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Greenville Criminal Law Blog

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.

'Officer, I swear I was not drinking *while* driving.'

A Florida driver who was caught with an open bottle of bourbon had a novel defense to a DUI arrest. He claimed he was only drinking at stop signs. So, you know, he wasn’t drinking while driving. That would be irresponsible.

Obviously, his brilliant legal excuse did not prevent his DUI arrest. It does emphasize that the best advice is to (a) exercise your right to remain silent and (b) get a lawyer who knows defenses that may actually work.

California bill would repeal felony murder law

Most states, including South Carolina, have "felony murder" statutes. These laws trigger first-degree murder charges against people who had no murderous intent. It also leads to murder charges against other individuals who were present or somehow contributed to an unintended death.

Lawmakers in California have introduced a bill to scale back felony murder prosecutions. Under the amended law, murder charges would be reserved for individuals who (a) intended to kill someone, (b) actually killed someone or (c) directly caused death through reckless indifference.

Cash bail is an unfair and antiquated system

The concept of bail is to ensure that the accused will show up for court once they are released from jail. But for many defendants, bail bonds are set unreasonably high. Unable to raise bail, they sit in jail for months until their trial date rolls around.

An analysis by FiveThirtyEight confirms that the cash bail system is not only unfair, but often random. The research shows that granting of bail varies by jurisdiction -- and often comes down to the whims of particular judges.

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