Criminal Defense Attorney in Charleston, SC

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When you are charged with a crime or are involved in an accident, it can seem like the world is crashing down around you. Between the threat of incarceration and the chance of financial loss, these foreboding situations often feel overwhelming. Friends and family cut ties, your employer threatens termination, and life seems hopeless. It is imperative to have a fighter on your side during these trying times: one that will stick with you through thick and thin, without any judgments.

Welcome to the Law Office of Richard Waring: where defending your rights and freedoms is paramount in securing your future.

Richard implements a powerfully simple yet effective model for all his clients' cases:

  • The Relentless Pursuit of a Positive Outcome
  • The Use of Creative Problem-Solving Tactics
  • Excellent Communication

When you are ready to fight back against the allegations against you, it is time to call the Law Office of Richard Waring - a criminal defense attorney on Charleston, SC, with the knowledge, experience, and drive to defend you during your most difficult time.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

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Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

From Prosecution to Protecting Your Rights in Charleston

Richard Waring began his commitment to community service years ago. As a young man, he would spend his summers volunteering his time to help needy communities.

As an adult, his desire to help others manifested itself while I served as a prosecutor for "close to 10 years."?. During this time, he would take part in some of the most difficult trials in the Lowcountry's history. He prosecuted thousands of individuals for crimes such as assault and battery, armed robbery, drug crimes, DUI, financial crimes, and even murder.
His time as a prosecutor was priceless, giving him valuable insight and knowledge into the inner workings of Charleston's legal system. Today, Richard uses that experience to vigorously defend good, hardworking men and women whose freedoms are only one judgment away from disappearing.
Whether you made a mistake and need a second chance or have been wrongfully accused of a crime, you need a professional who has put in time on both sides. At the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest easy knowing this former prosecutor will fight tooth and nail for your freedom.

Criminal Defense

When you are charged with a crime, it can become a horrible experience. The range of emotions one goes through can be taxing: embarrassment, humiliation, regret, sadness, despair. The domino effect that often happens when charged with a crime can be awful, as well: loss of job, abandonment by your family or significant other, dirty looks from those in your community.

Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney in Charleston, SC, can help restore your reputation and repair your life. In times of legal crises, your friends and family may cut ties, but Richard Waring will be on your side from the time you call his office to the time your case is resolved.

Having prosecuted thousands of cases in South Carolina, Richard has a set of skills and experiences; assets that have guided him to win criminal cases against the government. Richard truly knows the criminal justice system's ins and outs and is dedicated to fighting for his clients to achieve the best possible outcome on their criminal cases.

While some cases result in a positive outcome quickly, others must go to trial. Much like a combat athlete trains for months, hones his or her skills, and goes to war with an opponent, Richard Waring has prepared for and battled it out in many high-profile trials.

When you trust the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest assured that you are in capable hands. Each of our criminal defense clients receives the following when entrusting Richard Waring as their criminal defense lawyer in Charleston:

  • Vigorous representation
  • Quick response to emails and phone calls
  • Compassionate, understanding treatment
  • You will never be treated as unimportant or second-rate
  • Thorough investigation for your case
  • All of your constitutional rights, including the right to a fair trial, upheld
  • Notifications of important updates

The following are common cases that Richard Waring can handle for you:

  • Misdemeanor DUI/DWI
  • Felony DUI/DWI
  • Violent Crimes including: Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Assault and Battery, Attempted Murder, and Murder
  • Strong Armed Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Drug Crimes
  • Manufacturing of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Distribution of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Gun crimes including: pointing or present a firearm, possession of a pistol with obliterated serial numbers, possession of a stolen pistol
  • Restoration of Your Gun Rights
  • Trespassing
  • Larceny and Burglary
  • Property Crimes
  • Domestic Violence
  • Shoplifting
  • Financial Crimes including: Forgery, financial transaction card theft, fake IDs, breach of trust, obtaining goods by false pretenses
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Traffic Crimes including: driving without a license, speeding, reckless or careless driving
Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Importance Of Your Criminal Defense Attorney In Charleston, SC

There are several key players in the criminal justice system, each with its own roles. The prosecutor is tasked with enforcing laws and convicting offenders. The judge serves as an unbiased decision-maker. The criminal defense attorney's role is to protect the rights of the individual who is charged with a crime - a vitally important role in the criminal justice world.

