Criminal Defense Attorney in Charleston, SC

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Fighting For You

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

Charleston boosts downtown cleanup with Glutton street vacuum

Downtown Charleston has a new ally in street cleaning. The Glutton.The hand-held device looks similar to a leaf blower but sucks material in rather than pushing it away. The Charleston Environmental Services Department started deploying the Glutton in July up and down King Street and on Market Street near the historic Charleston City Market.Right now, the department has one of the $27,000 pieces of equipment, but city leaders hope to add a second to the Environmental Service’s fleet by the end of the year. It has served a...

Downtown Charleston has a new ally in street cleaning. The Glutton.

The hand-held device looks similar to a leaf blower but sucks material in rather than pushing it away. The Charleston Environmental Services Department started deploying the Glutton in July up and down King Street and on Market Street near the historic Charleston City Market.

Right now, the department has one of the $27,000 pieces of equipment, but city leaders hope to add a second to the Environmental Service’s fleet by the end of the year. It has served as a force multiplier while the department has had trouble filling vacant positions, said Environmental Services Director Matt Alltop.

Previously, the department aimed to have four custodians walking King Street and parts of Market Street with brooms and dustpans. But the city hasn’t been able to fully staff those positions. Now, the Glutton allows one custodian to do the work of multiple people. It can also get to harder-to-reach areas of the street. The trash is collected alongside the glutton in a 240-liter, wheeled trash can, and the machine has an odor neutralizer to fight garbage fumes.

“It’s been a huge help for us on King Street,” Alltop said.

The city’s custodians now run the Glutton daily from around 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Despite the resemblance, Gluttons are significantly quieter and more environmentally friendly than gas-powered leaf blowers. When charged overnight between shifts, the machines are able to maintain their battery life for up to 10 hours.

The Gluttons, which were invented in Belgium, are gaining popularity in Europe but are still hard to find in the United States. Gluttons have been sold in 70 countries and are often see in European airports, according to a city news release.

When a supplier began selling them in North Carolina, Alltop said he was eager to jump on the opportunity to buy one for the city. After doing a test run of the machine following the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the city put in its first order.

“It did an amazing job,” he said of the parade cleanup.

Alltop said he hopes to eventually have a fleet of three Gluttons. He would assign two to King street and one to Market Street.

“Our goal would be to put them on both sides of King and go back and forth all day,” he said.

Street cleaning on King Street has been a significant topic of discussion during the approval process for the King Street Business Improvement District. The district, approved by City Council earlier this year, places a fee on all commercial businesses to target beautification efforts on the street.

“We are delighted that they have invested in this equipment. Anything that is going to increase the cleanliness and presentation of King Street the better off we all are,” said Chris Price, Charleston Downtown Alliance Chairman and a key architect of the BID.

A group of business owners led the effort to establish the BID to improve the aesthetics and fund events on the popular retail and nightlife destination.

Cargo ship loads up and goes deep at the Port of Charleston

One of the biggest container ships to call on the East Coast put the Charleston Harbor deepening project to the test last week.The MSC Rayshmi, which visited the Wando Welch Terminal on Sept. 14-15, set a record for the deepest draft at the port at 48 feet and 11 inches.That’s just a few feet shy of the local shipping channel’s 52-foot depth reached as part of a $558 million dredging project overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The previous...

One of the biggest container ships to call on the East Coast put the Charleston Harbor deepening project to the test last week.

The MSC Rayshmi, which visited the Wando Welch Terminal on Sept. 14-15, set a record for the deepest draft at the port at 48 feet and 11 inches.

That’s just a few feet shy of the local shipping channel’s 52-foot depth reached as part of a $558 million dredging project overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The previous record was 47-feet, 11-inches set on March 18, 2022, by the COSCO Camellia.

Draft is the distance between a ship’s keel, or bottom, and its waterline. Container ship operators often pick Charleston as a site to load up with export containers because its deep channel can handle the heavy loads regardless of tidal conditions.

The Rayshmi is part of Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s fleet of neo-Panamax class of vessels, so named because they were built to fit through the expanded Panama Canal. Built in 2021, it is 1,076-feet-long and can carry up to the equivalent of 12,200 20-foot cargo containers. It was at Wando Welch for 34 hours, during which time 2,758 containers were moved to and from the vessel by five ship-to-shore cranes.

The ship left Mount Pleasant on its way to the Port of Virginia in Norfolk. From there, it will stop in Baltimore and Boston before heading back to Europe.

