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Greenville South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog

What is ineffective assistance of legal counsel?

The American judicial system is complex. In fact, most U.S. lawyers go to school for at least seven years to become proficient in the law. If you face criminal charges, though, you must think about the quality of your legal representation. 

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives criminal defendants the right to legal representation during virtually all parts of the criminal process. If you cannot pay for a lawyer, the government covers many legal fees for you. Before you hire an attorney or ask a judge to appoint one for you, you should know a few things about ineffective assistance of counsel. 

Social media neighborhood apps raise undue alarm about crime

Residents of South Carolina can increasingly monitor their neighborhoods, connect with neighbors and report suspicious activity at the touch of a button. Community-oriented social media applications, like Nextdoor, Citizen and Amazon's Ring, have attracted many users. Critics assert that the applications encourage people to engage in racist stereotyping and create unnecessary fears about public safety.

Users at the popular Nextdoor share warnings about people who they think are casing a neighborhood or otherwise acting suspiciously. Sightings of unfamiliar vehicles, people walking in hoodies or people taking photos frequently trigger posts that make people think that they are surrounded by potential criminals.

How to avoid a pharmacy audit

Opioid abuse is a real crisis in America. Due to the soaring rates of addiction and overdose, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the epidemic an emergency for public health in 2017 and created a plan to increase education, support and safety.

A serious side effect of the federal response to the opioid problem, as well as healthcare fraud in general, is a closer look at prescriptions. The goal is to lower opioid use, so any triggers of improper drug distribution can lead to the audit of your pharmacy. Watch out for these common actions to prevent criminal charges of abuse or fraud.

4 key elements of an embezzlement charge

Anyone facing an embezzlement charge in South Carolina should not overlook the seriousness of the matter. Without a proper defense, the prosecution can present evidence and statements to escalate the allegations into a white-collar criminal conviction. An arrest alone is not necessarily enough to cause long-term damage to a promising career, but an embezzlement criminal conviction can create insurmountable challenges in life. 

Often, when an employer accuses someone of embezzlement, the theft or siphoning of money has gone on for quite some time. Due to the serious nature of the crime, many people who face embezzlement charges do not realize that the prosecution bears the burden of proof. Many factors can affect the outcome of an embezzlement case. However, to secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the allegations meet the following four criteria

Former executive sentenced for wire fraud charges

Some people in South Carolina may have heard about an executive with MillerCoors who was facing charges of fraud. The man had participated with others in a scheme from 2003 to 2013 that cost the company over $8.6 million. On May 16, he was sentenced to 46 months in prison. An assistant U.S. attorney on the case asked for a sentence of 64 months. She acknowledged that he was the one who had tipped off prosecutors to the scheme but also said that he had committed "the ultimate betrayal." The man, a former vice-president, had worked his way up through the company.

The scheme involved writing fake invoices for events and promotions and charging MillerCoors for them. Prior to the man's sentencing, the judge dealt with seven other people who were also involved.

Deputies say 3 suspects committed 2018 murder

Media outlets in South Carolina have reported that three people have been charged in connection with the 2018 murder of a 25-year-old man. A Greenville County Sheriff's Office representative said deputies believe that a 37-year-old woman and two men aged 24 and 25 committed the crime. The woman was taken into custody on May 8 and two men, who are cousins, are being held in Spartanburg County on unrelated charges. The three suspects have all been charged with homicide and possessing a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

GCSO deputies believe that the three suspects knew the victim. They allege that the suspects were driving an SUV in Taylor on the night of the shooting and invited the victim to join them when they noticed him walking. According to deputies, the three suspects all drew handguns and opened fire on the victim when the conversation became heated and he attempted to flee on foot.

The difference between assault and battery

Lawmakers in South Carolina continue to crack down on those convicted of assault or battery. Earlier this year, lawmakers passed H.3063, which makes it a felony to threaten or assault someone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age or other protected factors.

Many people face charges of assault and battery each year to the point where many in the general public assume they are the same thing. However, each has distinct characteristics, and each requires a different type of defense. Understanding the key differences will allow someone on trial to comprehend each defense and why it is best for each given crime.

Are you eligible for an expungement in South Carolina?

Having a criminal record can haunt you, and it can potentially impact numerous areas of your life. Your criminal record can, for example, potentially prevent you from securing certain jobs, and it may, too, present barriers with regard to where you can live, among other repercussions. You may, however, depending on circumstances, be able to pursue what is known as a criminal record expungement.

Just what is a criminal record expungement, and how can you tell if you are eligible for one?

South Carolina teen charged with murder

A South Carolina teenager is facing homicide, obstruction of justice and weapons possession charges in connection with the death of a 22-year-old man. According to media reports, the 17-year-old Summerville resident has been denied bond and remains in custody at the Berkeley County Detention Center. The teen called 911 at approximately 12:30 p.m. on April 24 to report that a man had been shot in his apartment. Emergency operators initially classified the incident as a possible suicide.

When deputies with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office arrived at the scene on Brown Court in Summerville, they found the teen's father attempting to resuscitate a man who appeared to have been shot. The teen allegedly told deputies that the man had shot himself by accident while playing with a loaded revolver. The man was pronounced dead shortly after being transported by paramedics to a nearby hospital.

Prisoners exonerated in 2018 spent 1,639 years behind bars

South Carolina residents have likely read media stories about prisoners who were exonerated after spending years behind bars when witnesses recanted or DNA evidence proved their innocence. The National Registry of Exonerations keeps track of these cases, and its latest annual report reveals that the 151 prisoners exonerated in 2018 were incarcerated for a total of 1,639 years. This works out to about 11 years behind bars per exonerated prisoner and is the highest number observed since the organization began tracking this data in 1989.

The research group's report also reveals that official misconduct is worryingly common in these cases. Of the 151 prisoners exonerated, 107 were sent to prison largely due to misconduct by police, prosecutors, or other officials. Misconduct is even more common in homicide cases according to the University of Michigan Law School-based group. The misconduct figures were especially high in 2018 because a scandal involving corrupt Chicago police officers led to the exoneration of 31 prisoners.

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William G. Yarborough Attorney at Law
522 N. Church St.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 800-469-3658
Phone: 864-326-3026
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William G. Yarborough Attorney at Law