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Finding a DUI Attorney Rock Hill SC for My Criminal Defense

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By: John Landreth, Criminal Defense Attorney Rock Hill SC

Attorneys in Rock Hill SC Handling Criminal Defense

Rockhill Law Center
Police Municipal Court
John Landreth, criminal defense attorney Rock Hill, SC is “double Barred.” That means he has passed two separate Bar examinations, met the rigorous requirements for experience, legal ethics and character, and is licensed to practice law and give legal advice in two states, North Carolina and South Carolina.

John is a partner at the law office of Powers Landreth PLLC and is a legal professional who defends serious traffic offenses like DUI DWI, both felony and misdemeanor criminal charges in NC and SC. Since 1852, Rock Hill has grown along with Charlotte as the Southern city’s population and industry explosive growth have developed. Carowinds Amusement Park is located in Rock Hill, even though most people associate the Park with Charlotte, NC. The economic connection between Mecklenburg County NC and York County SC is only separated by a river, so being able to practice criminal law in BOTH states helps provide the clients of CarolinaAttorneys.com with legal representation who live and work across in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

One example is that many people who live in Rock Hill, and are South Carolina driver’s license holders, work in Charlotte NC. NC DWI charges can create havoc with their SC driving privileges, if convicted. That's because the North Carolina and South Carolina DMVs regularly share information with one another about DUI convictions and DWI revocations.

Conversely, a DUI in Rock Hill Municipal Court for a North Carolina driver’s license holder can create similar, cross-state legal issues. The Municipal Court of Rock Hill is located at 120 E Black St, Rock Hill, SC 29730.

If you have pending criminal charges in Rock Hill SC and need to go to court, this is what the Municipal Courthouse looks like:

Is a DUI a Felony?

Because a DUI arrest in South Carolina often means being cuffed, taken to jail and posting bond, some people with criminal charges don't know what to expect. In fact, many accused drunk drivers fully expect to be facing felony DUI charges. The good news is many, if not most, DUI cases in South Carolina are considered misdemeanors.

It depends on the nature of the charges, what other criminal allegations there may be, prior DUI or criminal history, and the factual basis of the case.

South Carolina DUI laws DO provide for both DUI felony or misdemeanor accusations, but well over 90% of all driving intoxicated cases in the Palmetto State are misdemeanor DUI cases and NOT felony charges.

Our goal is to help you understand the nature of your driving while intoxicated charges, explaining some important differences between felony vs misdemeanor cases. Please check out our website for your questions:

  • "What is the difference between DUI and DWI?"
  • "What is the difference between DUI in South Carolina and DWI in North Carolina?"
  • "When is DUI a felony?"
  • "Is DWI in North Carolina a felony or misdemeanor?"
How is Great Bodily Injury Defined under SC DUI Felony Laws?

In a DUI accident case, great bodily injury means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or which causes protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ (e.g., finger, hand, brain damage, loss eye or vision, or legs).

So, even in a situation where no burns, scars, or broken bones are part of the victim’s injuries, a severe brain concussion or TBI traumatic brain injury (i.e., caused by sudden deceleration or whiplash due to airbags and seat belt) can be the basis of a South Carolina felony DUI.

An experienced DUI attorney will carefully consider the surrounding circumstances in a car accident case and subsequent DUI arrest. “Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony?” If someone died as a result of impaired driving or a wreck caused by DUI in South Carolina, there are provisions in SC DUI laws that allow for felony prosecution.

If there is a tragic wreck and associated death, it's not unusual to see a substantial bond required for release from a city or county jail. There is more than one way to be charged with a DUI felony case in South Carolina, separate and apart from fatalities.

Which Court Prosecutes Felony DUI and Felony Reckless Driving Cases?

While most traffic offenses like speeding tickets are non-serious misdemeanors in South Carolina, another group of serious misdemeanors can be the “predicate” offense for indicting a person for a felony. As stated, that can happen in drunk driving accident cases, or where outrageous, reckless driving results in a fatality or “great bodily injury” to another person.

