Best North Charleston Criminal Lawyers
Finding the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in North Charleston, SC
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in North Charleston, it’s crucial to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights. The consequences for a criminal conviction can be severe, potentially involving jail time, fines, probation or loss of civil rights. Having the right legal representation can make all the difference in achieving the most favorable outcome to your case.
In this article, we’ll highlight some of the top-rated criminal defense lawyers in the North Charleston area who have a proven track record of success. We’ll also provide an overview of how to select the right attorney for your specific legal needs.
Why Hiring a Local Attorney Matters
Criminal law is complex, covering both state and federal statutes. When facing criminal charges, it’s important to work with an attorney who is intimately familiar with the local court system and laws in North Charleston and the surrounding Charleston County area.
A local attorney will understand the tendencies of prosecutors and judges in the jurisdiction and be able to craft arguments and strategies that will be effective. They’ll also have relationships with court staff and other attorneys, which can potentially help resolve cases more quickly and favorably.
Attorney Michael S. O’Neal
Widely regarded as one of the best criminal defense lawyers in North Charleston, Michael S. O’Neal has over 25 years of experience representing clients charged with offenses ranging from traffic tickets to serious violent felonies.
O’Neal is a former public defender, giving him key insights into how prosecutors prepare cases. His approach involves thoroughly investigating the details of each case, consulting with experts when needed, and identifying procedural problems or evidentiary weaknesses.
Clients give O’Neal rave reviews for his compassionate yet aggressive defense. He’s known for his sharp cross-examination skills and ability to identify reasonable doubt. O’Neal handles cases in both state and federal court.
The Attorneys at Young & Young
The law firm of Young & Young maintains an excellent reputation in the North Charleston legal community. Their team includes several attorneys who concentrate on criminal defense work, both at the state and federal level.
Young & Young’s criminal practice group has experience defending a wide array of charges, from DUI and drug possession to white collar fraud cases. They take time to fully understand the facts of each case and determine whether procedural mistakes were made during investigation or arrest.
Where possible, the attorneys aim to get charges reduced or dismissed through motions or negotiating with the prosecution. When a trial is necessary, they build a strong defense centered on creating reasonable doubt regarding guilt.
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer P. Christopher Smith
For individuals or businesses facing federal criminal charges, P. Christopher Smith comes highly recommended. Smith represents clients in federal courts across South Carolina who have been accused of offenses like tax fraud, healthcare fraud, embezzlement, and drug trafficking.
Smith is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, giving him an in-depth understanding of federal prosecution tactics. His approach emphasizes avoiding indictment whenever possible through extensive pre-indictment investigation and negotiations.
When indictments occur, Smith has a proven track record of getting charges dismissed prior to trial. He also handles appeals for federal convictions.
Finding the Right Attorney for You
The attorneys highlighted above are among the top-rated criminal defense lawyers in the North Charleston area, but there are many other excellent options as well. The specific lawyer that is best for you depends on factors like:
- Area of expertise – Does the attorney regularly handle cases similar to yours? This experience is invaluable.
- Track record – Review case results and client testimonials to gauge the attorney’s effectiveness.
- Resources – A solo practitioner may not have the same breadth of resources as a larger firm.
- Communication style – Look for a lawyer who is responsive, makes you comfortable, and explains things in understandable terms.
- Affordability – Rates can vary significantly, so be sure to get fee estimates upfront.
Don’t rush into choosing an attorney. Take time to research multiple options, consult with the lawyer for an initial case review, and make sure you have a confident, trusting relationship. The stakes are high, so it’s worth investing effort to get the best legal representation possible.