Charleston currently has the deepest harbor on the East Coast, although Virginia is digging its shipping channel to 55 feet in a project that’s expected to finish by late 2024.

While the Rayshmi’s draft was the deepest ever recorded in Charleston, it didn’t set a record for the entire East Coast. That mark belongs to the MSC Chicago, which set sail from Virginia drafting 49 feet of water in 2013 — just one foot shy of the channel’s depth at the time.

Ports in other parts of the world have seen even deeper drafts. The Port of Antwerp, for example, set a record last year when the MSC Regulus entered with a draft of 51½ feet.

Charleston’s dredging project is expected to wrap up this year. It will deepen the shipping lane from 45 feet to 52 feet from the lower channel to the State Ports Authority’s Leatherman Terminal in North Charleston, and to a 48-foot depth between the old Navy base and the North Charleston Terminal. Work began in 2018 by dredging the entrance channel to 54 feet.

Flying high

Charleston International now has beefed up its list of airlines and destinations, but one mainstay still commands the flight line, even after all the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Atlanta-based Delta remains the dominant carrier at CHS, with 27 percent of all out-bound passengers through June 30, according to data from the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

Not far behind is American Airlines. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company accounts for 24 percent of the Charleston market.

Southwest maintains 15 percent, United has 14 percent and JetBlue comes in at 10 percent of outgoing passengers.

Upstart Breeze, which launched in Charleston last year, now holds 6 percent of the Lowcountry market.

The remaining 4 percent is spread among several other rivals that have landed in Charleston since 2015. In descending order of the number of boarding travelers, they are Alaska, Allegiant, Silver, Frontier, Sun Country and Avelo. The latter two launched limited service to one destination each from the Lowcountry earlier this year.

Capital idea

A Charleston-based apartment giant has lined up some dry powder to help fund its ongoing expansion into the warehouse business.

A logistics fund organized by Greystar Real Estate Partners this month raised an initial $310 million in equity capital from investors in the indefinite offering, according to a disclosure filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Meeting Street firm added an industrial element to its massive residential rental portfolio in September 2020, when it bought Dallas-based Thackeray Partners. The acquisition brought some expertise in warehouse projects, which have become a hot asset class thanks to the accelerated growth in online shopping.

Greystar CEO and founder Bob Faith told The Post and Courier last month that work is now underway on about 15 million square feet of industrial space around the globe, including its first development close to home. The firm paid $3.23 million this summer for a 13.5-acre site in Mount Holly Commerce Park off U.S. Highway 52 between Goose Creek and Moncks Corner and is constructing a 135,200-square-foot building on the property.

The project is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter next year.

The firm’s newly launched investment fund goes by Greystar Logistics Coinvestment Partners GP I LLC.

A Charleston-based company that helps businesses cut their utility bills and other overhead costs is targeting merchants that sell goods through Amazon’s Marketplace.

SIB Fixed Cost Reduction announced it has acquired a stake in Teaneck, N.J.-based Getida last week. The size of the investment and other financial terms were not disclosed.

Getida uses “data and analytics to achieve maximum recovery solutions for Amazon sellers,” according to a written statement. SIB chief executive Kevin Flounders said the bill-auditing technology “is one of the most exciting ... that we have encountered in the e-commerce space.”

Getida CEO Eytan Wiener said the investment provides the seven-year-old Garden State business “significant capital and resources to further build out our technology and enter new global markets, while also being able to offer our platform users additional savings in areas beyond Amazon.”

SIB was launched in 2008. The upper Meeting Street company has been owned since 2020 by O2, a Detroit-area private equity firm that buys majority stakes in middle-market service, technology and industrial businesses. The Getida deal is SIB’s sixth strategic investment in the past two and half years.

Mascot marketing

A parade of mascots from different sports and commercial entities in Charleston will kick off the 12th annual Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce Business and Community Expo this week.

Clyde the Cougar from the College of Charleston, Spike T. Bulldog from The Citadel and Charlie from the Charleston RiverDogs will join five other costumed marketers at the top of the 1-6 p.m. event on Sept. 22 at Omar Shrine Center at 176 Patriots Point Road.

More than 90 vendors are expected to participate, offering demonstrations, giveaways and food samples. Puppies, games, prizes and food trucks also be on hand. Happy hour is 5-6 p.m., and admission is free.

