Facing criminal charges in South Carolina is extremely daunting, due to strict courts, long wait times, and even stricter sentencing. Whether you have dealt with criminal courts in South Carolina before or not, navigating the system and courts can be difficult for those who do not deal with the court system on a daily basis.
If you have received criminal charges in South Carolina, call the Law Offices of Touma & Fedalei today. With daily experience in and out of South Carolina courtrooms, Touma & Fedalei are the right choice for any of your criminal legal needs.
Should I Just Use a Public Defender?
While using a public defender is definitely the cheapest option, the saying "you get what you pay for" rings extremely true in these cases. Public defenders are talented and passionate attorneys, who have forgone well-paying careers to help the citizens of their states and counties, but that often comes with extremely heavy caseloads and low funding. What this means for their clients is that their attorney is often overworked, unpaid, and doesn't have the money or resources needed in some cases to gather case-breaking evidence.
Our criminal justice system has a responsibility to provide competent counsel to everyone who asks, except in extreme circumstances, but having an amazing and talented lawyer isn't helpful when that lawyer doesn't have enough time to actually fight your case the way it should be fought.
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You also must qualify for a public defender. In South Carolina, you must make under $12,450 in a single-person household or under $25,750 for a family of four. If you make above these listed amounts, you are not eligible to request a public defender, as the state believes you are capable of hiring and affording your own attorney. This is done in an attempt to stop everyone from using public defenders and overworking the public defenders even more.
If you are facing very basic charges, and really only need an attorney at your side in name to make sure everything is filed properly and you are at court on time, then a public defender is a good option. If you are facing serious charges, such as federal crimes or sex crimes, it is always better to hire a private attorney who has the time and resources to lead your case to the best possible outcome.
How Much Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?
The total and final cost of a criminal defense attorney can vary greatly from case to case, dependent on the criminal defense team you choose, the type of crime, as well as how complicated the case is. Almost all criminal defense attorneys charge by the hour, somewhere between $250-$700 an hour depending on experience and the type of crime you are being charged with. If you have a long and complicated case, these billable hours can stack up extremely quickly.
If you have a simple case, you may qualify to be charged a simple lump sum. This can happen if you are facing first time DUI charges, for example, and have been offered community service, or if you are being charged with another crime that does not have a jail sentence attached to it.
The average criminal defendant spends between $3500 to $5500 total, which includes all court and filing fees, but not any fines assigned to you during your sentencing.
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Schedule a Free Consultation With a Berea Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are facing any serious criminal offense or criminal investigations in Berea, or the greater Greenville South Carolina area, there is no time to waste. The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the harder it will be for your criminal lawyer to get your charges reduced or dropped. Clearing your criminal record and avoiding jail time are the ultimate goals, and with an experienced attorney from TF Law on your side, you stand the best possible chance.
Whether you are facing a drug charge or drug possession, domestic violence charges, white-collar crime charges, violent crimes, or any myriad of federal charges, putting your best foot forward should be your goal, and at Touma & Fedalei we know that no matter your legal issues, we can help. We're here to help you build the strongest defense possible, to get your criminal matters behind you and your life back on track. Call us today for a free consultation.