issue in a social media post on Oct. 2.Read more: MCRFD: Driver crashes into house in Moncks Corner; crashes...
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — A white dust emitted from the Century Aluminum plant has been spreading through parts of Goose Creek.
Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib addressed the issue in a social media post on Oct. 2.
According to Habib, the white dust is Alumina dust, which is produced during the smelting process. Alumina dust is not supposed to leave the plant and is considered an important component of plant's ability to make more aluminum.
Century Aluminum believes the emissions may be caused by an "unusual" failure in the plant's baghouse, according to Habib.
"As you may know, all exhaust from the manufacturing process runs through a scrubber to clean the air and the Alumina dust is collected into the bags in the baghouse," the mayor said in a statement. "Century Aluminum then takes the dust and reintroduces (it) into the manufacturing process to make more aluminum."
According to Habib, Century Aluminum is looking at two potential possibilities for the emissions. One possibility is a recent change of suppliers for the filters in the baghouse and another is recent episodes of high pressure in the baghouse.
The mayor says Century Aluminum reported the issues to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
"Century assures us they are working diligently to address these emission issues," Habib said in a statement. "I do not doubt this. The Mount Holly aluminum smelter has been in operation for more than 40 years. They employ hundreds of our friends and neighbors and have a tremendous impact on our local economy. In my 40 years of living here, I do not recall another issue related to emissions from the plant."
Habib also says he has asked for a town hall from Century Aluminum and the DHEC.
READ THE COMMENTS (1)
An online petition was created on Oct. 1 demanding action to reduce aluminum emissions from the plant. As of Oct. 3, it has 333 signatures.
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — People who live in Goose Creek have been complaining for weeks about a white powder-like substance in the air- identified as alumina dust.They said it’s been covering their cars and homes, and even making it hard to breathe.Monday night, Goose Creek residents heard from health and environmental experts for the first time about the issue, and their plan to fix it.Century Aluminum addresses alumina dust concerns in Goose Creek: Promises resolution in 10 days. Community town hall held ...
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — People who live in Goose Creek have been complaining for weeks about a white powder-like substance in the air- identified as alumina dust.
They said it’s been covering their cars and homes, and even making it hard to breathe.
Monday night, Goose Creek residents heard from health and environmental experts for the first time about the issue, and their plan to fix it.
Century Aluminum addresses alumina dust concerns in Goose Creek: Promises resolution in 10 days. Community town hall held Oct. 9, 2023. (WCIV)
They were also able to ask representatives from Century Aluminum and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) questions
Some told News 4 before the meeting started they were just looking for transparency.
“First, we’re sorry. I understand your concerns and frustrations, but we also appreciate your patience. We will fix this issue,” said Dennis Harbath, the plant manager at Century Aluminum.
Century Aluminum said the release of alumina dust in Goose Creek first happened because of accelerated bag failures. They said they’re replacing the failed bags and expect their action plan to take 10 days to solve the problem.
But people who live in the area are still concerned.
“I’m exhausted all the time, I get headaches, you know, my eyes burn. It’s just been a total nightmare,” said Jackie Davis Pfister.
Pfister lives in Goose Creek, and people like her who have preexisting conditions like asthma are worried about long-term effects.
“Before I never really had to use my inhaler except for when I was sick or overexerted myself, that was the only time I used it, but now it’s just a regular basis, three to five times [per day],” she said.
DHEC said there is a certain type of aluminum oxide particles they’re keeping their eye on.
“What we were most concerned about is actually the smaller particles that you could actually breathe in and actually get into your lungs. So, for that reason we did put out some air sensors,” said Rhonda Thompson, the Bureau of Air Quality chief for DHEC.
But she said the readings from their sensors have been very low so far.
Other questions came from the crowd: Why didn’t the plant shut down when the leak first happened? And, how will aluminum oxide affect animals, and not just people?
But Monday’s experts said they couldn’t answer some of those questions, leaving many frustrated.
Statistics from the DHEC air sensors and the area’s current air quality can be found on DHEC's website.
People can also go to mthollyupdates.com for more information from Century Aluminum, including how the plant is working to solve this issue.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is now investigating complaints about a white dust produced by an aluminum plant that has caused complaints and worries for Goose Creek residents.Alumina dust is a gritty substance people who live near the Mount Holly Century Aluminum Plant say coats vehicles, plants, mailboxes and anything else outside in areas across Goose Creek. It is produced during the smelting process but is not supposed to leave the plant, a problem DHEC is now looking i...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is now investigating complaints about a white dust produced by an aluminum plant that has caused complaints and worries for Goose Creek residents.
Alumina dust is a gritty substance people who live near the Mount Holly Century Aluminum Plant say coats vehicles, plants, mailboxes and anything else outside in areas across Goose Creek. It is produced during the smelting process but is not supposed to leave the plant, a problem DHEC is now looking into.