Corcoran HM Properties adds Mount Pleasant office

Corcoran Group, LLC announced that its affiliate, Corcoran HM Properties, has expanded its growing operation into Charleston, South Carolina by opening an office located in Mount Pleasant. The announcement was made by Corcoran President & CEO Pamela Liebman, and Corcoran HM Properties broker-owner Valerie Mitchener. Corcoran HM Properties’ growth marks the eighth Corcoran affiliate to announce an expansion in less than one year.This market expansion, Corcoran HM Properties’ first since affiliating with Corcoran in June...

Corcoran Group, LLC announced that its affiliate, Corcoran HM Properties, has expanded its growing operation into Charleston, South Carolina by opening an office located in Mount Pleasant. The announcement was made by Corcoran President & CEO Pamela Liebman, and Corcoran HM Properties broker-owner Valerie Mitchener. Corcoran HM Properties’ growth marks the eighth Corcoran affiliate to announce an expansion in less than one year.

This market expansion, Corcoran HM Properties’ first since affiliating with Corcoran in June 2021, is a strategic step in the firm’s growth plan and broadens its reach from the Charlotte, North Carolina region to the greater Charleston area, including Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, the Isle of Palms and more. This growth brings Corcoran HM Properties’ agent population to more than 130 affiliated real estate professionals, increasing their agent count by 15 percent since joining the Corcoran brand. In addition to the Charleston office, Corcoran HM Properties has three offices in North Carolina including two in Charlotte and one in Mooresville.

“As I’ve said before, our affiliates’ milestones are some of our proudest moments, and today’s news from Corcoran HM Properties is definitely cause for celebration,” said Liebman. “Val and her team are incredibly dedicated, and I’ve long admired the focus they have on growing their business and ensuring both their affiliated agents’ and clients’ satisfaction. This strategic move into Charleston will not only open doors for their team, it’s a significant market for the entire Corcoran® network.”

Corcoran HM Properties was founded by Valerie Mitchener in 2006, and the locally owned and operated boutique firm quickly grew to be a market leader in the Charlotte metro area. Corcoran HM Properties’ notable success and growth to date can be directly attributed to the team’s ability to adapt to the ever-evolving needs of Charlotte’s high-end real estate market and the elevated education and individualized business guidance they provide their agents. The firm also boasts an in-house relocation department that manages individual and corporate moves and has been the Preferred Realtor® for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets since 2010.

“Charleston, South Carolina is known for many things – its history, architecture, and beaches, to name a few – and we’ve long known that this was a market we wanted to serve,” said Mitchener. “The area attracts many second-home buyers for vacation homes or investment properties, so this was a natural fit given the client needs we already serve in Charlotte. I’m thrilled to be entering this next chapter of our growth and am grateful to our agent community in Charleston and all of our current and future clients.”

The Corcoran Group has been a leading residential real estate brand for nearly 50 years. Through its New York City, Hamptons, and South Florida brokerages, along with its rapidly growing affiliate network, the firm is home to more than 170 offices and more than 6,000 independent salespersons in key urban, suburban, and resort markets nationwide. Corcoran agents earn and keep their clients’ trust with an unwavering commitment to white-glove service, expertise, and integrity. In every market served, Corcoran helps you find the home that’s just right for you. The Corcoran® brand comprises both offices owned by a subsidiary of Anywhere Advisors LLC (formerly known as Realogy Brokerage Group LLC) and franchised offices, which are independently owned and operated. For more information about The Corcoran Group, please visit www.corcoran.com.

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SC home sales slide for 9th straight month amid budding signs of buyer’s market

The nine-month slide in home sales across South Carolina from rising lending rates has slowed the rapid pace of price increases and slightly boosted inventory amid emerging signs that sellers may no longer be driving the market.“We are seeing a turn from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market,” said Cindy Creamer, president of the Columbia-based S.C. Realtors Association and an agent with Dunes Real Estate on Hilton Head Island. “Houses are on the market longer, and we are seeing price reductions.”...

The nine-month slide in home sales across South Carolina from rising lending rates has slowed the rapid pace of price increases and slightly boosted inventory amid emerging signs that sellers may no longer be driving the market.

“We are seeing a turn from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market,” said Cindy Creamer, president of the Columbia-based S.C. Realtors Association and an agent with Dunes Real Estate on Hilton Head Island. “Houses are on the market longer, and we are seeing price reductions.”

Residential transactions dipped about 11 percent in August compared to the same month a year ago, according to data from the statewide trade group.

In August, 9,511 homes changed hands at a median price of $317,517, up nearly $38,000, or 13.4 percent, from a year earlier. The median price is also down about $11,500 from the record high set across the Palmetto State in June of $329,000.

