SC Criminal Defense Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Lexington

Criminal defense attorneys Lacey Thompson and Laura Hiller have dedicated their practice to representing those who have been accused of crimes across the state of South Carolina, with offices in Myrtle Beach and Columbia, S.C.

Lacey Thompson and Laura Hiller are members of the South Carolina Bar Association and the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Focusing on Criminal Defense to Better Serve Our Clients

We only accept criminal defense cases.

We don’t “dabble” in criminal defense – it is what we do all day every day. By focusing exclusively on criminal defense cases in SC, we are constantly learning and improving our knowledge of SC criminal defense law, criminal investigations, and trial practice in SC’s criminal courts.

The Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm has obtained dismissals, pre-trial diversion resulting in dismissals, or acquittals following trial in hundreds of criminal cases, and we have a record of proven results.

Although no attorney can ethically guarantee you results, if your case is not dismissed or settled favorably, we will not hesitate to go to trial and fight for you. We have investigators and expert witnesses on call who will assist in investigating and preparing your case for trial.

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, SC

Although we accept select cases statewide, our offices are located in Myrtle Beach and Columbia, SC.

Our attorneys have extensive experience with the courts, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies in the Myrtle Beach area, including:

  • General Sessions Court in Conway, SC,
  • Municipal Courts in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Conway, Aynor, and all cities and towns in the Myrtle Beach area,
  • Magistrate Courts throughout the grand strand area, including Bond Court, Central Traffic Court, Domestic Violence Court, and Central Jury Court,
  • Preliminary Hearing Court, and
  • Horry County administrative courts including implied consent hearings in DUI cases.
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Columbia, SC

Our attorneys also have years of experience defending clients accused of crimes in the greater Columbia, SC area, including:

  • General Sessions Court in Richland and Lexington Counties,
  • Municipal Courts in Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Forest Acres, Eastover, and Blythewood,
  • Magistrate Courts throughout the greater Columbia area, including Bond Court, Central Traffic Court, Central Magistrate Court, and Domestic Violence Court,
  • Preliminary Hearing Court, and
  • Richland County and Lexington County administrative courts including implied consent hearings in DUI cases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)Should I Hire an Attorney if I Want to Plead Guilty?

I can think of many reasons why you should retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer any time you are accused of a crime in SC. Perhaps the most important one is:

You don’t know what you don’t know.

You can represent yourself in a criminal case in SC, although it is not recommended. Why? Consider:

  • Do you have to plead guilty? You may have defenses that you do not know about, the state’s evidence may not be as strong as you think, there may be other options that would allow you to avoid a conviction without going to trial, or you may have the option of pleading guilty to a lesser offense that will minimize the collateral consequences and the possibility of jail time.
  • You may think that you will pay a fine or be put on probation if you plead guilty, but do you know what the collateral consequences of a conviction will be? Will your driver’s license be suspended, can the conviction ever be expunged, and will it affect your ability to get a job, housing, or financial aid for college? Will it make you subject to deportation? Will you lose your right to own a firearm, to get a concealed weapon permit, or to apply for occupational licenses?
  • Did you know that sentencing is, in almost all cases, in the judge’s discretion? Even if your attorney agrees with you that a guilty plea is in your best interests, gathering and effectively presenting mitigation materials to the prosecutor and judge can make the difference between a fine, probation, or a prison sentence.
What Types of Cases Does Your Firm Handle?

The criminal defense attorneys at the Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm have years of experience handling all types of criminal defense cases in SC state courts, ranging from speeding tickets to murder trials.

We have obtained dismissals and tried cases to juries in the magistrate courts, the municipal courts, and General Sessions Courts. Although it is not a complete list, you can find descriptions of the types of criminal defense charges we handle here, and you can find a list of selected case results here.

The Police Want to Talk to Me – What Should I Do?

If the police want to talk to you, you should politely decline and immediately call our office. Although there are rare circumstances where it makes sense for you to speak to the police, you should never do it without the advice and presence of counsel.

If the police want to talk to you about a crime, there are three possible scenarios:

  • They think that you are guilty, but they do not have probable cause to charge you. In this situation, they are not trying to clear your name. They are looking for probable cause, and, by subjecting yourself to an interview, you may inadvertently give it to them and cause your own arrest.
  • They think that you are guilty, and they do have probable cause to charge you. In this situation, they are going to arrest you either way. Best case scenario – they arrest you. Worst case scenario – you inadvertently give them more evidence to use against you and then they arrest you.
  • They think that you are a witness to a crime. Why talk to an attorney? First, you may not be a witness – you may be the subject of their investigation and they are lying. Second, we have seen many, many witnesses who testified at trial only because the police threatened them with arrest unless they cooperated. Police and prosecutors like to control their witnesses, and the best form of control is to hold the threat of jail time over their heads.
Can You Get My Case Dismissed?

We get many of our clients’ cases dismissed or win acquittals at trial, whether they are charged with DUI in the magistrate court or violent crimes in General Sessions Court.

We cannot, however, tell you that we will get your case dismissed or guarantee you any sort of result. Every case is different, with different clients, different facts, different laws that may apply to those facts, different alleged victims, different law enforcement officers, different prosecutors, different juries…

Once we have met with you, investigated the facts of your case, and reviewed the evidence against you, we will give you an honest assessment of the possible outcomes in your case.

How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer in SC Cost?

Our fees are reasonable, but we are not the least expensive defense firm. Our fees reflect our experience and the work that goes into each case. In every criminal case, we charge a flat fee that is determined by:

  • The nature of your charges,
  • The circumstances surrounding your case,
  • The extent of investigation required,
  • An estimate of the hours that will be required to prepare the case for trial,
  • The likelihood that the case will go to trial or that it will result in dismissal or another resolution, and
  • We will let you know upfront if we believe investigators or other expert witnesses will be necessary to assist with your case.
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Columbia, Lexington, and Myrtle Beach, SC

We are determined to aggressively provide every client with the best defense that we can, and our goal is always to achieve the best possible outcome in your case, whether that means a dismissal of your charges, a favorable plea agreement through negotiations, or a not guilty verdict at trial.

We do not charge for initial consultations. If you call to set up an appointment at 843-444-6122 or fill out our contact form online, we will speak with you and let you know what, if anything, we can do to help your situation and what the costs would be.