If you have been arrested or accused of a crime, you are facing a challenging time in your life and a challenging road ahead. A misstep with the criminal justice system could have a dramatic effect on your life and the lives of those around you – unfortunately mostly on the ones you love. Contact our Rock Hill criminal defense lawyer today.
You know that you need assistance in making decisions that will impact you both now and in the future. You need a strong advocate by your side to help you make the best of the situation you are in.
Our Rock Hill, SC Criminal Defense Lawyers are Here to Help
At McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC, we believe that there is no substitute for experience when it comes to choosing a criminal defense lawyer to defend you in a criminal case. Our attorneys have decades of experience in handling cases that involve our clients’ lives and liberty, in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, and the rest of York County.
What happens to you matters to us. We fight for the rights and the future of our clients.
"Our Family would like to thank you for giving your best. Even though we all know what they chose to do was wrong, I never felt any disrespect from you toward him and that meant and means a lot to us."
Why Choose Our Rock Hill Criminal Defense Lawyers
Our greatest strengths are experience, compassion and attention to detail, and we believe you should find the attorney who is the best fit for you. Consider these attributes of our Rock Hill criminal defense lawyer McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC:
- Experienced – Our attorneys measure their legal careers in decades.
- Focused – We are a client-focused law firm. Your concerns are our priority.
- Responsive – Open lines of communication and frequent updates keep you informed every step of the way.
- Local – With deep roots in South Carolina, we are proud to call the Rock Hill area home.
- Straightforward – You can count on us to give you honest, accurate legal advice without the sugar coating.
- Cost-effective – We aim to deliver quality legal services at rates you can afford.
- Compassionate – You’re going through a difficult time. We respect that and treat our clients with courtesy and kindness.
How Can Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Rock Hill at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC Help You?
Our Rock Hill criminal defense attorneys are very experienced with all phases involved in a criminal case. This includes the best ways to handle interaction with law enforcement before charges are brought to the follow-up necessary after the final court appearance is made.
We pride ourselves not only on knowing the processes and pitfalls of a criminal matter, but in our ability to explain them to our clients in a clear and understandable manner. In the end, regardless of the outcome, we want our clients to know that they had strong, clear, and qualified guidance throughout a difficult and high-risk process.
Hiring an attorney does not mean that someone who is accused won’t enter a guilty plea. Hiring a lawyer who has worked extensively in the criminal justice system, however, means that every option will be explored and that all possible outcomes will be considered. Only after an accused person has all of this information should they even consider entering a plea.
Our criminal defense attorneys know the routes through the maze of the criminal justice system, and can analyze any case for technical flaws or possible defenses and tell you whether the prosecutor may be able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Our attorneys will make sure you know ALL of the consequences of a plea, beyond what happens while at court.
We are unique in how we handle criminal matters. We spend the time necessary to get to know our clients as individuals, not just numbers on a file. We find out what things matter most to our clients, whether that is a need for treatment, the preservation of a job, or minimizing the publicity surrounding a case. We advocate strongly for our clients while always keeping in mind that very real person that is being impacted by our strategies and decisions. We work hard to establish our reputation with the judiciary, prosecutors, and law enforcement, so our clients reap the benefit of that respect.
What Should You Do If Arrested or Charged with a Crime in Rock Hill or Surrounding Areas?
If you are arrested or charged with a crime, talk to our criminal defense lawyers in Rock Hill, South Carolina soon as possible, before saying anything to the police or prosecutors. The police, prosecutors and judge will not and cannot give you legal advice. If you try to go it alone, you are really on your own. In most cases, you have better options than just pleading guilty and accepting the consequences.
If you are thinking of pleading guilty to a criminal charge, consider talking first to the criminal defense lawyers at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC, so you can understand the long-term consequences of doing so and be aware of other options that may be available to you.
For example, a college student who pleads guilty to alcohol offenses may lose their scholarship or be suspended. A person who pleads guilty to a driving offense may have their driver’s license suspended. A guilty plea for some crimes may impact one’s ability to own certain property or travel.
When a person goes to court without a lawyer at their side, they may not realize just how dramatically the odds are stacked against them. Police officers and prosecutors are trained to know the system and they are not on the side of the defendant. The judge is a neutral party. A judge can’t advise someone when they are making a bad decision and is not under any obligation to let a defendant know about other options they may have.
There is no such thing as “guilty with an explanation.” By pleading guilty, you are waiving your rights and will be convicted. Once you plead guilty, they turn the power over to the judge to determine punishment, regardless of what explanation might be offered. Sometimes the “explanation” makes matters much worse.
If you have been charged with a crime, you need to talk to experienced defense lawyers who can assess your case, guide you through the process, lay out your options, with the risks and advantages of each, and help you come to a solution. Our Rock Hill criminal defense law firm makes this process easy for you to relieve some of the stress that you may have as a result of this experience. In some cases, a guilty plea may be the best option, but in that case, we have years of experience in negotiating plea deals with prosecutors.
