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Questions Answered by Stephen Grooms
2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for South Carolina on
Q: Can my boyfriend be charged with trafficking if he was never in the house where the drugs were found.
Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Aug 20, 2019

Yes, as an element of trafficking is conspiracy. Meaning a person doesn't have to actually be in possession to be found guilty. He will need to talk to a defense attorney as every case is different.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: How long can someone sit in jail awaiting trial in sc
Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Aug 19, 2019

There is no set time, someone can sit for as long as the State takes to call the case to court. The only ways to speed up the process is for him/her to file a motion for a speedy trial or often times filing a motion for a bond reduction due to an unreasonably long pretrial incarceration can help... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: Hi. I'm researching through files in my brother discovery. And it's a witness statement that wasn't used at trial. I

I would like to know what remedies can I use? Note he's exhausted all appeals and through due diligence this testimony was found.Also this testimony will change the out come of his case

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Jun 28, 2019

This is a very specific type of law, what you need is an experienced "Post Conviction Relief" attorney. If you can't find one in your area try contacting the South Carolina Bar at 803 799-7100.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: What makes a receiving stolen property charge a felony in South Carolina?My kid has hers marked $2000 or less but a felo

But listed as felony with actually listed items valued at $1050.00 and she was only in a .motel room belonging to friend who had the stuff in motel room when police came to arrest that so called friend on child neglect charges and found stolen property they charged my kid too because the friend... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Jun 18, 2019

If you have two or more prior property crime related convictions your third offense can be indicted or charged as a felony regardless of dollar value involved.

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for South Carolina on
Q: How can you find a lawyer who won’t take advantage of you, especially if you are in your 70s, and sober 29 years?

Friend was arrested for DUI, however she is sober 29 years. She’s in her 70’s, she was driving recklessly for her, because she was talking on phone and trying to get a piece of candy out of a wrapper. They did not give her a breath test or offer one. She failed her physical sobriety test... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Jun 11, 2019

A DUI arrest, charge and potential conviction could in fact be solely due to intoxication as the result of taking prescription drugs. Your friend has a lot going for her due to her age and lack of alcohol or drug use, but she will still need zealous representation to ensure her best defense. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: if a person called the police and lied to them about a situation then wrote a false statement on the person

how long will the person have to sit in jail

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on May 17, 2019

The answer is that it depends on what they lied about, and therefore what they were charged with. If they lied about a false misdemeanor then its 30 days, but if they lied about a false felony that charge carries up to 5 years.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: How can a person have the same charge 3 times?

My friend was arrested, and when I look up his name under inmate search he has the same charge 3 times... Manufacturing / distribution 3. Three times though!? And one more charge, felon in possession of a firearm. I'm just confused as to how they are giving him three counts of the manufacturing /... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Feb 19, 2019

From your description the charging agency appears to be alleging that on 3 separate occasions your friend distributed and or manufactured a controlled substance. This is often the case when they have been building a case over a period of time against a defendant. You friend should strongly consider... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: If I am charged with a crime do I supposed to have a preliminary hearing and if I haven't had one what does that mean?

I have a burglary charge first degree and it's been over a hundred twenty days and I've never had a preliminary hearing

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Jan 17, 2019

This is a question that needs to be answered by your attorney, it is possible that your charge has already been indicted and therefore the State doesn't have to provide you with a preliminary hearing.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: My son was accussed of armed robbery with a concealed weapons he had no weapon and for trespassing

They were going by what someone had told them And the person is a known drug user this is his first charge

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Nov 29, 2018

Your son is facing an incredibly serious charge, one that is considered a violent crime that carries a minimum of 10 years in prison. Depending on the facts of the case the victim's credibility may or may not be the determining factor in whether or not the State has enough evidence to win at trial.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: What is the punishment for 3rd offense shoplifting? Also what would be the best case scenario for the defendant?

My mother is 62. She's has quite a bit of medical problems. She also takes care of my 86yrs grandmother, who has dementia. She also has custody of my sisters children. She got a third offense shoplifting charge. Her public defender wants her to take a plea of 18 months. Is that the best... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Oct 30, 2018

A shoplifting 3rd offense is a 0-10 year felony. The State must prove the prior convictions are proper enhancement convictions. For example whether or not she had an attorney could mean the prior conviction can not be used to enhance this current charge. Even if the necessary prerequisites... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: I am trying to find out is the charge of ABHAN a violent charge or Non violent charge. Statue 16-03-0600(B)(1)

How is it two people can be charged with the charge of ABHAN, And one be violent and the other one be none violent, One went before a jury and came out to be none violent and the other plead guilty and his was rendered violent.

