A felony is a serious criminal charge. Our Columbia, SC, felony lawyers may be the difference between a long prison term and charges that are withdrawn or a favorable plea bargain agreement that can allow you to get on with the rest of your life.
If this is something you’re facing in South Carolina, the Leventis Law Firm can help.
We believe people make mistakes, so we explore every avenue of the law to protect your rights and liberty. If you’ve been charged or believe you’re under investigation, contact us immediately at (803) 256-0113 for a free consultation where we can discuss your case and options. We will aggressively protect your rights and liberty to provide you with the best possible outcome.
Understanding the law can be complex and difficult. Below is an outline of some of the types of felonies under the laws of the state of South Carolina. It’s not a complete list, and no information on the internet is meant to serve as, or be a substitute for, legal counsel.
Many of these charges have particular requirements concerning their circumstances and degree of damage or harm which determine the classification and potential penalties. Depending on the specifics, a crime may fall under different felony classifications.
REAL-WORLD IMPACT BEYOND THE CRIMINAL SENTENCE/
If you’re convicted of a felony offense, you may lose your job and the ability to support your family. Taking time off from work to appear in court may be enough for you to be fired. If not, there are few, if any, employers who will keep your job open for the year or more you may be in prison if convicted. The record of a criminal conviction could substantially limit your ability to find work after you’ve served your time.
A conviction and the time spent away from family may endanger your marriage and relationships with family and friends. Your standing and reputation in the community will suffer. You may not be able to serve in the military or obtain life insurance. If your criminal conviction involves sex acts, you may be placed on a sex offender registry that could impact your life for years.
Serving your sentence has the potential to shape how you spend the rest of your life, too, so you should talk to a felony lawyer. It could end or limit many things you may take for granted now, like voting, the ability to hunt, and obtain government help if you need it, or it could take away a license that may be key to your career.
If you are convicted of a felony, you can lose a number of rights and privileges you can enjoy as an American citizen, including, but not limited to:
Ability to purchase any type of firearm
Ability to collect government assistance, such as welfare
Ability to obtain financial aid to help with expenses related to education/schooling
Professional licensing, including revocation of existing licenses.
Depending on your age and the length of time you need to spend behind bars, a felony conviction could result in your spending the rest of your life behind bars, which is why you need a Columbia, SC, felony lawyer, who can be reached at (803) 256-0113.
CLASSIFICATIONS AND LOSS OF RIGHTS/
There are six (6) classifications of felonies in South Carolina (Class A through Class F). Felonies can result in prison sentences of up to 30 years.
CLASS A. Class A felonies are the most serious crimes and can carry a term of no more than thirty (30) years. These need not involve direct harm to another, including being involved with others in a conspiracy to kidnap someone, making illegal drugs or being involved in a robbery while armed. These crimes include:
Criminal sexual conduct
Kidnapping, or conspiracy to commit kidnapping
Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death
Carjacking (with great bodily injury)
Robbery while armed with a deadly weapon
Attempted bank robbery
Detonation of explosives that results in someone’s death
Drug trafficking or the manufacturing of illegal drugs.
CLASS B. Class B felonies include being part of group that attacks someone or making the mistake of operating a boat while intoxicated and causing an accident that results in someone’s death. They carry a term of no more than twenty-five (25) years and include:
Assault and battery by mob
Causing an explosion (or helping to cause one) that results in injury to a person or to real or personal property
Operating a water device (such as a boat) or a vehicle (such as a car or truck) while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, resulting in someone’s death.
CLASS C. Class C felonies can carry a term of no more than twenty (20) years. They cover a wide range of acts, including beating someone up, money laundering and trying unsuccessfully to rob someone while armed. Charges include:
Poisoning or attempted poisoning
Tampering with food or drugs
Child death as a result of abuse or neglect
Great bodily injury to a child
Assault and battery
Criminal sexual conduct
Attempted armed robbery
Robbery at an ATM or bank night depository
Promoting the prostitution of a minor
Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature
Financial transactions involving property derived from unlawful drug activity
Unlawful driving resulting in death.
CLASS D. Class D felonies can carry a term of no more than fifteen (15) years. This is a substantial period of time away from your life for burglarizing a home or neglecting an elderly family member. Class D felony crimes include:
Criminal sexual conduct with a minor
Assisting another person in committing suicide
Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in great bodily injury
Threatening by means of a destructive weapon
Escaping or attempting to escape from prison
Drug manufacture and/or distribution or possession
Operating a moving water device or vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs where great bodily injury results.
CLASS E. You may not think writing a bad check, hitting your spouse or improperly storing firearms is a big deal, but under South Carolina law they’re Class E felonies that carry a term of no more than ten (10) years and include:
Unlawful storing, keeping, possessing, selling, renting, or giving away a machine gun or sawed-off shotgun or rifle
Writing bad checks
Exposing others to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
CLASS F. Class F felonies carry a term of no more than five (5) years. You may need to serve this time if you stalked someone, lied under oath or made a serious mistake that caused someone’s death. These crimes include:
Intentional use of false documents
Sale or possession of counterfeit cigarettes
Tax evasion or fraud
Threatening a public official
Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult
Cultivating or attempting to cultivate marijuana on land of another
HOW A COLUMBIA, SC, FELONY ATTORNEY CAN DEFEND YOU AGAINST CRIMINAL CHARGES/
Being charged with a felony can have major consequences, but simply being charged isn’t enough to send you to prison. The prosecution has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed an act prohibited by the law and you intended to commit the criminal act.
Depending on the facts of your situation, a felony defense lawyer may be able to bring up any number of possible defenses that can result in charges being reduced or dropped or result in your acquittal at a trial.
Your arrest was a mistake and you have an alibi. At the time of the crime you were somewhere else, doing something else, and you have evidence to prove it.
There was no crime, because the alleged victim consented to your actions but later decided to lie to police and fabricate a story that resulted in your arrest.
Your use of violence was justified, because you were legitimately defending yourself against an attack by another. The force you used was reasonable and necessary. Someone in your position shouldn’t be expected to just endure the assault.
At the time of the incident you were, as far as the law was concerned, insane and not responsible for your actions. You didn’t understand what you were doing and couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong.
Your arrest was the result of police or prosecutor misconduct. You were entrapped, evidence was falsified or tampered with, police knowingly made false accusations against you or targeted you because of your race, color, ethnicity or national origin. Evidence showing you may not have committed the crime was withheld from you and your lawyer.
Your actions were the result of a mistake on your part and you didn’t intend to commit a crime.
Evidence should be excluded from trial. Police didn’t have sufficient grounds to search you, or a search warrant was improperly issued. The prosecution may not be able to show the chain of custody of the evidence, which may mean it was mishandled or tampered with. Testing of drugs or other evidence may not have been done with proper protocols and isn’t trustworthy.
REACH OUT TO A FELONY LAWYER TODAY/
If you believe you are being investigated for an alleged felony or have been arrested and charged with one, seeking legal counsel as quickly as possible is crucial to your future, and it increases the chances of a favorable outcome. Evidence or witnesses may be lost, witnesses’ memories may fade or change over time, and you may needlessly spend time incarcerated.
The Leventis Law Firm has successfully defended many felony cases. If you have been charged with a felony, contact us today at (803) 256-0113 and put the full resources of our firm to work on your case.