Having a proactive, experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side almost always improves your chance of a positive outcome. While their primary role is to defend your rights and protect you from excessive sentences, they have many other duties.

When you entrust Richard Waring as your defense advocate, he will fight to protect your rights throughout the case by:

  • Arguing in court to reduce how much you must pay to post bail
  • Being present during police interrogations and interviews
  • Discovering and applying potent legal defenses
  • Advising you on your decision to plead guilty, not guilty, or to go to trial (if applicable)
  • Explaining the implications of pleading guilty
  • Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses relating to the allegations against you
  • Meticulously examining the circumstance surrounding your search and arrest (if applicable) to uncover Fourth Amendment violations
  • Meticulously examining any drug or DUI-related chemical tests to ensure accuracy and uncover errors
  • Representing you during scheduled hearings
  • Representing you during a jury trial
  • Working with the prosecutor to discuss plea deals or the possibility of a reduced sentence
  • If convicted, representing you during the sentencing phase and arguing on your behalf for a fair sentence

Knowing Your Rights

As a defendant, you have important rights. Some of the rights that Richard Waring will fight to protect on your behalf are:

  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right against unreasonable seizures and searches
  • The right against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right against cruel and unusual punishment
  • In most cases, the right to a jury trial
  • The right of innocence until proven guilty
  • The right to legal representation

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Charleston, the government must supply you with a public defender.

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Charleston, the government must supply you with a public defender.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Criminal Case Timeline In Charleston, SC

If you or a member of your family is facing criminal charges in Charleston, there is no doubt that you are anxious about the road ahead. You are not alone - most of our criminal defense clients worry about the uncertainties surrounding the legal process and what is next in their case.

At the Law Office of Richard Waring, we empathize with this stress, and as such, make every effort to address anxiety-inducing questions like:

  • How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
  • What type of sentence is common for the crime in which I am being accused?
  • Will the prosecutor offer me a favorable plea deal?

We cannot answer these questions in detail until we have time to review your case and speak with you one-on-one. Until that time, this high-level view of Charleston's criminal case timeline can offer some insight into what lies ahead.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Arrest and Investigation

This is the first step in the criminal case timeline. During this time, police officer(s) will investigate the potential crime at hand and arrest whomever the officer(s) believes to be responsible. At this point, the person in question is considered a Defendant.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Initial Bond Setting

Shortly after the arrest (typically within the same day), defendants are granted an initial bond hearing. This short proceeding determines whether a defendant will be released from jail while charges are pending. It is wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Charleston, SC, before this hearing so that they may argue on your behalf.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Preliminary Hearing

The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence (or probable cause) for the case to carry on. Defendants must request this hearing within 20 days of their initial bond setting. Hearings typically commence within three to six weeks. It is especially important that defendants retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at this stage.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Initial Appearance

The main purpose of this court date is to determine if the defendant has hired an attorney or will need a public defender appointed to them. If you have an attorney before this hearing, defendants are not required to be present. The initial appearance typically happens 45 days after the arrest.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Plea Offers

n some cases, the State may offer a plea offer to the defendant. If the defendant accepts this deal, a hearing will be scheduled to finalize the defendant's acceptance. If the defendant pleads guilty, they are typically sentenced on the spot. If the defendant rejects the plea, he or she may have to go before the judge to ensure they understand the consequences of rejecting a plea offer.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Discovery

Under Rule 5 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defendant will receive all evidence that will be used against them. As your criminal defense attorneys in Charleston, we will submit a written request to the court to obtain this information. It may take the State weeks or months to turn over their evidence, especially if that evidence is new.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Indictment

The first barrier for the State to prosecute takes place during the preliminary hearing. The second occurs during the indictment phase. In general terms, an indictment is a document that details the criminal charges which the defendant must face. Each crime listed on the indictment is called a "count." During this phase, the State will gather a "grand jury" comprised of public citizens. This jury is presented with evidence to help them approve or disapprove of the charges contained in the indictment. If the indictment is approved, the defendant's case will proceed to trial. If it is rejected, charges are usually dropped.

Trial

During the trial, both the defense and prosecution will present evidence to a jury, who will hand down a final verdict. The prosecutor's job during the trial is to convince the jury, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. The defendant is under no obligation to prove anything. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, Richard Waring will work hard to convince the jury of his client's innocence while pointing out holes in the prosecution's case.