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Oct 22, 2018

It is a violent offense under 16-1-60.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: person with no priors is charged w/ larceny, assault & battery, & resisting arrest as misdemeanors will they go to jail

Adult male age 21 was charged with assault & battery, grand larceny & resisting arrest with all charges as misdemeanors. Since he has no priors, when he goes to court in 2 weeks will the judge possibly let him go? No jail time just fines or whatever else?

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Oct 10, 2018

If he pleads guilty or is found guilty by a Judge or Jury on the charges described then he certainly could be sentenced to active prison time. For example Grand Larceny is a 0-5 year felony charge. Whether or not he is sentenced to prison time will depend on the facts, his past record, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: If someone is facing 2 separate 3rd degree burglary 1st offence charges with a prior criminal history

Are they looking at a lot of time? This is all the info I have at the moment

16-11-0313 ~ 427 ~ Burglary / Burglary (After June 20, 1985) - Third degree - 1st offense 497 $20,000.00

16-11-0313 ~ 427 ~ Burglary / Burglary (After June 20, 1985) - Third degree - 1st offense 497... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Sep 28, 2018

The charge of Burglary 3rd carries 5 years non violent time. However the last line here says charge was remanded to magistrate court, so it sounds like they may have plea bargained down to a misdemeanor.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: In 2014 I was arrested for a simple assault. This is the ONLY thing on my record. Can I get this expunged?

I was arrested on 09/03/2014 for a simple assault. (Which I plead guilty to.) This is the the only thing on my record. I am currently trying to get employed at a local plant, but they won’t hire me with this on my record. Anything I can do? I am now 22 years of age.

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Aug 29, 2018

Assuming your conviction was for a simple assault and battery in the state of South Carolina, you are eligible to have the conviction expunged if you meet the requirements. You would need to contact the local clerk or court where you were convicted to get started. If they do not help you, you can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for South Carolina on
Q: Possibility for Conspiracy to Distribute Charges?

A while ago, my friend had a very rough part of his life he is still ashamed of today. He apparently talked to someone about distributing drugs, but never followed up with it or went through with it with this particular individual. He had sold drugs before, but he straightened up his act. This... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Aug 8, 2018

Tell your friend that talking about selling drugs isn't a crime. You have to take some step towards selling in order to charge conspiracy. And while there is no statute of limitations in South Carolina for past felony acts, the likelihood that a person is charged years later for selling drugs,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for South Carolina on
Q: Charged for DUI b/c of suspicion of alcohol. Test negative for alcohol, but now being charged for DUI b/c of THC.

I was involved in a motorcycle accident when a women pulled out of her driveway in front of me. I was airlifted to the hospital and nearly died. The SC state trooper found me at fault based on him suspecting me of being under the influence of alcohol. I had not consumed any alcohol and the only... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Aug 1, 2018

While you can be prosecuted for DUI based on marijuana alone, it is very tough to prove that the amount of THC in a person's system had an impact on them at the time of the accident. I would advise you to speak to a criminal defense attorney before court. You have options, and a consult with an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for South Carolina on
Q: Can you be charged with habitual traffic offender if your not operating a motor vehicle

I was working on a vehicle replacing the brakes and upon completion an officer pulls into my driveway and tells me the tag of the car I was working on was suspended and asked for my licence. In working on the car I only crank the car and put it into gear to see if the brakes would hold once I was... Read more »

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Jul 26, 2018

The question is whether or not your conduct was "operating a motor vehicle" under 56-1-1020, 1100. While private property vs public roads is addressed in Habitual Offender related injury charges (56-1-1105) it isn't so clear under the general statute. However it does set a nice precedent for an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: Hello i have a warrant for malicious damage of property and i prefer not to do time in jail
Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Jul 26, 2018

Assuming you are innocent you need to talk to a criminal defense attorney in your area, many will provide a free consultation. If you are guilty and the State has the evidence to prove your guilt there are still many avenues to avoid jail time, once again you need to schedule a consult with a local... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for South Carolina on
Q: I was charged with burglary 2 and a key was used to gain entrance. Would that charge remain the same
Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms answered on Jun 18, 2018

It doesn't matter if you have a key, the question is whether or not you had permission to enter and for what purpose. There are several different reasons this is a burglary 2nd as opposed to a burglary 3rd or burglary 1st. You should contact an attorney to discuss your case.

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