South Carolina Murder Criminal Defense

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At the Cornwell Law Firm, you will find a knowledgeable and experienced legal defense team with a priority to help those facing the most difficult of cases. Our intention is to help those accused by defending their rights and constitutional privileges. We will build a strong defense to guarantee your side of the story is told in the right manner. Unfortunately, our criminal defense system is not perfect, but it is our job to defend you through the worst of circumstances. We will fight the prosecution to ensure you are not being wrongfully accused or undermined. 

When a person has been accused of a crime, their choice in representation can be the deciding factor in their freedom. Ashley Cornwell has years of experience dealing with criminal cases of all levels throughout South Carolina, including murder and potential death penalty cases. 

Understanding Murder Charges in South Carolina

Being accused of taking someone else’s life is the most serious accusation a person can face. A person charged or accused with this act can expect punishments ranging from the death penalty, life in prison, or many years behind bars. Protecting your constitutional rights is our number one priority. Whether you have been charged or are simply considered a person of interest, we will guide you throughout your case. 

South Carolina does not explicitly distinguish in its legal codes (the laws created by the State legislature) the different degrees of murder. For example, there is not 1st or 2nd degree murder definitions. Instead, the law breaks down the charges as follows:

  • “Murder” is the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought, either express or implied.

  • “Voluntary Manslaughter” is the unlawful killing of another person while in the ‘heat or passion’ of the moment.’ It does not require malice aforethought. 

  • “Involuntary Manslaughter” is the unlawful killing of another person in a criminally negligent manner. A person is criminally negligent when they exhibit a reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Penalties for Homicide and Manslaughter in South Carolina

  • A conviction for Murder in South Carolina carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years to life in prison and in some cases, could result in the death penalty. Sentences for Murder must be served day for day and are not eligible for parole. 

  • A conviction for Voluntary Manslaughter carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years and up to 30 years in prison. Sentences for Voluntary Manslaughter are not eligible for parole. 

  • A conviction for Involuntary Manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.

Charleston, SC. Criminal Defense Attorney

Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney, like Ashley Cornwell of the Cornwell Law Firm, can provide you or your family with the representation needed. If you have been charged or believe you could be charged with a crime in South Carolina, we can help! Our firm focuses on providing top-notch legal representation and individualized service to meet all of your legal needs.

Contact us for a consultation today.