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.

Service Areas

Richard Waring

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 serving as a criminal prosecutor in Charleston for more than ten 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 unique set of skills and experiences; assets that have guided him to win criminal cases against the government time and time again. 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
criminal defense

Importance of Your Criminal Defense Attorney in Charleston, SC

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.

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

At the Law Office of Richard Waring, the above are just a few of the ways that he and his team will vigorously defend you in a court of law.

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.

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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.

Arrest and Investigation

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.

Initial Bond Setting

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.

Preliminary Hearing

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.

Initial Appearance

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.

Plea Offers

Plea Offers

In 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.

Discovery

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.

Indictment

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
Richard Law

Latest News in Charleston

Housing advocates ask McMaster to extend SC eviction moratorium, federal ban set to expire

COLUMBIA — Fearing a “tsunami” of evictions when a federal moratorium expires in the coming days, South Carolina housing advocates are asking Gov. Henry McMaster to step in and extend the ban at the state level. But McMaster said he has no plans to get involved when the federal halt on evictions ends on July 31, instead encouraging South Carolinians to take one of the many job openings in the state so they can pay their bills. “Those moratoria have been in effect for many months now,” McMaster said...

COLUMBIA — Fearing a “tsunami” of evictions when a federal moratorium expires in the coming days, South Carolina housing advocates are asking Gov. Henry McMaster to step in and extend the ban at the state level.

But McMaster said he has no plans to get involved when the federal halt on evictions ends on July 31, instead encouraging South Carolinians to take one of the many job openings in the state so they can pay their bills.

“Those moratoria have been in effect for many months now,” McMaster said. “It’s time for all of us to get back to work. That is the way to move forward.”

In a July 28 news conference outside the Statehouse, advocates from the nonprofit One Common Cause said they have been desperately trying to sound the alarm and get elected officials to find a way to stop what they expect to become a statewide crisis.

“We cannot afford to have this many people all across the state of South Carolina become homeless, and that’s what it looks like is going to happen,” said Sonya Davis-Lewis, the group’s spokeswoman. “The courts are going to be overwhelmed. Landlords are lining up already to serve eviction notices.”

Davis-Lewis said she could not predict exactly how many South Carolina residents would be faced with immediate eviction proceedings once the ban expires, but she said she expects it to be “a large number.”

She argued that McMaster’s decision to cut off enhanced federal unemployment benefits early at the end of June may have exacerbated the problem for those who are still out of work, and even those who have returned to work in recent months may have not made enough money yet to catch up on overdue bills.

But McMaster said he did not buy that argument.

“These emergency measures must end,” the governor said. “They have ended in South Carolina.”

A few states have extended their eviction moratoriums by a few weeks or months beyond the federal ban in a bid to help residents still struggling with rent, including California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Washington. But unlike South Carolina, those states are all led by Democratic governors and Legislatures.

The federal eviction ban, which the Centers for Disease Control first instituted in September in a bid to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, was initially set to expire at the end of June but was extended an additional month until July 31.

Groups representing landlords sued to overturn the ban, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it on a narrow 5-4 vote. That ruling was tenuous, however, as Justice Brett Kavanaugh said he only sided against preemptively ending the ban because it was already set to expire soon.

Some lawmakers at the federal level are now pressing President Joe Biden’s administration to again extend the ban, but it’s not clear whether that will happen. CDC director Rochelle Walensky said they intended July 31 to be the final extension date.

The crisis comes as South Carolina and its largest counties are still only gradually doling out hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds that can be used for rent and utility assistance.

SC Housing, which is in charge of $271.8 million of the funds for the state’s 39 smaller counties, has paid out just $1.4 million of the funds so far to 270 applicants, according to agency spokesman Chris Winston. An additional 1,500 applications are currently under review or processing, and 7,500 more are missing documentation.

The state’s seven largest counties received the federal funds directly. Some of them have been able to distribute their funds more quickly but still have at least a few million dollars left to spend.

Richland County has approved almost $10 million of its $12.5 million allotment to 1,744 applicants, according to spokeswoman Michaela Leung.

Charleston County has paid or committed to pay $8.4 million of the $12.4 million to over 1,700 households in their first round of funding, and they are slated to receive an extra $9.8 million, according to spokeswoman Kelsey Barlow.

And in Greenville County, 1,194 tenants and 368 landlords have received a total of $5.2 million worth of assistance out of the county’s $15.8 million allotment, with 370 more pending applications, according to spokesman Bob Mihalic.

As she’s travelled around to help struggling tenants in the state, Davis-Lewis said she expects the main reason why more applications for rental assistance have not been submitted is a lack of awareness about the program or internet access to learn more about it.

SC Housing has used a variety of methods to try to inform potential applicants about the funding, including texts, emails, TV and radio ads, billboards, social media and other forms of community outreach, Winston said.

