A South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog

Question and Answer

Just in case Google did not have the answer you were looking for, I am here to help.  Some search terms that brought people to trial theory in the last month:

what is a roster meeting in court: it depends on what court you’re in.  In Horry County Central Jury Court, the roster meeting is where you or your attorney set the trial date – the court will call the names on the roster (there are two rosters, the solicitor’s docket and the court’s docket), a supervisor from each law enforcement agency will give the dates the officer(s) are available during the next term of court, and you or your attorney will give the dates you are available.  In other courts, a roster meeting can mean anything.  In some courts no trial dates are set but the court makes you show up to try to get you to plead guilty.  In other courts you or your attorney meet with the prosecutor to see if the case can be resolved and if not a trial date is set.  In some courts (common pleas) it may be more like a status conference, to see if the parties are ready for trial and if there are any issues that need to be resolved before trial.

how to write an opening statement for defense: the focus of any opening statement should be the story of the case – the client’s story.  It may talk about the law that applies to the case, what the prosecution will have to prove, why they won’t prove it, the standard of proof that applies in the case, and the presumption of innocence.  I stopped writing opening statements a long time ago – my practice now is to make sure I know my case, I know the facts, I know the story, and then just talk to the jury.  It’s not scripted, it’s not memorized, it’s real, and it’s spontaneous whenever possible.

how to plea in columbia south carolina minor in possession if aep is requested: AEP (Alcohol Education Program) is a pre-trial diversion program, similar to PTI (Pre-Trial Intervention).  You are not pleading if you go to AEP – when you finish the program the charge is dismissed and expunged.  If you don’t finish the program your case goes back to court and you can still go to trial.

prosecutors control docket south carolina: Not any more.  See S.C. Supreme Court holds that solicitor control of the docket is unconstitutional.

if someone won a pcr appeal and conviction was dismissed. legally do charges suppose to come off my record: Ok – if you file a PCR, it is appealed and you win the appeal, thereby winning the PCR, then the conviction is vacated, which means that the charges are reinstated and you have to defend the case again starting at the beginning.  If the charges are then dismissed, you can get the arrest record expunged.  Winning a case on PCR does not mean the case is dismissed, it means the conviction is vacated – you can then take the case to trial.  Or negotiate another outcome, depending on the circumstances.

opening statement dui case: “ladies and gentleman, my client was not driving.  Even if he was, he was not drunk.  Buzzed driving is not drunk driving, and zero tolerance is not the law.  Remember, it is not against the law to drink and drive in South Carolina.  It is against the law to drive while intoxicated to the extent that your faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired.  I rest my case.”

reasons for jailhouse informants reform bills: jailhouse snitches will lie to help themselves and to get out of prison time, and prosecutors will let them do it, even encourage them to do it in some cases.  Testimony from a jailhouse informant is unreliable and should not be admissible unless it is corroborated.  Never trust a drowning man.

1st court appearance in cdv case in sc: if it is a CDV 1st offense in magistrate or municipal court, request a jury trial before the 1st court appearance – the case will be moved to the jury trial roster (or sent to central jury court if it is in magistrate court in Horry or Georgetown County), it will take several months before it comes up again, and your attorney then has time to request discovery and investigate the case before the trial date is set.  Talk to a defense lawyer for more details.

criminal defense themes for murder: SODDI (some other dude did it); I was aiming for a can on the fence back there (accident); he was trying to rape my sister (defense of others); I found him in bed with my wife (voluntary manslaughter?); he drew down on me for no reason (self defense); he drew down on me as we were fighting (involuntary manslaughter?); he was coming into my house with a gun (castle doctrine); it was the medication made me do it (Zoloft defense); it was the gangsta rap and the peppermint schnapps (eminem defense); last but not least, in some counties, “sumbitch needed killin.”

why does a failure to blow show up on driving record when it has been expunged:  because implied consent proceedings are administrative proceedings not criminal – it is a completely separate proceeding apart from the DUI itself.

can i get more than 1 dui expunged from my record in sc:  You can’t get the first DUI expunged from your record, unless it was dismissed.  Traffic offenses, including DUI and DUS, cannot be expunged in South Carolina.

what happens to a car when the front tires are shot out in a high speed chase: I imagine the car stops.  Violently.

psychodrama for lawyers:  Technically, lawyers do not do psychodrama, but rather can use psychodramatic techniques during trial prep, sometimes with amazing results.  Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College is based on the idea of using psychodrama in trial practice, and there are lawyers who continue to study the psychodramatic method by attending psychodrama workshops.

don’t tell my mother i’m a defense lawyer: (she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse)

is marijuana smell probable cause to detain for a k9: in South Carolina, the officer’s statement that he or she smells marijuana is probable cause to search the car; they don’t need to wait for a K9.

drunk pro se defendant in court: this could be hilarious.  Every time I have watched a pro se defendant in court it has been a train wreck.  A drunk pro se defendant would probably be locked up before the trial started, though.

1st degree burglary sentencing guide in sc: “15 to life.”  That was easy.

can i carry a concealed weapon bars and resturants in sc: not in any establishment that serves alcohol.  Which are the establishments where you are most likely to need it.

who will come take nude photos at home myrtle beach,sc:  Not me.  Have fun, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Malawey's Gravatar Lisa Malawey
    January 15, 2013    

    My 17 Year old Senior is up for The Palmetto scholarship and is already recieving Mass communication from Universitys due to his dependable Academic and Athletic abilitys through his School Years. He is considered 97% across the Nation for Aptitude/Intelligence Scores.
    Due to Hurricane Dissasters and failing Economy, we (his Mom;family), have lost everything and are now on State Welfare in full. He tried weed with some kids after a Football game and has been referred to PTI without a plea.
    Theree is no way we can pay the $350.00.
    I am terrifieds for him. He will lose everything this Family, and especially his own strength and determination, has worked so many years to attain.
    The PTI say the $ is Mandatory or the case goes back to court for further prosecution. Is there any way to get this dismissed as a first offense? It is a Misdemeanor Possesion Charge and Paraphanalia.
    What do I do for him?
    We both lost our jobs just prior to this from lay-off’s. We are both still eager to have a job.
    Please help…. is there another possibility? Community Service Work or other Program…., i don’t know…. just reaching for any plan???

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