Christopher A. Wellborn, P.A. South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney | Over 25 Years Experience
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Rock Hill Criminal Defense Law Blog

How can you overcome a criminal conviction to get a job?

Many individuals pay their debt to society but still find it hard to find reliable work once released. Fortunately, South Carolina lawmakers have made it easier for those with criminal convictions on their records to retain jobs. Minor offenses committed a pre-determined time ago will no longer appear on publicly available records.

Expungement is also a possibility, but many pieces of criteria need to be present. For the time being, it can be exceptionally tough for those with even one criminal offense to get a job. There are courses of action this demographic can take to try to secure work. 

South Carolina man connected to string of bank robberies

Authorities say that a 60-year-old South Carolina man who was taken into custody on the morning of Nov. 15 has been linked to a recent series of at least six bank robberies in Alabama and Florida. The man was apprehended when officers from the Lakeland Police Department, deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Safe Streets Task Force conducted a traffic stop in Lakeland, Fla. Police say that the pickup truck the man was traveling in had been stolen from a South Carolina car dealer.

According to media accounts, authorities were alerted when the man removed an electronic monitoring device that he had been ordered to wear when he was put on supervised probation. The man was released from federal prison in August after serving eight years of an 11-year sentence for committing a string of bank robberies in 2009. The FBI obtained a federal warrant for the man's arrest on Oct. 31 after a bank on U.S. Highway 98 in Lakeland was robbed.

Prison sentence in Medicaid fraud case

A man who owned a South Carolina counseling service was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of Medicaid fraud in November 2019. The 38-year-old man owned New Dominion Community Services, which operated offices in Greenville, Anderson and Richland counties. The service was an approved provider under South Carolina's Medicaid program. However, in addition to claims for legitimate services, the man reportedly submitted false claims between 2015 and 2017 for counseling services that were never provided, receiving $400,000 in unearned Medicaid reimbursements from the program.

After an investigation by the state Attorney General's office, the man was arrested and charged. The man reached an agreement with prosecutors on the Medicaid fraud charges, pleading guilty in April to obtaining property under false pretenses, a felony charge. The charge can carry up to a 10-year prison sentence, but he was sentenced to five years as part of the agreement. State officials praised the sentence, saying that the man's offenses cheated taxpayers. They also urged that it be considered a deterrent for other providers considering submitting false billing to Medicaid. The man's attorney said that his client will be paying back as much money as possible.

South Carolina man arrested on murder charges

On Oct. 31, a South Carolina man was arrested for allegedly murdering a man 12 days earlier. He was taken into custody at approximately 4 p.m. in Piedmont.

According to a representative with the U.S. Marshals Service, the defendant shot and killed a 27-year-old man on Green Street in Pelzer on Oct. 19. The gun used in the crime was reportedly a .380 handgun.

Lengthy South Carolina murder investigation points to 2 suspects

The Kershaw County Sheriff's Department took a man and woman into custody for allegedly murdering a man. The suspects, a married couple from Bethune, have not yet had a bail hearing while authorities detain them in the Kershaw County Detention Center. The arrests came after a prolonged investigation that began on March 8, 2017 when police located the victim's body in Bishopville.

The 34-year-old male victim was last seen at a friend's house sometime in December 2016. When he failed to return to work on Jan. 4, 2017, the Bethune Police Department officially recognized him as a missing person. An anonymous tip 10 weeks later revealed the location of his shallow grave.

Understanding what makes a crime a felony

Felonies are the most serious crimes in a classification system that can include infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. In South Carolina, a felony conviction can result in fines or prison time of five years or more. Many crimes classed as felony offenses are violent although some are not. Generally, felonies are crimes that are considered morally offensive to the community.

Felonies differ from misdemeanors in the length of prison time that can be sentenced. There are also different levels or classes of felonies. In states with Three Strike Laws, a third felony conviction carries a stiffer penalty than a first, even if the third conviction is for a comparatively less serious crime. It is because of this that Three Strike Laws are controversial. States with Three Strike Laws do allow judges to impose probationary sentences if the third offense is minor.

Violence against women very high in South Carolina

According to research out of the Violence Poverty Center, South Carolina was once again named one of the highest ranked states for incidences of violence against women in 2016. During that year, 48 women were murdered by men, placing the state in the top 10 for that particular category. Nationwide, black females were disproportionately affected by this type of violence. Firearms were the most commonly used weapon to commit these murders.

Guns are also used in non-fatal incidents of violence against women. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, "hostile gun displays against family members may be more common than gun use in self-defense, [and] hostile gun displays are often acts of domestic violence directed against women." The U.S. Department of Justice says that women are more likely to be victims of violent crimes committed by intimate partners than men.

Was your arrest for possession of drugs handled properly?

If you are facing charges for drug possession or intent to distribute, did the police handle your arrest properly?

A chance encounter in Myrtle Beach had the suspects dead to rights, but not all arrests for possession of illegal drugs go quite so smoothly. If law enforcement did not handle your arrest properly, the court could dismiss the charges against you.

Man charged with attempted murder during domestic dispute

A South Carolina man is facing attempted murder charges after he allegedly engaged in a domestic dispute with his wife and stabbed her brother when he tried to intervene. The incident took place in Spartanburg County on Sept. 30.

According to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, the defendant and his wife were having an argument in the backyard of a home when his wife screamed. Her brother heard the scream and went outside to help her. At that point, the defendant allegedly stabbed her brother and fled the scene on foot.

A pyramid scheme can look a lot like a legitimate enterprise

There is no shortage of South Carolina companies out there that promote the chance to earn immediate income and acquire residual wealth by following a proven formula. Sometimes, however, if the opportunity seems too great to be true, it just may be. That's why investors and consumers should be aware of some signs that an enterprise may be fraudulent.

Many bogus enterprises are designed to look like legitimate businesses to encourage well-meaning investors to participate. In so-called pyramid schemes, early investors often do see a return on their investments. This encourages new investors hoping to capitalize in the same way. The first recognized pyramid scheme was perpetrated by Charles Ponzi over 100 years ago. This scam involved over $15 million in ill-gotten cash. Unfortunately, pyramid schemes most often actually sell nothing and generate cash simply from new investors' fees.

 York County Bar Association South Caroline Bar NACDL South carolina association of criminal defense lawyers United states court of appeals | For the Fourth Circuit
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Christopher A. Wellborn, P.A.
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