Mount Pleasant South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog

What pre-trial motions might accomplish

Before a DUI case goes to trial in South Carolina or anywhere else, a pre-trial motion may be considered by a judge. The motion may ask that certain evidence be suppressed or cover any other concerns that an attorney may have. In some cases, a request will be made to drop the matter altogether. The prosecution in a DUI case can also make motions before a trial to limit the type of evidence that can be introduced at trial.

An attorney could ask that evidence be excluded because a defendant wasn't read his or her rights prior to it being discovered. An exclusion request could also be made on grounds that a test was performed improperly or that a search was performed illegally. If a defendant has had previous DUI convictions, the penalties for a subsequent conviction could be increased.

Reasonable suspicion required for most DUI stops

People in South Carolina may wonder when police have the right to pull people over if they suspect someone is driving while under the influence. In general, police can only stop drivers if they have some kind of reasonable suspicion of a crime. There are exceptions to this rule; while controversial, sobriety checkpoints have been upheld in most states as an exception to the rule so long as all drivers passing by a specific area are checked for drunk driving.

Reasonable suspicion essentially means the police officer must have a belief that some sort of crime has taken place. That suspicion of a crime can include the suspicion of DUI. When reasonable suspicion is present, police can pull someone over and briefly examine the situation; if they still suspect drunk driving, they can perform a breath test or a field sobriety test. There are a number of factors police can consider to be reasonable suspicion that someone might be driving under the influence, including a driver making illegal turns, weaving from one lane to another, almost hitting other cars, driving extremely slowly or stopping for no reason.

South Carolina DUI laws are tough, but you have options

Being pulled over on suspicion of DUI can be embarrassing, stressful, and scary.

The harsh flashing lights, the close watch on your every move, and the invasive-feeling questions can seem like you’re in an interrogation room. You might be asked to blow into a device to test your breath.

Beware of credit letter scams

Have you checked your email’s spam folder? Chances are high that it is ripe with emails about a Saudi prince wishing to gift you a chunk of their fortune or an investment opportunity from someone you’ve never heard of that misspelled your name. It seems that new scams are popping up every day.

One type of scam that has gained steam in recent years are standby letters of credit (SBLC) fraud. An SBLC works similarly to a loan but you provide the collateral to the lender upfront to minimize the risk to the lender if you don’t pay back the SBLC.

Drug bust nets significant haul

A drug bust in South Carolina resulted in 152 grams of heroin being seized by authorities in Lancaster County. The heroin was valued at up to $45,000, and authorities in the area say that it was the third-largest amount seized in the county's history. Authorities were also able to seize marijuana, cash and scales during a raid of two home. The raid resulted in six people being taken into custody.

Four of the individuals were charged with trafficking heroin while another was charged with trafficking Oxycodone. Furthermore, four of the individuals were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. A 21-year-old woman was one of the individuals who is facing the marijuana charges, and she was found in a car with a child when she was taken into custody. All six were taken to Lancaster County jail and were eventually released on bond.

Man arrested on drug and weapons charges at motel

A 911 call about a man brandishing a gun at a motel in South Carolina on the night of April 29 led to the discovery and seizure of illegal drugs worth more than $55,000 according to a report from the Union County Sheriff's Office. A 26-year-old man has been detained in connection with the seized narcotics. He faces a raft of misdemeanor and felony counts including methamphetamine trafficking, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a handgun and public intoxication.

Deputies were dispatched to the Union motel after a woman told 911 operators that a man had shown her two bags that appeared to contain drugs before pulling out a handgun and pointing it at her. When deputies arrived, they claim to have observed the man described to emergency operators standing in the parking lot. He is said to have told the deputies that he was helping his friends to repair a broken-down car.

South Carolina drug sting leads to four arrests

On April 3, Myrtle Beach authorities arrested four people on suspicion of participating in various illegal drug activities. According to the Horry County Police Department, members of its Street Crimes Unit received a tip regarding alleged loitering and illegal activities taking place at WoodSpring Suites. As a result of the information, officers conducted surveillance at the site and observed someone allegedly smoking marijuana and consuming alcohol.

Two other individuals sitting in a vehicle were found to have 33 grams of marijuana, Suboxone sublingual strips, ecstasy pills, a digital scale, a loaded handgun and a substantial amount of cash. The first defendant was charged with possession of a controlled substance Schedule I to V. One defendant in the car was charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol. The second defendant in the car was charged with possession with the intent to distribute and possession of other controlled substances Schedule I to V.

Death of passenger in one-car accident leads to DUI charge

As many people in South Carolina know, a conviction for driving under the influence can come with serious penalties, including fines, imprisonment and driver license suspension. If a fatal accident was the result of a DUI, the penalties grow exponentially.

A Georgia woman is likely to be charged with a felony DUI due to a fatal crash. According to reports, the woman was driving with two passengers. Her vehicle reportedly left the pavement off the right shoulder of the road. As she tried to reenter the roadway, she over-steered, crossed the pavement and struck an embankment on the left side of the road.

Former MLB All-Star sentenced on drug charges

Baseball fans in South Carolina and around the country may recall Esteban Loaiza starting the 2003 Major League Baseball All-Star game. The 47-year-old pitcher's career spanned more than a decade, but his fortunes took a turn for the worse when his minivan was pulled over for an unspecified traffic violation in February 2018.

During the routine traffic stop, San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies say they discovered a sophisticated hidden compartment in Loaiza's vehicle. During an ensuing search of the former athlete's Imperial Beach home, Drug Enforcement Administration agents discovered 40 pounds of a substance later identified as cocaine. However, they found no personal possessions or furniture.

Rapper and self-declared scammer charged with identity theft

A Detroit rapper who rapped about his credit card fraud skills may have kept it a little too real. According to The Detroit News, Jonathan Woods, known as rapper “Selfmade Kash,” wore jewel-encrusted credit card necklaces and bragged about his alleged crimes on social media.

Authorities claim Woods started his fraud in May 2017. The court documents state he stole people’s credit cards. He also allegedly trained other people about how to commit identity theft. Federal prosecutors have charged Woods with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and possession of unauthorized devices.

    1. Charleston County | Bar Association
    2. South Carolina Association of criminal Defense Lawyers
    3. Rated By Super Lawyers | Rising Stars | Cameron J.Blazer |
    4. South Carolina Bar
    5. Liberty Fellowship
    1. Aspen Global Leadership Network | The Aspen Institute
    2. Justice 360 | Advancing Equality in the justice System
    3. Jefferson Awards Foundation
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