Experienced Litigation When You Need It Most. TKT Lawyers

Founded in 2005, by Paul Thurmond, Jesse Kirchner, & Michael Timbes, our firm provides compassionate and effective legal services to clients throughout Charleston, SC and surrounding communities.

Charleston Criminal Defense Attorneys

Fighting Criminal Accusations in Charleston, Summerville, and Throughout South Carolina

If you have been accused of a crime in Charleston, Summerville, or in the surrounding South Carolina areas, get in touch with a Charleston criminal defense attorney right away.

At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., our dedicated Charleston, SC, criminal defense lawyers, including Lead Counsel Paul Thurmond, have years of courtroom experience on both sides of the aisle. We are thorough, aggressive, and discreet. Each of our defense attorneys brings extensive experience practicing criminal defense in South Carolina.

We work hard to ensure your rights are protected at every step. Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (843) 790-0083 or contacting us online.

Types of Cases We Handle

At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., our criminal defense attorneys in Charleston provide aggressive and effective representation. We help clients accused of misdemeanors and felonies in state and federal courts.

Our South Carolina firm takes on a range of criminal matters, including:

  • Traffic offenses: If a person violates a traffic law or engages in any illegal conduct while operating a motor vehicle, they could face charges.
  • Drug crimes: Any illegal conduct involving controlled substances can result in incarceration and/or a fine.
  • White collar crimes: Generally, these are financially motivated offenses taking place in corporate settings. However, anyone can be accused of a violation.

Our Charleston, SC, criminal defense lawyers have handled numerous complex cases. Thus, we know how to effectively guide you through the charge you are facing. No matter the offense you’ve been accused of, we will work hard toward a favorable result on your behalf.

Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney in Charleston & Summerville

A criminal defense lawyer’s ultimate goal is to seek the best possible result for you, whether it is through dismissal of the charges, deferment programs, resolution through victim restitution, or entering a plea to a lesser charge.

At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., we work closely with you to explain the charges and any collateral consequences that might arise. Our team will give you straight answers and a clear understanding of your options, allowing you to make informed decisions. We know how important it is to minimize public exposure and protect your reputation when resolving the charges against you.

As criminal defense attorneys in Charleston, we also believe it is important not only to help with the problem but also to address other issues or concerns that might have contributed to its cause to further mitigate the potential penalties.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, contact our criminal defense lawyers at (843) 790-0083. We are eager to help resolve your legal matters in Charleston, Summerville, and the surrounding areas.

We Always Aim for the Best Result Possible. 

Don’t risk your future; contact our firm today for your free consultation!

Misdemeanor vs. Felony in South Carolina

In South Carolina, criminal offenses are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Felonies are the more serious of the two and carry harsher penalties. That said, a conviction for either can result in incarceration and/or fines, as well as other sanctions determined appropriate for the specific crime. Typically, a felony conviction will also come with other consequences, such as losing the right to vote.

Misdemeanors and felonies are further separated into different classifications based on the severity of the offense. Below are the classes of felonies and misdemeanors examples of offenses, and potential penalties:

Felonies

Class A Felonies

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Voluntary manslaughter (S.C. Code § 16-3-50)
  • Assault with intent to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct (S.C. Code § 16-3-656)
  • Kidnapping (S.C. Code § 16-3-910)
  • Armed robbery (S.C. Code § 16-11-330)
  • First-degree arson (S.C. Code § 16-11-110)

Class A felonies are generally punishable by imprisonment.

Class B Felonies

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Second-degree arson (S.C. Code § 16-11-110)
  • Trafficking in 10 pounds or more of marijuana – third or subsequent violation (S.C. Code § 44-53-370)
  • Trafficking in 500 or more but less than 1,000 dosage units of LSD (S.C. Code § 44-53-370)
  • Trafficking in 1,000 dosage units or more of MDMA (S.C. Code § 44-53-370)
  • DUI resulting in death (S.C. Code § 56-5-2945)

Class B felonies are generally punishable by imprisonment.

Class C Felonies

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Administering or attempting to administer poison (S.C. Code § 16-3-70)
  • Inflicting great bodily injury upon a child (S.C. Code § 16-3-95)
  • Aggravated assault and battery (S.C. Code § 16-3-600)
  • Second-degree criminal sexual conduct (S.C. Code § 16-3-653)
  • Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature (S.C. Code § 16-25-65)

Class C felonies are generally punishable by imprisonment.

Class D Felonies

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor (S.C. Code § 16-3-655)
  • Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in great bodily injury (S.C. Code § 16-3-1050)
  • Third-degree arson (S.C. Code § 16-11-110)
  • Second-degree burglary of a building (S.C. Code § 16-11-312)
  • Manufacture, distribution, etc. of meth or cocaine (S.C. Code § 44-53-375)

Class D felonies are generally punishable by imprisonment.

Class E Felonies

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Third-degree criminal sexual conduct (S.C. Code § 16-3-654)
  • First-degree assault and battery (S.C. Code § 16-3-600)
  • Assault with intent to commit third-degree criminal sexual conduct (S.C. Code § 16-3-656)
  • Grand larceny involving $10,000 or more (S.C. Code § 16-13-30)
  • Financial identity fraud (S.C. Code § 16-13-510)

Class E felonies are generally punishable by imprisonment.

