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Greenville Criminal Law Blog

Is your phone private … or fair game for police?

Increasingly, law enforcement relies on “smoking gun” evidence from smartphones. Phones can either be a conduit for committing crimes or leave a trail of electronic bread crumbs for police.

The only barrier is accessing the content of the phones. A recent federal court ruling put new limits on how far police, prosecutors and judges can go in forcing citizens to unlock their phones.

Criminal charges are a wake-up for college students

College exposes you to a whole new world of people and ideas and experiences. It can also be your introduction to the unpleasant realities of adulthood … such as being accused of a crime.

Criminal charges are especially dangerous for college students. One incident can threaten your education or change the course of your life. If you ever find yourself in trouble with the law, bite the bullet and tell your parents. Or contact a lawyer yourself right away. Being proactive is your best hope for damage control.

Can you record the police? Yes, but there are limits.

Law enforcement has historically clashed with journalists who are recording live events. Sometimes reporters had their cameras taken away or their film destroyed.

In the smartphone era, regular citizens find themselves in confrontations with police over videos. What are your rights regarding filming the police? Can you secretly record law enforcement? Can they confiscate your phone?

Government’s tax evasion case did not add up

Sometimes prosecutors have the right guy but may not have all the facts right. This is a case where the government got just about everything wrong. Their math was bad. Their methods were sloppy. Their conclusions were wrong.

Tax fraud charges against a Seattle restaurant owner were originally announced as the largest sales suppression case in state history. But upon further review, the Washington Department of Revenue has dropped the case entirely. It’s a cautionary tale about the damage that a well-intentioned or overzealous prosecution can do to innocent citizens.

Sentencing reforms are aptly named – a first step

Congress appears poised to enact significant criminal justice reforms. The First Step Act would scale back harsh sentences for some drug crimes, improve prison conditions and provide more help for prisoners when they re-enter society.

It is a good first step. And a hopeful sign for bipartisanship in Congress. But it’s not an overhaul of the justice system. There is still much more work to do, even if this welcome legislation passes.

Is an anonymous tip grounds for arrest?

An appellate court in Illinois has tossed out the 2014 conviction of a motorist who was sentenced to jail as the byproduct of an undocumented “anonymous tip.”

The supposed concerned citizen reported that the motorist was drunk. He was not, but it turned out he was driving on a suspended license, for which he was arrested. The appeals court ruled that the tip was too vague and unreliable to be the sole justification for a traffic stop.

What really happens if you refuse the Breathalyzer?

If you are pulled over for DUI, you are required to submit to testing. Right?

That’s not quite true. Under South Carolina law, you can legally refuse to provide a breath, blood or urine sample. But if you do so, you are automatically subject to certain consequences, namely license suspension. The question is not can you refuse but should you?

Why did the floor collapse at the Clemson party?

One minute everyone was dancing and having a good time, and moments later the floor fell out from underneath them and dozens of people fell into the basement.

Thankfully, no one died, but there were some serious injuries. The investigation into the party near Clemson University will focus on why the floor gave way and whether it could have been prevented.

What are the possible outcomes for drug possession?

If you are arrested on drug charges, you will no doubt hear a wide range of “helpful advice” from people. Everyone has a story about a brother or cousin or friend who got busted.

But there is a lot of misinformation out there. The outcome depends on many factors – the facts of the case, the judge, the prosecutor … and your legal representation. Here are some of the ways it could shake out.

What to expect when your adult child is facing criminal charges

For college students and young people, one error in judgment can result in lifelong consequences. While some penalties aren't as serious as others, a criminal charge can possibly limit your child's professional and educational opportunities down the road.

If your college student is facing drug charges, you'll want to know what to expect in the time following. Depending on the facts of their case, there may be programs that can help you minimize the consequences of a drug charge. For instance, if your child is a first-time drug offender, they may qualify for a conditional discharge. The charges can be dismissed following the successful completion of a probation program.

Awards & Accolades Over my career, I have earned a number of honors reflecting my professionalism and commitment to my clients. These awards include:

  • 10 best 2016 client satisfaction American institute of personal injury attorneys | Ryan L. Beasley Has Been Nominated and Accepted as a 2016 AIOPIA’S 10 Best in South Carolina For Client Satisfaction
  • 10 best 2016 client satisfaction American institute of criminal law attorneys | Ryan L. Beasley Has Been Nominated and Accepted as a 2016 AIOCLA’S 10 Best in South Carolina For Client Satisfaction
  • rated by super lawyers ryan l. beasley superlawyers.com
  • legal elite of the upstate 2013-2015
  • nationally ranked superior dui attorney by the nafdd 2013
  • Recognized as one of the top 75 DUI Attorneys in South Carolina by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense, LLC (NAFDD) 2013

  • america's most honored professionals ryan l. beasley
  • greenville business magazine 2015 legal elite of the upstate greenville's top attorneys
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 40 Under 40
  • AV | Preeminent | Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence | 2018
  • client distinction award
  • Top Young Attorneys 2014 Rising stars selected by peer recognition and professional Achievement
  • national academy of criminal defense attorneys