Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense Lawyers In Charleston

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Charleston

You may feel overwhelmed and frightened if you face criminal charges in Charleston, SC. Your freedom, reputation, and future are on the line. But you don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. The skilled criminal defense lawyers at Murphy Crantford Meehan will stand by your side, protect your constitutional rights, and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

At the law offices of Murphy Crantford Meehan, a leading criminal defense law firm in South Carolina, we understand that criminal cases are unique. Cookie-cutter legal strategies simply won’t cut it. That’s why we take the time to get to know you and hear your side of the story. By understanding your specific circumstances, challenges, and goals, we can craft a personalized defense strategy to secure the desired results.

Our criminal defense team, led by experienced criminal lawyers William C. Crantford and Jerry A. Meehan, Jr., knows Charleston County and South Carolina law inside and out. We have successfully defended clients against a wide range of criminal offenses, from misdemeanors to serious felonies, including drug trafficking, criminal sexual conduct, and attempted murder, in both state and federal courts.

What A Criminal Defense Lawyer Does

What A Criminal Defense Lawyer Does

Criminal defense attorneys play a crucial role in protecting the rights of those accused of crimes and ensuring a fair trial. At Murphy Crantford Meehan, our Charleston criminal defense lawyers:

Our criminal law practice areas cover the full spectrum of criminal matters, from investigation and arrest through trial, sentencing, and appeals. Whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges such as drug offenses, domestic violence, or DUI charges in state and federal courts, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are ready to fight for you.

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person arrested who was accused of a crime in charleston

What Should I Do if I am Arrested in Charleston, South Carolina?

What Should I Do if I am Arrested in Charleston, South Carolina?

Being arrested is a scary and stressful experience. The actions you take in the immediate aftermath can significantly impact the outcome of your case. If police arrest you in Charleston, SC, following criminal accusations, remember these important tips:

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Why Choose Our Criminal Defense Lawyers

Why Choose Our Criminal Defense Lawyers

Selecting the right criminal defense lawyer is one of your most important decisions. Your attorney will be your advocate and advisor throughout the legal process, whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges in state and federal courts. At Murphy Crantford Meehan, we are committed to providing the highest quality defense representation to every client. Here are a few reasons why we believe we are the right choice:

Unmatched trial experience

Our attorneys are Gerry Spence's acclaimed Trial Lawyers College graduates. We prepare every case as if it will go to trial, and have the courtroom skills to argue your case powerfully before a judge and jury when needed.

Collaborative approach

We work closely with you at every stage of your case, taking the time to answer your questions, explain your options, and keep you informed.

Commitment to clients

Our law firm is known for providing personal attention and going the extra mile for the people we represent. We are responsive, accessible, and focused on achieving the best possible results for your unique situation.


Criminal Defense Practice Areas

experienced, aggressive, dedicated

Our Charleston criminal defense attorneys handle the full spectrum of criminal cases, including:

The Legal Process

Being accused of committing a crime thrusts you into an unfamiliar and daunting legal world. Understanding what to expect can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty you may feel. While every case follows its own path, here is a general outline of the criminal justice process in South Carolina:

1. Investigation

Law enforcement investigates suspected criminal activity, gathering evidence like witness statements, documents, photos/video footage, etc. If officers believe they have probable cause, they may make an arrest or seek an arrest warrant from a judge.

2. Arrest

Upon arrest, the accused is taken into custody, booked, and usually held in jail until a bond hearing. You should exercise your right to remain silent and request a criminal defense lawyer at this stage.

3. Bond Hearing

Usually within 24 hours of arrest, a judge will hold a hearing to decide whether to set bond (release the defendant pending trial). The judge considers factors like flight risk and danger to the community.

4. Preliminary Hearing

This is a pre-trial hearing where a judge determines if probable cause exists to send felony charges to the grand jury. The prosecution must show sufficient evidence that the defendant likely committed the alleged crime. Your lawyer can cross-examine witnesses and challenge the evidence.

5. Grand Jury

In felony cases, a grand jury will hear evidence and decide whether to charge ("indict") the defendant formally. It is not a trial. The accused has no right to be present or participate. If indicted, the case will proceed to trial court.

6. Arraignment

The first court appearance in the trial court, where the defendant receives formal notice of the charges and enters an initial plea (usually "not guilty" at this stage).

7. Pre-Trial Motions

Before trial, your attorney may file various motions challenging the prosecution's case, such as motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence, to compel disclosure of certain evidence, or to dismiss the case outright for lack of evidence or violation of speedy trial rights.

8. Plea Bargaining

In some cases, the prosecutor may offer a plea deal to resolve the matter without a trial. Your attorney will review any plea offers and advise whether it may be in your interest to accept a deal or fight the charges at trial.

9. Trial

If your case is not resolved through dismissal or a plea deal, it will proceed to jury trial. The prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your criminal defense attorney will undermine the state's evidence, present your defense, and argue for an acquittal.

10. Sentencing

If convicted at trial or by guilty plea, the judge (not the jury) will impose a sentence based on the criminal penalties for the offense.

11. Appeal

If you are found guilty at trial, you can appeal the verdict to a higher court. An appeal argues that legal errors were made, which deprived you of a fair trial. If the appellate court agrees, it may overturn the conviction, order a new trial, or reduce the sentence.

Why You Need An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Trying to handle criminal charges on your own is a huge risk. The criminal justice system is complex and high stakes; prosecutors are not on your side. Hiring an experienced Charleston criminal defense attorney is the most critical thing you can do to protect your rights and pursue a positive outcome.

Facing the power and resources of the government on your own puts you at a severe disadvantage. Having a skilled attorney levels the playing field and gives you the best chance of beating the charges or minimizing the consequences. Most importantly, your criminal lawyer will stand by your side and be a committed advocate during a difficult and stressful time.

Contact Murphy Crantford Meehan

Contact us now

If you or a loved one faces criminal charges in Charleston or the surrounding area, the Charleston criminal defense lawyers at Murphy Crantford Meehan are here to help. We know how much is at stake and are committed to providing the strongest possible defense in your case.

Contact our South Carolina criminal defense law firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can fight for you. The sooner you involve us, the more we can do to build an effective defense strategy. You do not have to go through this alone. Call or click now, and let us put our experience and dedication to work for you.

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