Typically, a trial in Charleston includes the following phases:

  • Jury Selection
  • Pre-Trial Motions
  • Opening Statements
  • The State's Case
  • Directed Verdict
  • The Defense's Case
  • The State's Rebuttal
  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instructions and Deliberation
  • Verdict and Sentencing

Latest News in Charleston, SC

FFRF Urges Charleston, S.C., School District To Nix Prayer

Don’t begin school board meetings with a prayer, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has written to the Charleston County School Board in an open letter.A concerned member of the school district reported that the board recently decided to open meetings with a prayer. Initially, prayers were not to invoke Jesus Christ, but this rule was removed after the board was accused of discriminating against Christians. In an ...

Don’t begin school board meetings with a prayer, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has written to the Charleston County School Board in an open letter.

A concerned member of the school district reported that the board recently decided to open meetings with a prayer. Initially, prayers were not to invoke Jesus Christ, but this rule was removed after the board was accused of discriminating against Christians. In an attempt to be inclusive, prayers are now only allowed to have blanket references, including “God” or “the Almighty.”

“It is clear from these requirements that the board intends for these prayers to be inclusive and nonexclusionary, but it fails to recognize that not imposing any prayers on those gathered to address school business is the most inclusive practice of all,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line writes to the Board of Trustee Chair Pamela McKinney.

FFRF is advising that the prayer no longer be said before meetings. Better options to open these meetings exist, such as a moment of silence. Including a board-sponsored prayer is in direct violation of the Establishment Clause, as well as the constitutional rights of students and parents, FFRF underlines.

The Establishment Clause forbids any government-sponsored organization from endorsing religion in any form, FFRF reminds the school board. By putting prayer before each school board meeting as a board-sponsored event, the Charleston County School Board needlessly excludes nonreligious members of the district. This sends a message to the nearly 30 percent of Americans who are nonreligious that religious views are preferred and favored over those of nonreligious community members.

Students and parents have the right—and often reason—to participate in school board meetings, FFRF adds. It is coercive, insensitive and intimidating to force nonreligious citizens to show obeisance to a religion in which they disbelieve, or to “out” themselves as nonbelievers by not participating in prayer, the state/church watchdog notes.

FFRF has received a response from the Charleston County School Board's attorney indicating that the board believes the proposed practice is constitutionally permissible.

The most recent case against school board prayer comes from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in FFRF v. Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education. The losing school district had to pay FFRF more than $200,000 in costs and attorneys fees.

To avoid these issues all together, the Charleston County School Board must remove prayer from the beginning of their meetings, FFRF urges.

“Board members are free to pray privately or to worship on their own time in their own way,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “However, the board ought not to lend its power and prestige to religion or coerce attendees into participating in religious exercise.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 39,000 members across the country, including hundreds of members in South Carolina. Our purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

If you are an FFRF member, sign into your account here and then update your email subscriptions here.

To become an FFRF member, click here. To learn more about FFRF, request information here.

UNC ASHEVILLE 73, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 63

FG FT Reb UNC-ASHEVILLE Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS McMullen 24 3-5 0-0 2-8 0 1 6 Pember 37 6-15 8-10 3-8 5 3 20 Abee 32 2-5 0-0 1-2 2 ...

FG FT Reb
UNC-ASHEVILLE Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
McMullen 24 3-5 0-0 2-8 0 1 6
Pember 37 6-15 8-10 3-8 5 3 20
Abee 32 2-5 0-0 1-2 2 3 6
Burgess 28 6-10 2-2 1-4 4 1 14
Jones 36 6-12 0-0 0-2 0 3 17
Battle 14 0-2 0-0 1-2 2 0 0
Caldwell 13 2-5 3-5 1-1 1 1 7
Stephney 10 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 3
Sylla 6 0-1 0-0 2-3 0 1 0
Totals 200 26-56 13-17 11-31 14 15 73

Percentages: FG .464, FT .765.

3-Point Goals: 8-19, .421 (Jones 5-8, Abee 2-3, Stephney 1-1, Burgess 0-1, Caldwell 0-3, Pember 0-3).

Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: None.

Blocked Shots: 5 (Battle 2, Jones, McMullen, Pember).

Turnovers: 12 (Caldwell 4, Burgess 3, Pember 3, Abee, Battle).