The Mount Holly aluminum smelter has been operating for more than 40 years. But some neighbors say it is recent emissions from the plant that they’re not getting answers about, making them worry about their health.
“It looks like someone has taken baby powder and just shook it all over the cars,” Jackie Davis Pfister, who lives in Goose Creek, says. “It’s gritty. It’s baking into our cars.”
Davis Pfister says this entire process has just been a nightmare and says she’s not the only one who is frustrated. There are multiple posts on Facebook that have garnered hundreds of comments about the same thing.
“It needs to be more addressed than it has been,” Goose Creek resident Marilyn Leegette says. “I wish DHEC would send out some kind of hazard report so people can make themselves educated about what this can do to them.”
DHEC confirmed agents have been to the facility and in the community to gather information as part of their investigation. They say they are working closely with the facility to develop an immediate corrective action plan.
Jonathan Brown, Century Aluminum’s Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager, confirmed that Century believes the emissions may be caused by an unusual failure in the plant’s baghouse. The plant is not 100% sure of the reason for the failure, but are looking at two potential possibilities. One is that a recent change of suppliers for the filters in the baghouse took place, and Century knows that on three occasions a very small portion of the bags failed. The second possibility is recent episodes of high pressure in the bag house.
Brown says Century is working diligently to address these emission issues.
On Monday, Century confirmed they had four “events.” One happened on Sept. 3, two on Sept. 16 and another on Sept. 30. Century says the issue will be fixed by Oct. 17.
But those in the community are worried about their health with some people reporting problems like rashes and difficulty breathing.
“It’s very concerning for me,” Leegette says. “I believe honestly that if there are short-term effects that are showing, there has got to be long-term effects as well.”
“If we could just know what type of air we’re breathing: Is it dangerous to us? I think we just want to know the answer,” Davis Pfister says.
DHEC says alumina dust is not considered a hazardous substance. The particle size of the dust being seen in the community is large and therefore too big to enter human lungs; however, it can still irritate skin, eyes, and the nose, and can be a respiratory irritant after prolonged exposure.
DHEC has also deployed portable air sensors in the area to measure any smaller, breathable particulate matter, called “fine particulate matter.”
DHEC says it’s important to know that the data will represent all particulate matter in the area, not just from a single source or single facility. There can be many different sources of particulate matter emissions within an area. The data from these sensors will help the agency identify any air quality trends in the community.
After an inquiry into the issue, the city of Goose Creek set up a town hall meeting with Century Aluminum and DHEC representatives for Monday at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Mayor Greg Habib will moderate this discussion, which will include questions from attendees. Experts in toxicology, air quality and public health from DHEC will join Century Aluminum leaders who will discuss the issue of excess emissions at the plant, and the plan to fix this problem.
Century says they have set up a website where residents should report their personal situation. They can also call a hotline number at 312-696-3131.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
The city of Goose Creek is the most populated city in Berkley County. And with a tight-knit community, beautiful outdoor attractions and a great location with close proximity to Charleston, the city’s population continues to grow and thrive.Goose Creek was officially founded in 1961, but its early history dates back to the beginning of the Carolina colony. The city was a waterway at the time, and the name “Goose Creek” likely originated due to the curved shape of its creeks and waters, similar to that of a goose&rsqu...
The city of Goose Creek is the most populated city in Berkley County. And with a tight-knit community, beautiful outdoor attractions and a great location with close proximity to Charleston, the city’s population continues to grow and thrive.
Goose Creek was officially founded in 1961, but its early history dates back to the beginning of the Carolina colony. The city was a waterway at the time, and the name “Goose Creek” likely originated due to the curved shape of its creeks and waters, similar to that of a goose’s neck.
The first inhabitants of the Goose Creek territory were the Eitwan and Sewee Indian tribes, and European settlers then arrived in the early 1670s. The rich soil of the area along the Cooper River attracted wealthy planters from the British Caribbean colony of Barbados, including Sir John Yeamans and Sir Peter Colleton.
The region of Goose Creek became known as home to the “Goose Creek Men.” These men established a trade route with the Native Americans, trading goods from cloth to guns and ammunition.
The Goose Creek Men were known for questioning higher authority of the Lord Proprietors in the colony, and they eventually undermined the hierarchy, gaining a majority in the Commons House of Assembly.
The majority of white inhabitants of Goose Creek practiced Anglicanism, but many Huguenots were established there after 1700, including the Izard family on the Elms plantation. The Anglican Parish of St. James Goose Creek was established in 1706 and completed in 1719 by a small group of planters.
St. James Church still stands today and is one of the oldest surviving buildings in South Carolina and one of the only surviving Georgian chapels in the nation.
