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Greenville Criminal Law Blog

'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.

Are you being investigated for a white collar crime?

The chances are high that you have been pulled over for speeding or some other minor traffic violation. In that situation, you know immediately that you may have broken a law. Not all violations result in immediate notification, however. In the case of white collar crime, you may actually be one of the last people to find out that you're under investigation. 

Tax professional acquitted in federal tax fraud trial

An Ohio tax preparer feels vindicated (and relieved) after a jury acquitted him on 21 counts of tax fraud.  He was facing the prospect of not merely losing his professional license but spending the rest of his life in prison.

Although the case had a happy ending, it was a years-long ordeal for the accused. The case reveals the powers of the government and the extreme lengths the IRS will go to in prosecuting alleged tax crimes.

Sloppy turn signal is not basis for stop, search and conviction

A Texas appeals court has thrown out the drug conviction of a man who was pulled over on the shaky excuse of being tardy in signaling a lane change.

The appellate court said that the trumped-up traffic violation did not justify a traffic stop and warrantless vehicle search that ultimately led to the man being sentenced for cocaine possession.

Study links law enforcement Tasers to more than 1,000 deaths

Tasers were supposed to be a non-lethal alternative to firearms. But more than 1,000 American citizens have died when police used stun guns on them.

The Reuters news agency tracked Taser-related deaths across the United States over the last two decades. The report is a “shocking” expose of how dangerous stun weapons can be even in the hands of trained law enforcement.

A sliding scale for criminal fines and traffic tickets?

To a brain surgeon or corporate executive, a speeding ticket is no big deal. They probably have that much cash in their purse or wallet. When a retail clerk or maid gets that traffic ticket, it hurts. It may mean the rent is late or they can't buy food. It can have a domino effect.

Some countries have a sliding scale for criminal fines, based on the person's income. That makes all citizens accountable and increases revenue. Should we be doing this in the U.S.?

'PIL' task force on opioid trade will cast a wide net

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a coordinated and unprecedented effort to combat the scourge of prescription opioid abuse in America. By cracking down on the supply side, federal law enforcement hopes to reduce overdose deaths and the crime and family strife associated with painkiller addiction.

But any War on Drugs always catches innocent people in the dragnet. Doctors, pharmacists, clinic managers, pharmaceutical company reps and anyone who handles their finances or billing might find themselves under investigation, under arrest or indicted by a federal grand jury.

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