The agency has also extended call center times in the evening to be more accessible to people without internet access, and they have recently been able to relax documentation requirements due to a shift in federal guidance, he added. Applicants can contact SC Housing at (803) 336-3420 or online at schousing.com.

Dozens of teacher openings across Lowcountry districts

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - While it is just weeks away from the start of the new school year, this year, a majority of students will be starting inside a physical classroom. But will children have a permanent teacher for their first day? Live 5 found out there are still dozens of openings across Lowcountry districts. “It was definitely the toughest year teaching,” Berkeley County School District Special Education Teacher Kristen Ciurlik said. “I definitely can see why a lot of people left. I feel like it was th...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - While it is just weeks away from the start of the new school year, this year, a majority of students will be starting inside a physical classroom.

But will children have a permanent teacher for their first day? Live 5 found out there are still dozens of openings across Lowcountry districts.

“It was definitely the toughest year teaching,” Berkeley County School District Special Education Teacher Kristen Ciurlik said. “I definitely can see why a lot of people left. I feel like it was the breaking point, the straw on the camel’s back.”

At last check, Colleton County had 12, Dorchester District 2 had 16, Dorchester District 4 had four, Berkeley County had 70 and Charleston County had 67.

Berkeley School Representative Brian Troutman said they had 2,161 teachers renew contracts for the 2021-2022 school year. He said they normally have a rush of applications come in between July and August.

Dorchester District 2 Representative Pat Raynor said the district has hired slightly more than 200 individuals. She says the number of openings is not a dramatic increase over past years, but it is a slight increase because of added positions in efforts to reduce class sizes.

Charleston County Schools Representative Andy Pruitt shared the following information regarding openings in previous years.

Teachers who completed the school year but did not return for the next school year by their choice:

Historical Vacancies (at this same point in the summer ahead of the next school year):

Pruitt said there have been 465 new hires for this upcoming school year, but it’s not just because of the pandemic.

“Prior to the pandemic we were seeing a decrease in teacher candidates,” Charleston County School District Chief HR Officer William Brigman said. “That’s been going on for several years now.”

“We’ve had a pandemic in teaching since the beginning,” Ciurlik said. “There’s been bad legislation for education for education and public ed for years, there’s been a lack of resources and funding for years, there’s a lack of support for years and just constant not valuing teachers for years.”

Ciurlik said she’s staying in the profession though because she wants to see change happen.

“My attitude going into this year is I’m going to fix the problems I see,” Ciurlik said. “I saw a lot of problems within the school, within the district, and the state level with public education. And my goal this year is to be advocating for my students to help fix those issues.”

Legislators are hoping a pay raise will help attract more teachers to the field.

“Our teachers have been amazing and being on the front line has been more than any of us can really imagine,” Brigman said. “Hats off to our teachers that have just done amazing work this year and I’m quite proud of what our teachers have done.”

In Charleston County, in particular, officials say special education is one of the more difficult areas to fill, along with math. But with the federal dollars that are coming in, they are also seeing a large number of elementary and early childhood positions created that need filled as well.

Those who would like to apply to any of the districts, can do so by clicking on the various school districts listed below:

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Working Wednesdays: Instructor talks about the importance of soft skills on the job

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Thousands of jobs are available around the Lowcountry, and Live 5′s Working Wednesdays is taking a different approach to helping job seekers land and keep the job of their choice. The segment will highlight skills needed to grow and excel in whatever type of work is desired. The guest is LaRone Murphy, Sr., an educator who specializes in soft skills. Soft skills focus on communications, leadership, team building, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, and diversity. Murphy is currently empl...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Thousands of jobs are available around the Lowcountry, and Live 5′s Working Wednesdays is taking a different approach to helping job seekers land and keep the job of their choice. The segment will highlight skills needed to grow and excel in whatever type of work is desired.

The guest is LaRone Murphy, Sr., an educator who specializes in soft skills. Soft skills focus on communications, leadership, team building, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, and diversity.

Murphy is currently employed at Charleston Accelerated Academy as the Career and Technical Education Director/Teacher.

Knowing how to do a job is one thing, but equally important is getting along with bosses and co-workers to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively.

Murphy has more than 18 years of teaching experience and has taught at Davis Aerospace Technical High School, The Michigan Institute of Technology, and most recently, Trident Technical College.

Murphy continues to teach soft skills for Lowcountry businesses and the Navy Brig.

While working closely with Boeing, Murphey developed programs and facilitated training in support of the Boeing 787 project. He provided guided instruction to all manufacturing technicians, quality inspectors and assemblers, teaching them to become more efficient performing specific tasks and duties during the manufacturing process.

Those interested in organizing soft skills classes for their businesses can email Murphy at laronemurphy@outlook.com.

Working Wednesdays is a weekly segment that focuses on employment opportunities. Viewers will learn about companies around the Lowcountry, and the current and future positions they have available. The interview will live stream at 2 p.m. on Live 5 Facebook, Live5News.com and Apple, Amazon Fire and Roku tv.