Steals: 4 (Abee, Battle, Burgess, Jones).

Technical Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Clinton 21 3-4 3-3 2-3 1 5 9
Kelly 23 4-6 0-0 2-4 1 4 8
Bryan 26 2-7 0-0 0-3 1 1 5
Harris 29 2-7 5-8 0-3 3 2 9
Johnson 36 3-13 2-2 0-1 2 3 9
Chavez 31 6-10 8-9 0-5 2 1 22
Duhart 21 0-3 0-0 2-4 0 1 0
Berry 9 0-1 1-2 0-2 0 1 1
Knox 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 20-51 19-24 6-25 10 18 63

Percentages: FG .392, FT .792.

3-Point Goals: 4-20, .200 (Chavez 2-5, Bryan 1-3, Johnson 1-6, Berry 0-1, Duhart 0-1, Harris 0-4).

Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: None.

Blocked Shots: 2 (Bryan, Harris).

Turnovers: 12 (Harris 4, Clinton 2, Duhart 2, Bryan, Johnson, Kelly, Knox).

Steals: 8 (Clinton 3, Chavez 2, Bryan, Johnson, Knox).

Technical Fouls: None.

A_797 (881).

Charleston port’s rail yard, once chugging along, now moving at high speed

A Port of Charleston rail yard that’s been on the drawing board for more than a decade is suddenly on a tight construction schedule.The State Ports Authority this week approved a slew of contracts totaling nearly $137 million with an eye toward getting a new train hub serving its container terminals open a little over two years from now.The newest deals represent the biggest step to date toward wrapping up the project, officially known as the “Navy Base Intermodal Facility.”“This is a really excit...

A Port of Charleston rail yard that’s been on the drawing board for more than a decade is suddenly on a tight construction schedule.

The State Ports Authority this week approved a slew of contracts totaling nearly $137 million with an eye toward getting a new train hub serving its container terminals open a little over two years from now.

The newest deals represent the biggest step to date toward wrapping up the project, officially known as the “Navy Base Intermodal Facility.”

“This is a really exciting day for us as we embark on a project that handles about 25 percent of our business and will give us the ability to increase that marketshare,” said Barbara Melvin, the SPA’s president and CEO.

State lawmakers budgeted $400 million over the past two years to pay for completion of the rail yard, which had made steady — but slow — progress under previous owner Palmetto Railways, a division of the S.C. Commerce Department. Melvin has said a near-dock rail yard, which Savannah and other competing ports already have, is the last key asset needed to keep Charleston among the nation’s busiest commercial waterfronts.

With the funding now in hand, the SPA is under the gun to deliver the rail yard, where miles-long trains operated by Norfolk Southern and CSX Corp. will load and unload cargo containers.

“When the state allocated the $400 million for this project there was an expectation that, even though we knew it was a tight time frame, that we could handle our first train in July of 2025,” Melvin said, adding the latest contracts are an example of the SPA “working very diligently” to meet that deadline.

The biggest chunk of money from the deals approved this week — about $119.7 million — will go to Landmark Construction for site development on the former Navy base. The work will include construction of utilities, a storm water drainage system, paving, signage and rail-mounted gantry crane foundations.

North Charleston-based Landmark, the lowest of three bidders, also will build 11 rail tracks within the property where cargo will be processed. Another four arrival and departure tracks the company will install will provide access at the northern and southern ends of the yard.

In addition to the Landmark contracts, the SPA’s board approved a half-dozen deals totaling nearly $17.3 million:

The flurry of contracts follow nearly $47 million the SPA’s board agreed to spend in September for six specialty cranes made by an Austria company that will lift containers on and off railcars.

The SPA has also spent about $10 million to settle lawsuits over land acquisition and condemnation issues related to property it needed for the project.

Trains carry about one-fourth of the 2.8 million 20-foot containers that move through Charleston’s port each year, and the SPA wants to boost that number to reduce truck traffic. Part of that effort will include a barge system that will move containers by water from the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant to the Leatherman Terminal, where they will be put on trains at the new rail yard. The General Assembly has set aside $150 million for that project.

Band of Horses drummer turning tour art into woodwork sculptures for first solo exhibit

The drummer for Band of Horses makes music for fans across the globe, but what some may not know is that he also makes art right here in Charleston.While on the road for weeks at a time, Creighton Barrett dedicates some free time at venues, on the tour bus and in hotel rooms to creating paper collages of sorts: stacks of colored cardstock sliced with an exacto knife to form fantastical figures, shapes and ideas.In one, an old red pickup truck sinks into...