South Carolina attorneys practice in different areas of the law. Lawyers who handle criminal charges and work within the justice system are often referred to as "criminal justice lawyers." They work in the challenging atmosphere of the General Sessions Court.

When it comes to criminal charges in South Carolina, the prosecutor may be referred to as the Circuit Solicitor. Prosecutors nationwide enjoy a substantial amount of discretion in deciding what matters to prosecute, what matters to make a plea offer, and even what criminal charges to dismiss.

If there are DUI charges and a DUI accident, fatality, or permanently disabled victim, due to a drunk driver or drunk driving, those charges tend to be the most serious and therefore the most vigorously prosecuted in court.

The General Sessions Court is the South Carolina criminal court that handles Grand Jury Proceedings and felony Jury Trials. The process of seeking and obtaining a True Bill of Indictment in South Carolina can be a bit complicated. For more information regarding the questions, "What does a Grand Jury Do?" and "What is an Indictment?" please see our website and blog posts.

DUI Felony or Misdemeanor in South Carolina

It is quite serious if you are charged with DUI and have been accused of drinking driving while there are other related South Carolina motor vehicle crimes that make legal representation more serious, such as:

  • Hit and Run
  • Failure to Stop or Render Aid
  • Attempting to Elude a Police Officer
  • Driving while License Suspended
  • Driving while License Revoked Due to DUI
  • Reckless Driving or Exceptionally Dangerous Driving
  • Prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Causing the death of another while felony driving under the influence
  • Causing great bodily injury by vehicle
  • Felony reckless vehicular homicide

Misdemeanor DUI cases are one of the most common serious driving offenses that Mr. Landreth handles. They are "serious criminal charges" because DUI and DWI cases across the nation carry long-term if not permanent consequences that may include things like prison, jail, probation, loss of license, fines, court costs, community service, and treatment.

John Landreth is experienced in handling DUI felony cases when car accidents result in serious injuries to another or a death, while driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. In fact, he has argued to a jury Murder charges related to a drunk driving fatality. There aren't a lot of criminal defense lawyers who have handled felony murder charges all the way to verdict.

"Selecting a jury, arguing motions, and helping clients with serious criminal charges like manslaughter and murder has been an invaluable life experience. While clearly a challenging job, it can also be incredibly rewarding" - John Landreth

In fact, there are a limited number of South Carolina attorneys in Rock Hill SC who practice criminal defense and go to court when regularly requested, let alone on a daily basis. Part of being an experienced lawyer means regularly helping clients with their criminal charges, working within the criminal justice system, and handling court appearances.

There are criminal defense attorneys who focus their daily efforts on things like criminal appeals, filing appellate briefs, and processing pardons and paroles. So they don't really go to court very often.


Still other trial attorneys handle allegations of white-collar crime, embezzlement, and employee misconduct cases in both federal court and state court.

Defense lawyers often handle a wide range of different criminal charges from minor traffic tickets, to misdemeanor larceny, assault and battery charges - all the way to sex crimes or sex offenses like rape and statutory rape.

More minor misdemeanor charges (shoplifting, unlawful concealment, and theft offenses) are far more common than serious misdemeanor (assault, assault and battery, threats, and assaults inflicting serious bodily harm) and felony charges like robbery, murder, and manslaughter.

John Landreth, a former star baseball player, enjoys the challenge of fighting a criminal case in court, including defending a client at a jury trial. John says, "I guess it's part of my competitive nature from playing sports for so many years. The courtroom, and specifically arguing criminal cases in court, plays to my strengths and passions."

Mr. Landreth is available for consultation by appointment at our York County law office. Mr. Landreth handles a wide range of criminal cases including manslaughter, felony death, murder, rape, felony assault, sexual assault, rape, sex offenses, employee crimes of larceny and embezzlement, defending sexting charges, and domestic violence allegations.