Ann McGill will talk with representatives from the companies to get in depth information about the types of services and products they provide, as well as training, benefits and other information to help viewers decide if it’s a company they might want to work for.

Those who can’t watch the live stream at 2 p.m., once the interview is over, it will be shared right here at Live5News.com and on Live 5 Facebook.

If a business would like to share job information through this format, they should send an email to amcgill@live5news.com and be sure to put ‘Working Wednesdays’ in the subject line.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

SC legislators say multiple criminal justice reform bills are in the works

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Monday, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced that her office would not bring charges against the deputies involved in the death of Jamal Sutherland, a mentally ill man who died during a cell extraction at the Al Cannon Detention Center. Legislators across the state say while they are disappointed with the solicitor’s decision, they were prepared for it. They’ve been working to get legislation passed to prevent situations like Sutherland’s in the future. State Rep...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Monday, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced that her office would not bring charges against the deputies involved in the death of Jamal Sutherland, a mentally ill man who died during a cell extraction at the Al Cannon Detention Center.

Legislators across the state say while they are disappointed with the solicitor’s decision, they were prepared for it. They’ve been working to get legislation passed to prevent situations like Sutherland’s in the future.

State Rep. JA Moore says that Wilson “did not have the tools in her tool kit to charge officers involved in murdering Jamal because of the system that was designed to criminalize mental health patients.”

He says that he “filed the Justice for Jamal Act that deals specifically with mental health and excessive force, we’ve also filed a number of police conduct bills.”

Other bills created since the death of Jamal Sutherland include restrictions on taser usage. Rep. Moore says that as an individual who finds police to be a vital aspect of communities, he hopes the legislation not only saves lives, but strengthens police in a positive manner through training and accountability.

Accountability is also a priority in SC House Minority Leader Todd J. Rutherford’s bill on excessive use of force. Rep. Rutherford says his bill would have addressed the case of Jamal Sutherland directly so that charges could have been brought.

He says the solicitor had no choice with the current statute as, “jail guards were authorized to use force, but they exceeded that force, and they, unfortunately, took his life. That is what I believe this statute would address.”

Both representatives agree that more needs to be done to fix the system and while there is not a shortage of bills, a change in momentum and bipartisanship will be needed next session.

Representative Moore says when it comes to charging the officers involved in the death of Jamal Sutherland, there is still hope for the South Carolina Attorney General to bring forth charges as well as the Department of Justice.

For more on Rep. Rutherford’s bill, click here.

SC lawmakers working on 'use of force' legislation in light of Jamal Sutherland case

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Jamal Sutherland’s death has highlighted a number of systemic shortfalls. One big element moving forward is the lack of an excessive force law in South Carolina. Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson ta...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Jamal Sutherland’s death has highlighted a number of systemic shortfalls. One big element moving forward is the lack of an excessive force law in South Carolina.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson talked about that at length in her press conference Monday.

“We need to change in how we address officer-involved incidents of force,” Wilson said Monday. “It’s time for South Carolina to have an excessive force bill, an excessive force statute that is, a use of force statute.”

State lawmakers are already working on legislation to address some of the issues brought to light by the Sutherland case.

Gubernatorial candidate Senator Mia McLeod, D-District 22, introduced the Transparency in Justice Act earlier this year. Among some of the many provisions, the bill requires law enforcement to undergo de-escalation training. McLeod said she plans on introducing a use of force bill next session.

“If (Wilson’s) hands are tied because the law current law doesn’t support what we know she should be able to do in terms of charging them, that’s a real problem,” McLeod said on Tuesday.

“It’s one I haven’t stopped thinking about once I heard her say that yesterday. I believe with my Transparency in Justice Act, the use of Force bill that I plan to file and the mental health issues that I plan to address all go hand in hand in terms of addressing the systemic reforms that I know we need," she said.

Representative Marvin Pendarvis, D-District 113, introduced an excessive force statute earlier this year. It was introduced during the last week of the legislative session.

“A use of force statute is something that the legislative black caucus has been calling for since George Floyd’s death last summer,” Pendarvis said. “I believe it would have been just another tool in (Wilson’s) tool kit of measures that could be used to bring charges, so yes, I believe it would have helped.”

Pendarvis said he’s working with several other colleagues on a new use of force bill. While it’s too early to spell out the specific details of it, he said they’re collaborating and sharing specific language that would help them arrive to an actionable use of force statute on the book.

“I believe that any measure you have that will hold officers accountable will certainly do enough to deter that kind of behavior,” he said. “You’re going to need language that allows for officers who engage in conduct that may be in their normal scope of handling a situation, but that conduct exceeds the bounds, it escalates in a way that severely and significantly injures someone or causes them to lose their life, they’re going to be properly charged for that.”

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