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The importance of hiring a defense attorney

For South Carolina residents who have been charged with a criminal violation, it will be important to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A qualified legal professional can inform of your rights in a way that is easy to understand. He or she can also tell you what you can expect during the different stages of the criminal process. More importantly, though, a lawyer can help you evaluate the best courses of action to take during the litigation of your case.

When you are shopping for an attorney, you will want to investigate your attorney's background. As such, it will be important to look at the attorney's past experience and knowledge on the topic of your charges and skill level.

A good attorney could help you to reduce your charge to a less serious offense -- like getting a charge dropped from a felony down to a misdemeanor. He or she may also be able to get the severity of punishments reduced in the event of a conviction. In other cases, an attorney might be able to get a potential jail sentenced reduced to a lesser punishment, like probation or community service. However, there is never a guarantee of reduced charges, lighter penalties or dismissed cases.

Finally, while searching for a criminal defense attorney, make sure that he or she is completely familiar with the laws in the state where your crime allegedly took place. Also, make sure you feel comfortable talking about your personal issues with your attorney. Criminal proceedings can be taxing and stressful on an emotional level, so the feeling of trust and rapport you have for your advocate will be an essential component to the success of your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Hire a criminal defense lawyer" Oct. 13, 2014

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