Does South Carolina Have a Good Samaritan Law?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on May 11, 2018 8:03:32 AM

As the opioid crisis continues to unfold across the country, South Carolina has seen a devastating increase of overdose-related hospitalizations and deaths over the past few years.

According to SC DHEC, deaths caused by overdoses numbered about 550 in 2016, showing an increase of nearly 20% in just two years.

As the United States begins to reckon with the long-term effects of prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction, we have also seen increasing situations where witnesses to an opioid overdose don't call for help until it's too late because they are worried about being charged with a crime themselves.

Can a friend or loved one safely call 911 for someone overdosing, without getting into legal trouble? Does South Carolina have a Good Samaritan law regarding drug overdoses?

Let's take a look at how Good Samaritan laws in South Carolina work, what they cover, and what to do if you witness someone who has potentially overdosed.

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Topics: Criminal Defense

Do Prisoners Have Rights?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Apr 20, 2018 3:02:47 PM

The recent prison riot at Lee Correctional Institute in Bishopville seems to have begun as a dispute over gang territory and contraband like cell phones. It ended with seven inmates dead and seventeen more injured, after a staff of forty-four guards found themselves trying to maintain order in a prison that houses nearly 1,600 men.

The riot and its aftermath exposed a serious problem with understaffing in both South Carolina prisons and in the prison system nationwide.

Some prisoners' rights activists like those at the National Action Network have asserted that the prisoners' right to safety was violated by the circumstances that led to last week's riot. We've heard more than a few people ask: Do prisoners have rights? What can a prisoner or their family do if they feel their civil rights were violated?

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Topics: Criminal Defense

What Counts as White Collar Crime in South Carolina?

Posted by Clarke Newton on Oct 6, 2017 1:40:08 PM

When most people think about white collar crime, two or three big-name, headline-making cases likely come to mind. The Enron debacle and the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme often top the list.

Most white collar criminals don't end up on the cover of the New York Times, but that doesn't mean they aren't still a common concern, both for individuals and for businesses. 

What counts as white collar crime in South Carolina? What sort of repercussions would someone convicted of white collar crime face?

Let's take a look.

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Topics: Criminal Defense

New Legislation Could Affect Prescription Drug Possession Laws in South Carolina.

Posted by Clarke Newton on Sep 8, 2017 2:30:18 PM

Some serious changes are coming for South Carolina's drug possession laws.

New legislation aimed at addressing the growing opioid and heroin epidemic is making its way through the State House and Senate, and the South Carolina Attorney General is in the process of suing the maker of Oxycontin, one of the most well-known opioids on the market, for alleged deceptive marketing practices.

The Attorney General cites Purdue Pharma "downplaying the addictive quality" of the drug as one of the main alleged deceptions.

The State House and Senate aren't waiting for the outcome of the lawsuit, however: a slate of bills were introduced as early as February by a group of Republican state lawmakers intended to address the opioid epidemic from a legislative point of view.

We'll take a look at a few of these bills, and how they could affect prescription drug possession laws in South Carolina.

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Topics: Criminal Defense

I've Been Pulled Over for Texting While Driving: Part 1 of Distracted Driving Series

Posted by Clarke Newton on Jan 4, 2017 12:00:00 AM

More than 1.1 million car crashes in 2013 involved the use of cell phones while driving, according to the National Safety Council. The numbers have only risen in the last couple of years, with the latest figures reading at about 1.6 million, with more than 330,000 injuries. Many of these crashes involve texting while driving, and states all throughout the nation have begun to take steps to address this growing concern.

While there are as of yet no federal laws on the books outright outlawing cell phone use while driving, individual states, counties, and even local municipalities have all passed their own laws and ordinances. 

What should you do if you're pulled over for texting while driving in South Carolina? Let's take a look at the facts.

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Topics: Automobile Accident, Criminal Defense

Throwing a Party and the Police Arrive? Here's What You Need to Know.

Posted by Clarke Newton on Dec 28, 2016 11:06:44 AM

New Year's Eve is the one the biggest days of the year for parties. Whether you're heading out on the town or to a friend's house, hosting your own gathering, or you're the type to curl up with a mug of tea and watch the ball drop at midnight, it's important to stay safe and know your rights.

What are your rights if the police come to your home? We have a short list of information you need to know.

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Topics: Criminal Defense

Essential Facts About Prescription Drug Possession in South Carolina

Posted by Clarke Newton on Nov 21, 2016 1:02:32 PM

As the prescription drug abuse crisis continues to grow nationwide, men and women across the country (as well as here in South Carolina) are arrested and charged in greater numbers for unlawful possession of prescription drugs.

Laws on drugs, whether on simple possession or more complex issues like intent to distribute, are generally codified by the states. This means that laws on possession in California are likely to be very different than those here in South Carolina. Today, we'll take a look at South Carolina's laws surrounding possession of prescription drugs and what could happen if you are caught ingesting or in possession of these drugs without a doctor's prescription.

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Topics: Criminal Defense

First Offense DUI: What You Should Know

Posted by Clarke Newton on Jun 28, 2016 3:28:47 PM

South Carolina has been working aggressively to cut down on drivers who operate vehicles under the influence after we ranked among the top in the US for DUI fatalities. While you may associate alcohol intoxication with "driving under the influence," that is not the only cause for a DUI.  Illegal drugs and prescription pain killers can also be a source of impairment for drivers. 

It's important to know what possible consequences you're facing if you are charged with Driving Under the Influence. Today, we'll walk you through what you may be looking at when charged with a first-offense DUI.

Certain circumstances, such as driving under the influence with children in the car, a blood-alcohol level that is a certain amount or more over the legal limit, and other problems may lead to stricter penalties even for a first offense.

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Topics: Criminal Defense