Criminal Law

Criminal Law is the branch of law that defines crimes, establishes punishments, and regulates the investigation and prosecution of people accused of committing crimes.  Both substantive criminal law and criminal procedure are encompassed within criminal law.

Substantive Criminal Law declares specific types of conduct as illegal and assigns punishments for those found guilty of engaging in it.  Criminal procedure relates to the rules of law that govern the procedure by which crimes are investigated, prosecuted, adjudicated and punished.  There are components of substantive criminal law and criminal procedures in each criminal case.  This area of law can be complex and the penalties can range from fines to imprisonment, and in rare cases, death.

The criminal process usually begins with the issuing of a warrant and is followed by an arrest.  It is always in your best interest to refrain from speaking with law enforcement officials – local police, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)—because any statement that you give may be used against you at a later time.

The law firm of Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A. will assist you.  We have handled complex criminal cases for over thirty-five (35) years ranging from Driving Under the Influence (DUI) to Murder.  If you are ever confronted with issues or questions regarding criminal law, please do not hesitate to call us.  We will fight for you.

Call 803-252-9700 or 1-866-216-9700 for an appointment with a knowledgeable and caring lawyer to help you attain the benefits you deserve.

What is a preliminary hearing?

Please see FAQ regarding preliminary.

Should I give a statement to the police?

No.  You should not speak to the police without, first, speaking with a lawyer.  It is best to hire a lawyer to represent you prior to speaking with the police or any law enforcement agency.

If I take a polygraph test, and pass, will the prosecutors throw out the case?

You should not agree to take a polygraph test without consulting with a lawyer.  Some prosecutors will dismiss the case if you “pass” the polygraph examination, but there is no guarantee that this will occur even when it is received in writing.

If I appeal my sentence, after a guilty verdict or plea, what happens?

If you appeal your sentence, the Court of Appeals will review a transcript of your trial or plea and determine if any errors were made.  If they find errors that impacted the fairness of your trial or plea, your case may be overturned, and a new trial granted.

Can the “victim” drop the case?

Depending on the seriousness of the allegation, some jurisdictions will allow the victim to drop the case; however, the ultimate decision lies with Solicitor’s Office.