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Meet Our Firm Dedicated, Experienced Criminal Defense Team

About Our Office

The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, practices in the area of South Carolina criminal law, and is committed to helping our clients resolve their mattes. We have significant experience and can help you make good decisions regarding an investigation or actual charge. We can also help you understand criminal law, court procedures, defenses, possible outcomes, and the pros and cons of accepting a plea bargain.

This office was founded in 2004 by James Snell. He was the only member of his graduating class from the University of South Carolina School of Law to immediately open his own practice. Since that time, we have represented clients in over 4,000 matters.

From the beginning, the goal was to provide a high-quality level of both legal, as well as customer service. We’ve heard the complaints that people have about lawyers and have undertaken specific steps to try to improve the experience for our clients.

In 2017 we opened in our new location at 123 Harmon Street in downtown Lexington. We purchased the “golf-cart” lot across from the old mill and build a custom-designed facility. We’ve really enjoyed the additional space and the resources that it enables us to provide for our clients.

Where do you accept cases?

We are based in Lexington with a satellite location in Columbia. As such, we are routinely in area courts such as Lexington, Columbia, Cayce, Saluda, West Columbia, Irmo, Camden or Saluda. Our attorneys are licensed in both state and federal court.

Do you have any experience with other areas of South Carolina?

We have represented clients in each of South Carolina’s 46 counties. We are most regularly in Lexington and Columbia but are also regularly in other parts of the state including Spartanburg, Charleston, York, and Sumter.

How much does it cost to hire your office?

Because we actually “work” our cases, it is impossible to set a pre-determined fee. This is why we do not have a price schedule we can send out or discuss over the phone. The cost is concluded to be based on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the matter, legal issues, defenses to pursue, the likelihood of a trial vs. settlement, and amount of responsibility we are assuming.

We make no effort to be the cheapest or put the least amount of time or effort into our client’s case. The fee we charge is fair and is designed to allow us to include the professional staff, investigation, and attorney work, both inside and outside of the courtroom, that will give our client the best chance at a successful outcome.

Your first step is getting a price for your case is to contact us at (803) 359-3301. We can schedule an initial appointment for you in the office where you can meet with an attorney, discuss the specifics of your case along with your goals and objectives. Free consultations are offered for most case-types.

Once we set a price, there are no surprise charges or hidden fees.

Do you only represent bad people?

Most of our criminal defense clients are not criminals or bad people. They are ordinary people who for one reason or another found themselves caught up in the system. We’ve represented doctors, lawyers, school teachers, professional athletes, college students, elected officials, police officers, cashiers, truck drivers, college professors, and everything in-between. For many, their case was the first time they had ever been accused of any wrongdoing, let alone criminally charged.

That all being said, we also have experience representing “repeat” players in the criminal justice system, including those facing substantial sentences, probation revocations, contempt proceedings, and other serious proceedings.

Regardless as to whether or not our client is innocent or deserves a 2nd chance (or even an 11th chance) we want to make certain that their rights are protected, and that their case is resolved in the way they think best.

What kind of criminal cases do you have experience with?

We have experience with a variety of criminal case-types, in both federal and state court. Case-types we have represented clients on include:

  • DUI
  • Domestic Violence
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor (child abuse)
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Murder
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct (rape)
  • Drug Distribution
  • Burglary
  • Kidnapping
  • Armed-robbery
  • Shoplifting
  • Breach of Trust
  • Assault
  • Tax Evasion
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Criminal Conspiracy
  • Theft of Government Property
  • Leaving the Scene (hit & run)
  • Mail Fraud

Why is a defense investigation important?

When someone is arrested it is because law enforcement has made a determination that there is “probable cause.” That’s legal terminology for “probably” guilty. Once law enforcement makes this determination and the arrest, they frequently stop work. This means that the investigation can be incomplete, insufficient, and inaccurate.

Every criminal defendant has a right to conduct their own investigation into the facts and circumstances of their case. Sometimes this is to look for evidence proving innocence, other times it is to look for evidence lessening the appearance of guilt (there is a difference). Other times the focus may be on gathering evidence to be used to mitigate any sentence (to show regardless of the whether someone is guilty that they still deserve leniency).

In many of our cases, we include services of a licensed private investigator to conduct a defense-oriented investigation. This is at no additional charge to our client. The investigator is able to meet with witnesses and obtain statements and evidence that can be useful for the case. The investigator makes his report directly to your attorney who can then decide what information is helpful for you or not.

Do you recommend your clients plead guilty or go to trial?

The best possible result for a criminal charge is for it to be dismissed pre-trial. Our policy is that unless criminal charges are dismissed or favorably reduced to our client’s satisfaction we believe that they should be contested in court. While most of the time it is possible to favorably resolve a case without a trial, if that is what is necessary then we will not hesitate to fight for our clients.

We do not believe that it is usually possible to determine, other than a dismissal, what type of resolution would be in our client’s best interest until we have an opportunity to fully investigate the facts and review how law enforcement conducted the investigation. We advise clients during initial meetings that it is too early in the process to make any decisions other than to conduct a thorough review of the facts and circumstances of the case.

Sometimes a plea really is someone’s best interest. Sometimes it’s not. The only person who can make that decision is our client. It is not up to us, a prosecutor, police officer or judge to decide for them.

How do clients get information about their case?

A major complaint people have about lawyers generally is that it can be frustrating to try to get status updates or ask questions about their case. We want to try to help our clients avoid those frustrations.

Every client is assigned to a specific paralegal. That way there is someone who works in the office (not always in court or appointments like a lawyer), whose job is to keep up with the file, update the client, and remain available to quickly respond to questions or e-mails. In addition to communicating with their case paralegal, clients are always welcome to request a telephone or in-person appointment with an attorney.

Clients also have e-mail access to the attorneys, investigators, and staff working on their case. In addition to responding to client inquiries, we also have pre-planned communications with our client during various stages of the case.

What is the first step?

If you’re ready to get the help you deserve, call us at (803) 359-3301 to set up your initial consultation. Free consultations are available for most matters (exceptions are routine traffic tickets and matters involving other than representing a criminal defendant or suspect).

Former Client Experiences

  • “May God bless him and his precious family.”

    Gail J.

  • “He has assisted me with several issues.”

    Robbie B.

  • “Always someone ready to help answer any questions you may have as well as keep you up to speed on your case.”

    Chase H.

  • “Would definitely recommend this law firm!”

    Brittany S.

  • “You are down to earth, easily approachable, and simply a refuge in an awful time of hardship. You have integrity, humility, and a wonderful way with those of us who have made mistakes.”

    Former Client

  • Best of Lexington Life for 2020
  • Super Lawyers
  • Premium Rating
  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating - Top Attorney Criminal Defense
  • Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - The National Trial Lawyers
  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating - Top Attorney DUI

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