By the eighteenth century, Goose Creek was a prosperous and popular area for rice production. The town continued to experience population growth, measuring a population of 2,787 in the first U.S. census in 1790. 2,333 members of that population were slaves who harvested the rice plantations.
Goose Creek remained prosperous for rice production into the nineteenth century, with the eventual demise of rice plantations after the Civil War led to the abolishment of slavery. Hurricanes eventually wiped out the remains of rice fields across South Carolina. The area became desolate and as a result, the population decreased heavily.
In the twentieth century, wealthy northerners bought land in Goose Creek to inhabit during winters. They moved to the area to hunt. The United States Ammunition Depot was established near Goose Creek, later becoming the Naval Weapons Annex in 1959.
These new establishments brought growth to Goose Creek, resulting in the need for the town to become incorporated. The town of Goose Creek was incorporated in 1961. The population underwent a surge in numbers, from 3,656 in 1970 to 17,811 by 1980, making it the largest city in Berkeley County.
The town continues to grow steadily. In 2021, its population clocked in at 46,229. The city is an attractive destination for future homeowners, boasting award-winning schools, recreational activities and a close proximity to the city of Charleston and coastal beaches. Goose Creek also hosts many events and takes pride in offering their residents the ability to live, work and raise families in the town’s borders.
Members of the Devon Forest community say they want answers from the Mount Holly Century Aluminum plant after an “emission” was recorded in the past month.GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) - Members of the Devon Forest community say they want answers from the Mount Holly Century Aluminum plant after an “emission” was recorded in the past month.Neighbors say they have been dealing with a gritty substance since the beginning of September.“It’s not something like pollen that’s nice and soft....
Members of the Devon Forest community say they want answers from the Mount Holly Century Aluminum plant after an “emission” was recorded in the past month.
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) - Members of the Devon Forest community say they want answers from the Mount Holly Century Aluminum plant after an “emission” was recorded in the past month.
Neighbors say they have been dealing with a gritty substance since the beginning of September.
“It’s not something like pollen that’s nice and soft. It’s a hard, silica-type sand, almost,” homeowner Nick Marino said. “It’s not something that easily comes off.”
The substance has settled onto cars, household items and other property. When it first happened, neighbors said it was a light, thin layer. After a few days, that turned into small piles.
“Didn’t think too much at first. It wasn’t a lot,” Marino said. “But as time progressed, it became more and more.”
Marino says he noticed it more often in the early mornings.
“First thing in the morning, I come out, there’s stuff all over the car,” he said. “I guess it’s prevalent, would happen overnight, maybe.”
Many who noticed the change say they were not sure how to remove the substance safely.
“If you try to wipe it off, it scratches the paint on your car,” Leslie Deaver said.
Community members were concerned about whether the substance was safe to breathe, touch or remove.
“It worries us for health reasons, it worries us for vehicles and whatever else, the school in the neighborhood,” Marino said. “We just want to know what’s causing it and a solution so it stops.”
“We’ve been here 15 years, we’ve never seen it this bad,” Deaver added.
A statement released from Mount Holly Plant Manager Dennis Harbath confirms an alumina emission from the plant as of Sept. 5:
Due to a process disruption, Century Aluminum´s Mt. Holly plant has experienced an emission of alumina, a non-hazardous raw material used in our smelting process. Local regulators were notified on September 5 and are working closely with us on the matter. Since the occurrence, a team has been working to promptly resolve the issue. Century Aluminum’s Mt. Holly plant is diligent in its safety and environmental protection measures, and, as of this time, there is no determination that the plant emitted any substance in exceedance of permitted limits, and we are investigating whether any of the emission particulate traveled beyond the plant property. Nonetheless, we are conducting a thorough internal inquiry to prevent future occurrences of this issue.
Alumina, or aluminum oxide is white or nearly colorless and used to make aluminum metals. The plant says they are working to investigate the issue and fix it.
Community members still have eyebrows raised.
“This shouldn’t be something that’s kept in the dark, reviewed behind closed doors. Let the public know what’s going on, get us involved,” Marino said. “Maybe hold an open house with Century Aluminum so we can have our questions answered.”
Neighbors asked for wider community awareness and transparency from the plant when these emissions occur in the future.
“It’s literally right across the road from us, from our backs. Were probably the closest to it in this neighborhood,” Deaver said. “That would be nice to know. ‘Hey, we’re going to release this at a certain time, this is what to expect.’ Just community knowledge.”
Harbath released a follow-up statement Tuesday saying the company is continuing to monitor progress:
As an update, we have been continuing to diligently work on resolving our process disruption and have taken a number of actions to minimize any resulting emissions. In addition, we are still in regular communication with regulators on our progress, including a recent visit to our site.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.