Post Conviction Relief

Obtaining Post Conviction Relief in South Carolina

Columbia South Carolina Post Conviction Relief AttorneyPost Conviction Relief or PCR Action is when you file a suit against the State of South Carolina if they violated one (or more) of your Constitutional Rights. The right most violated is usually your right to effective assistance of Counsel. Any time you are accused of a crime in South Carolina and in the United States, you have a right to a jury trial, yet, even with a tight alibi and witness that corroborate your story, you can still be found guilty due to circumstances which have blatantly violated your Constitutional Rights.

If you have been accused of a crime, tried, and convicted in South Carolina, you still have certain rights and can even appeal your conviction if you act quickly enough and hire a South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney who has a great deal of experience in this area.

PCR must be filed within a single year of your conviction, or within one year of the conclusion of your appeal… Except in certain, limited situations.

Common reasons for a Post Conviction Relief action include:

  • After acquired evidence;
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel;
  • The court did not have subject matter jurisdiction;
  • Misconduct by the prosecution including failure to turn over evidence; or
  • Your defense attorney failed to properly investigate the case or call corroborating witnesses

As mentioned above, the most frequent cause for a PCR claim is ineffective assistance of counsel.  To prove ineffective assistance of counsel, you must establish:

  • That your trial attorney did not provide reasonably effective assistance under the prevailing standard and
  • The attorney’s failure to provide reasonably effective assistance resulted in prejudice to your case

Don’t Wait

Please contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These attorneys understand the criminal justice system and can give you aggressive PCR representation to protect all of your rights.

Appealing Your Federal Conviction

South Carolina Federal Conviction Criminal Appeals Lawyers

South Carolina Appeals LawyersIf you are convicted of, or plead guilty to, a crime in South Carolina you do have the right to appeal your case; however, you must act quickly to protect your rights.This appeal requires the assistance of a South Carolina criminal defense attorney who gets how the system works and knows what has to be proven to reverse your conviction.

Retain An Attorney Immediately After Your Sentencing Order is Issued

In order to protect your legal and Constitutional rights, it is critical that you contact us immediately after your sentencing order is issued if you want to appeal the decision.  If a notice of appeal is not filed within 10 days after judgment (your sentencing order) is entered, you will lose your right to appeal.

What Is An Appeal?

An appeal is a way to tell the appellate court exactly how the judge did not follow the letter of law, how your rights were violated, and/or what rights you were denied.

Common grounds for a Federal Appeal include:

  • A violation of your constitutional rights, or
  • An overly harsh sentence

How Long Does it Take to Appeal A Federal Case?

An appeals case can take about 6-months to a year to be decided while being handled by a criminal defense attorney. While your case is on appeal, it is unlikely that you will be released. Furthermore, you do not have an guaranteed right to bail while appealing.

Expungements or Pardons

What is an Expungement?

Expungement or Pardon Criminal Defense AttorneysFirst thing’s first. Let’s discuss what an expungement is. More often than not, if you have been convicted of a crime, you will have a permanent criminal record that will follow you the rest of your life. Despite the fact that you’ve done your time, paid your fine, etc. the impact of a conviction is permanent and will follow you forever effecting your personal and professional life. Yet, in this state, there is a possibility to have some convictions to be removed from your record through expungement. This is a legal order for the destruction of any record that relates to a previous arrest and/or conviction. An experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorney can advise you as to whether or not you are eligible for an expungement. When your criminal record accurately reflects your criminal history, it makes it easier to keep or secure employment because you don’t have to explain why you were arrested, suspected, or convicted of an illegal activity.

Things People Don’t Tell You About Having A Criminal Record

  1. An arrest does not mean being dragged off in handcuffs. If an officer takes your fingerprints, you will have a record. An arrest also occurs when you are given a ticket.
  2. Courts do find people guilty who have never appeared before a judge. You can be found guilty, forfeit your bond, and never go to court.
  3. A record includes both an arrest and the court disposition.
  4. You are responsible for ensuring that your criminal record is correct.

How to get an Expungement

  1. Check your Criminal Record to ensure it is correct.
  2. You need a copy of your warrant number, arrest date, and case disposition. (some rap sheets have it all).
  3. You may need a disposition from the local Judge.
  4. All expungements, unless otherwise provided above, cost $250, made payable to the Solicitor’s Office in the county where you were charged and/or convicted.
  5. These items must be taken to the Expungement office in the Solicitor’s Office in the county where you were charged and/or convicted.
  6. The Solicitor’s Office will fill out the orders/forms and guide you through the process.
  7. You must file your order with the Clerk of Court.
  8. There is an additional $35 fee to the Clerk of Court for all expungements of convictions. There is no charge for non-convictions.
  9. You must send a legal copy of the expungement order to SLED for a clean record. SLED will also forward the information to the FBI.
  10. SLED charges a $25 fee for processing the order, except for non-convictions.
  11. Once State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has received your order for expungement, it will take 2 to 3 weeks to remove your charge. It normally takes about 4 weeks from the start of the expungement process until your record is clean.


If you are not eligible to have a particular arrest or record expunged, you may be able to be granted a pardon. A pardon sets aside the punishment for a crime and also gives the rights/privileges back to the person that they lost due to their offense. Receiving a pardon is a very long and difficult process, and it may take numerous procedures and hearings.  It restores the rights and privileges forfeited on account of the offense.

Whether you are trying to get an expungement or a pardon, these criminal defense attorneys are very well-versed in the system and these types of cases and will fight tirelessly to have your rights given back to you. Please don’t dillydally to contact an attorney.