Frequently Asked Questions
The experienced South Carolina criminal defense team at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC understands how scary and stressful it can be to face criminal charges, no matter how relatively minor or serious. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and explain your legal rights, so you can make informed decisions about your defense and your future.
Some of the questions clients and their families frequently ask our attorneys include:
Do you have to talk to police when arrested?
No, you have the right to remain silent, and the less you say, the better. No matter how the officer makes it seem, you do not have to give a statement about what happened. However, you should always be polite and never physically resist a law enforcement officer. Just ask for a lawyer.
If you are being booked into jail, give the basic information needed to fill out the paperwork, such as your name, address, phone number, and emergency contact. But do not answer any questions about what happened until you have spoken with a knowledgeable York County criminal defense attorney.
If the alleged victim wants to drop the charges, will they be dropped?
The decision to drop the charges is not up to the person who accused you of a crime. That decision must be made by the prosecutor or a judge. If the prosecution feels it does not have enough evidence to convict you without the accuser’s testimony, the prosecutor may dismiss the charges.
What should I do if there’s a warrant out for my arrest?
A warrant will not just go away if you ignore it. However, discussing your situation with a skilled criminal defense attorney and arranging to turn yourself in on your terms will be better than having law enforcement officers track you down at your home or job. In addition, your attorney will develop a comprehensive strategy so that when you go in, you know what to expect and what the next steps will be.
Do I need an attorney if I’m going to plead guilty?
Yes, having a York County criminal defense attorney on your side is always in your best interest. Your experienced criminal defense lawyer can explore options for getting the charge reduced to a lesser offense. And even if you decide you want to take a plea deal, your attorney can negotiate the terms and demand the most lenient sentencing available.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
In South Carolina, crimes are categorized as either felonies or misdemeanors.
Felonies are more serious crimes such as murder or attempted murder, kidnapping, arson, sexual misconduct, etc. The penalty for conviction of a felony crime in South Carolina depends on the class of the felony. Felonies may be categorized into Class A through F, although some felony crimes are exempt from this class system. Punishments can include lengthy incarceration in a state prison and severe fines, as well as the lifelong stigma that comes with a felony conviction.
Misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, but they can still carry life-changing penalties such as incarceration (usually in a local jail), fines, and community service. Punishment for misdemeanor crimes also follows a classification system, with crimes categorized as Class A, B, or C. Like felonies, some misdemeanors may be exempt from the classification system. Examples of misdemeanor crimes in South Carolina include vandalism, harassment, indecent exposure, etc.
No criminal charge should be taken lightly. Always contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss your options if you have been charged with any type of offense.
What is the difference between a state charge and a federal charge?
State charges are brought when state law is allegedly violated. These cases are prosecuted through the South Carolina court system.
Federal charges are brought when there is an alleged violation of federal law. The U.S.Attorney’s Office prosecutes these cases through the federal court system.
What is the role of the prosecutor?
In each criminal case, there are two sides: the prosecution and the defense. The prosecutor represents the government in arguing that the defendant broke the law. Criminal prosecutors must be able to build an airtight case that proves a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Although the image many people have of a prosecutor is of a lawyer arguing before a judge and jury, the prosecutor does a lot of legwork and negotiating behind the scenes with defense attorneys. As your Rock Hill criminal defense lawyer works to collect evidence that will weaken the prosecution’s case, he or she may negotiate with the prosecutor to have the charges against you reduced or dropped.
What is white-collar crime?
White-collar crimes are those that are financially motivated and non-violent. Some of the most common types of white-collar crimes include health care fraud, mortgage fraud, money laundering, credit card fraud, forgery, extortion, tax evasion, public corruption, etc.
What is the difference between probation and parole?
Probation and parole are both alternatives to imprisonment in which the person is subject to monitoring, but they are not the same thing.
Probation is typically ordered as a punishment in lieu of imprisonment. The probationer may face a variety of requirements, including regularly reporting to a probation officer, paying court-ordered fines, and participation in a treatment program. If the person violates the terms of probation, he or she may be incarcerated.
Parole occurs when an offender is conditionally released from prison and allowed to serve out the rest of his or her sentence in the community. Parole may be discretionary, in cases where it is granted by a parole board, or mandatory, in cases where it is mandated by statute. Parolees may face a range of requirements related to their release, including regularly reporting to a parole officer. If a parolee violates the conditions of release, he or she may be returned to prison.
Get a Criminal Defense Attorney in Rock Hill Who Cares Now
The attorneys at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC have years of experience with criminal defense and are committed to standing up for the rights and future of clients like you. Contact us now to schedule a consultation with one of our Rock Hill criminal defense attorneys.