So far this year through August, 75,542 residences have sold across the state at a median price of $314,233. Volume is down 7.6 percent while the price is up 17.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Even though volume is down, residential sales are still more than 13,500 higher than in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic changed living patterns and led to record sales for the housing industry.

The Lowcountry and Midlands housing markets reported double-digit percentage sales declines last month while the Greenville-based Upstate region showed a slight uptick.

Charleston, the state’s largest market by volume, posted a 24.7 percent drop in closings while Columbia registered an 11.0 percent decline.

Myrtle Beach, the second-largest market in terms of sales, saw a pullback of 8.5 percent. Greenville saw a slight gain of less than 1 percent.

Almost all other regions in the state reported declines, except for markets based in Greenwood, Orangeburg and Sumter.

“We still have supply and demand,” Creamer said. “What we are seeing is more normalizing of the market.”

Pricewise, every metro market in South Carolina posted double-digit percentage increases.

Hilton Head Island continued to lead the state with the highest median price of $459,500. Rock Hill, in the growing suburbs of Charlotte, came in second at $408,745.

Charleston slipped to third place with a median price of almost $390,000 with Beaufort not far behind at $366,500.

Myrtle Beach and Greenville also posted prices in the low $300,000s.

Several areas reported median prices above $200,000, including Aiken, Anderson, Columbia, Greenwood, Florence, North Augusta, Orangeburg, Spartanburg and Sumter.

The Upstate county of Cherokee between Spartanburg and Rock Hill posted the only rate below $200,000.

Would-be buyers not only are contending with higher home prices but also higher borrowing costs than they did one year ago.

Mortgage interest rates have more than doubled from this time last year, and they “will definitely affect first-time homebuyers,” Creamer said.

Home loan financier Freddie Mac reported Sept. 15 the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage climbed to 6.02 percent, the highest rate since 2008. The average rate on a 15-year note, popular for refinancing homes, jumped to 5.21 percent. Both rates were below 3 percent at the same time last year.

“Mortgage rates continued to rise alongside hotter-than-expected inflation numbers,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Although the increase in rates will continue to dampen demand and put downward pressure on home prices, inventory remains inadequate. This indicates that while home price declines will likely continue, they should not be large.”

Creamer, too, noted housing stock is thin but pointed to more homes coming on the market

“Just not enough of them,” she said.

South Carolina sees hundreds of illegal school bus passings one month into school year

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A lack of respect.It’s how the South Carolina School Bus Safety Coordinator is describing an issue we see far too often: cars, failing to stop for a stopped school bus.While school has only been back in session for about a month, hundreds of incidents have already been reported.&ldqu...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A lack of respect.

It’s how the South Carolina School Bus Safety Coordinator is describing an issue we see far too often: cars, failing to stop for a stopped school bus.

While school has only been back in session for about a month, hundreds of incidents have already been reported.

“We’ve received 530 reports across the state of individuals passing a stopped school bus,” said Sgt. Matt Southern, School Bus Safety Coordinator with the South Carolina Department of Education. “So yeah, that’s a good, many reports.”

Those reports reflect a nationwide trend.

Earlier this month, a survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation reported more than 51,000 vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses on a single day during the 2021-22 school year.

“I just don’t think that a lot of folks are respecting that yellow bus,” Sgt. Southern said. “The reason it has those flashing lights, the reason it has that stop sign on it is to protect the most innocent of kids that are getting on and off of that bus.”

While it boils down to a lack of respect, Sgt. Southern says at times, there can be some confusion.

“If you’re traveling the same direction as the school bus, you cannot overtake or pass that bus once those yellow lights come on,” he said. “But if you’re traveling on the opposite side of a multilane highway, you’re able to pass.”

Beyond educating drivers, a statewide pilot program has been in effect since last year, equipping extended stop arms on some buses to further crack down on illegal passing.

“I recently followed behind one of those buses recently in the Lexington area,” Sgt. Southern said. “When it extended those arms in a neighborhood, definitely nobody could get past that bus, which is a good thing.”

Efforts to have arms implemented on all buses in South Carolina came to a screeching halt earlier this year when the state senate failed to pass the $10 million bill.

Meantime, Sgt. Southern is offering drivers an important reminder: “Passing a stopped school bus does have a steep fine. It’s $1,062.50 and six points against your driver’s license. When the lights come on, do what you’re supposed to do. Stop, and then you’re on your way again.”

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