CarolinaAttorneys.com has convenient locations in Rock Hill, South Carolina as well as law offices less than 20 minutes away in Charlotte NC (at two different locations) for people who live or work in the Charlotte-metro region. One Charlotte law office location is near the Mecklenburg County Courthouse and is available by appointment only. The primary Powers Landreth office is situated right off I-77, near I-85 at 2412 Arty Avenue, Charlotte NC.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a DUI Lawyer?

LogoLawyers in Rock Hill SC will have a wide range of legal fees, depending on the nature of their law practice and the type of criminal charges. Lawyers who rarely go to court, file suppression motions, argue case law, or go to trial sometimes advertise themselves as cheap DUI lawyers. Criminal defense attorneys who fight and who seek to avoid a drunk driving conviction will often charge more.

"My grandad used to say, 'Good ain't cheap and cheap ain't good.' It takes hard work, preparation, and experience to effectively defend people against serious criminal charges. Most people understand that legal fees depend on the work to be performed, the legal skill of the attorney, and a dogged pursuit of justice." - John Landreth.

We look out for the best interests of our clients. We explain legal rights and options. Our goal is to provide sound legal advice after a careful and thoughtful review of the charges and prior criminal history.

DUI charges in South Carolina are handled differently than DWI cases in NC. Put simply, there is sometimes the ability to plea bargain to a lesser offense like DUAI or even reckless driving. DUI misdemeanor cases in South Carolina also sometimes have a disposition by waiver. That means there are times where we are able to negotiate with the Solicitor and handle the case on your behalf, without you ever having to go to court.

Each case is different - each client and their goals are important. That's why it's a good idea to meet in person and talk to an experienced DUI lawyer. We will explain your legal options and how we can help. We prefer to sit down with you, listen to your concerns and worries, ask a lot of questions, and figure out your goals as part of your legal representation.

Our law firm discourages the common practice of quoting fees on the phone because again, EVERY CASE is DIFFERENT, and your case deserves personal attention.

Plus, we offer 100% FREE consultations, so it doesn't cost you a penny to get legal information, ask questions, and figure out what works best for you.

Experienced lawyers want to get all the facts and only then quote an appropriate legal fee. Our law office offers clients attorney fees payment plans. Again, this is often best handled in the office and face-to-face.

Rock Hill OfficeContact our FREE consultation lawyer in Rock Hill SC if you or a loved one faces a serious misdemeanor charge, DUI, or felony accusation. Our 24-7 Phone Number is 803-325-5806, so call us for FREE legal advice about the legal system and how the courts work at your initial consultation.

Experience counts when you need the help of a criminal defense lawyer. For serious motor vehicle violations, your driver’s license and freedom may hang in the balance.

CarolinaAttorneys.com Law Office in Rock Hill, SC 331 E Main St, Suite 200 Rock Hill, SC 29730
(BY APPOINTMENT ONLY)

Client Reviews
★★★★★
My daughter had a second DUI and when it all seemed hopeless, Bill was able to get the charges dropped. This is a man who is extremely knowledgeable, yet still keeps his integrity which was impressive to me. He handles himself with dignity. If you hire him, you will have the best of the best, along with his expansive intellect and wisdom about the law. Please don’t feel hopeless, when you can hire such a great attorney to be on your side.
★★★★★
Bill Powers’ staff has handled several traffic citations for me over the years, and they exceeded my expectations each and every time. Would highly recommend anyone faced with a traffic citation or court case contact his office and they will handle it from there. M.C.
★★★★★
I utilized Bill Powers and his firm after my DUI infraction in December 2011. During my initial consultation he immediately made me feel at ease with his knowledge of the law and his confidence in moving forward. Not to mention a great personality. He filled me in on all the ramifications and the process as a whole. I am a realist, and did not expect miracles. But Bill is stickler for procedure and that is what you need in a crises such as this. It took a good year, and the results were more than I could ever anticipate or hope for. I would have paid more had I known the results ahead of time. If you find yourself in a similar situation, trust me, he is your go to lawyer. J SJ