The drummer for Band of Horses makes music for fans across the globe, but what some may not know is that he also makes art right here in Charleston.

While on the road for weeks at a time, Creighton Barrett dedicates some free time at venues, on the tour bus and in hotel rooms to creating paper collages of sorts: stacks of colored cardstock sliced with an exacto knife to form fantastical figures, shapes and ideas.

In one, an old red pickup truck sinks into a sludge puddle next to some cacti and a graveyard under a full moon. "BRB LOL" (be right back, laugh out loud) the tombstones read. In another, candlewax legs with flame torsos sit on eyeballs dripping bloody teardrops in the foreground, while a giant skull overlooks a surfer riding a wave under purple clouds in the backdrop.

"The ideas usually just come to me while I'm thinking of something random," Barrett told The Post and Courier. "I'm obsessed with absurdity, even just for the sake of making it weirder. There are really no rules."

Now, those absurd ideas will be getting their own exhibit, Barrett's first ever solo art show, at Hed Hi Studio, 654 King St. It's taking place 6-10 p.m. Jan. 27 and will feature DJ tunes from Persona La Ave, as well as several of Barrett's paper pieces turned into life-size woodwork replicas.

A whimsical woodshop

Once back from the band's most recent monthlong European tour in October and November, Barrett took to his West Ashley garage-turned-woodshop to get to reimagining his art.

On a January morning, as Barrett began work on his sixth piece for the art show, a tiny-screened vintage TV played surf and skateboard videos while soul music blasted from the speakers. Catty-corner from a skull saw and pile of Lowe's plywood was a unicorn mask, orange payphone and shelves of spray paint.

An office placard read, "I don't work here."

PULSE: What’s happening in Charleston music

Charleston Phish tribute band Runaway Gin presents “Brass Apparatus: an Evening of Phish with Horns” at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Charleston Pour House on James Island. Runaway Gin will be joined by saxophonist Mike Quinn of Motown Throwdown, trombonist Gavin Smith of Charleston Jazz Orchestra and trumpeter David Carter. Tickets are $25-$30 and available at ...

Charleston Phish tribute band Runaway Gin presents “Brass Apparatus: an Evening of Phish with Horns” at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Charleston Pour House on James Island. Runaway Gin will be joined by saxophonist Mike Quinn of Motown Throwdown, trombonist Gavin Smith of Charleston Jazz Orchestra and trumpeter David Carter. Tickets are $25-$30 and available at Pour House.

Rebel Taqueria in North Charleston features local live music every Friday and Saturday night at 9 p.m. Catch independent hip-hop artists Hirow, Young Renzo and Jtrawww with special guests on Jan. 20; Jay & Oleg of psych pop rock band Little Bird Jan. 21 and 28; and Dallas Baker & Friends’ roots music on Jan. 27. All shows are free admission.

Charleston vocalist and producer Zandrina Dunning’s P.U.R.E. Concert Series unveils its first show of the new year featuring cinematic folk pop duo E’DYN at Fox Music House in North Charleston at 8 p.m. Jan. 21. E’DYN’s intricate harmonies and acoustic melodies create a relaxing experience, perfect for kicking back with a glass of wine. General admission tickets are $25 and available at Eventbrite. VIP packages are also available.

Avant-garde production company New Muse Concerts starts its fourth season with two shows entitled “Found in Translation” presenting music arrangements for the oboe and string quartet ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, including works by composers Hildegard von Bingen, Benjamin Britten, Joan Tower and Samuel Barber. The first performance is a free concert at 3 p.m. Jan. 21 at Charleston County Public Library. The second performance is at 5 p.m. Jan 22 at the Principle Gallery Charleston. Tickets are $35 and available at Eventbrite.

Sightsee Shop invites coffee lovers to boogie down 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 21 at Sightsee’s “Best Pop Up Ever” event featuring City Paper Music Awards DJ of the Year DJ Moldybrain spinning good vibes from Sightsee’s 1974 Volkswagen bus. Guests can get their caffeine fix as well as enjoy Filipino cuisine from Mansueta’s Filipino Food restaurant. There’s free entry to the pop-up event with food and drink for purchase.

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