Class F Felonies

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual battery with a student (S.C. Code § 16-3-755)
  • Stalking (S.C. Code § 16-3-1730)
  • Third-degree burglary (S.C. Code § 16-11-313)
  • Knowingly filing a false police report about a felony (S.C. Code § 16-17-722)
  • Carrying weapons on school property (S.C. Code § 16-23-430)

Class F felonies are generally punishable by imprisonment.

Misdemeanors

Class A Misdemeanors

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Retail theft (S.C. Code § 16-13-135)
  • Receiving stolen goods worth more than $2,000 to up to $10,000 (S.C. Code § 16-13-180)
  • Voyeurism (S.C. Code § 16-17-470)
  • Communicating obscene messages (S.C. Code § 16-15-250)
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor (S.C. Code § 16-17-490)

Class A misdemeanors may be punishable by incarceration.

Class B Misdemeanors

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Aiding escape from custody of officers (S.C. Code § 16-9-420)
  • Use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance (S.C. Code § 23-31-400)
  • Second-degree computer crime – second or subsequent violation (S.C. Code § 16-16-20)
  • Use of altered or counterfeit tickets (S.C. Code § 12-21-2540)
  • Cruelty to animals in one’s possession (S.C. Code § 47-1-50)

Class B misdemeanors may be punishable by incarceration.

Class C Misdemeanors

Crimes under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Accessory after the fact to a Class B misdemeanor (S.C. Code § 16-1-55)
  • Hazing (S.C. Code § 16-3-530)
  • Assault with a concealed weapon (S.C. Code § 16-3-610)
  • Second-degree harassment (S.C. Code § 16-3-1710)
  • Third-degree domestic violence (S.C. Code § 16-25-20)

Class C misdemeanors may be punishable by incarceration.

For detailed information about the particular crime you were charged with in or around Charleston and Summerville, including the level of offense and possible punishments, please speak with one of our criminal defense lawyers. We are here to help you understand the nuances of your case and clarify anything that may be unfamiliar to you.

South Carolina Criminal Justice Process

When you’re charged with a crime in Charleston, Summerville or the surrounding areas, your case must go through the South Carolina criminal justice process to be resolved.

The exact steps involved depend on the facts of the matter but generally will include the following:

  • Alleged offense: The case begins when you are accused of violating a state law.
  • Investigation: Law enforcement officials will be notified of the alleged crime and investigate to determine whether probable cause exists to make an arrest. To establish probable cause, investigators will gather evidence and speak with witnesses.
  • Arrest: If sufficient evidence exists to believe you committed the alleged offense, police officers will take you into custody. During this part of the process, you will be booked, meaning an officer will get your personal information and take your photograph and fingerprints to input into the system.
  • Bond hearing: Within 24 hours of your arrest, you will be scheduled for a bond hearing. The judge will determine whether you should be released from jail while your case is pending. They will consider various factors, including the severity of the offense and the likelihood of your fleeing before the matter is resolved. If they decide you should be granted pre-trial release, you might be required to pay to get out of jail and abide by certain conditions such as not contacting the alleged victim. Failing to comply with the terms may result in bail being revoked and your being returned to police custody.
  • Preliminary hearing: You have the right to a preliminary hearing, but you must request it within 10 days of your bond hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor must prove that probable cause existed to arrest you.
  • First appearance: The first appearance happens within 45 days of your arrest. The judge will advise you of your rights, ensure you have a Charleston criminal defense attorney, and ask basic questions.
  • Second appearance: At your second appearance, the judge will ask whether you plead guilty or not guilty to the alleged offense. You and your criminal lawyer in Charleston, SC, might have negotiated a plea bargain with the prosecutor, where you agree to plead guilty in exchange for dismissed or dropped charges or a lesser sentence.
  • Trial: If you did not negotiate a plea bargain and you plead not guilty, your case will go to trial. The prosecutor and your defense attorney will present evidence to support their arguments. A judge or jury will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty.
  • Sentencing: If you are convicted of the crime – either through a guilty plea or verdict – you will be sentenced. The penalties imposed will depend on the facts of the case and can include imprisonment, fines, and other sanctions.
  • Appeal: If a legal error occurred affecting the outcome of your case, you may be able to appeal the decision or sentence. A higher court will review the trial court's record to determine whether remedy is warranted.

Throughout the criminal process, you have Constitutional rights protecting you from unjust treatment.

For instance, you have the right to:

  • Know the charges against you,
  • Remain silent,
  • Obtain legal counsel,
  • Contact a responsible person and let them know you’ve been arrested,
  • Be free from excessive bail, and
  • Have a public and speedy trial.

At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., our criminal defense lawyers in Charleston and Summerville can discuss the steps your specific case is likely to go through. We will also work to ensure that your rights are protected and address any violations that may have occurred.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, contactour criminal defense lawyers at (843) 790-0083. We are eager to help resolve your legal matters in Charleston, Summerville, and the surrounding areas.

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No information that you obtain from this website is legal advice, nor is it intended to be. You should consult an attorney for individualized advice regarding your own unique situation. Please do not send any confidential information in your message as the information you provide may not be deemed confidential. Use of this website and your request for a consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship with Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A. or any of our attorneys.