The Town of Bluffton and City of Beaufort found out the hard way this week, to the tune of a quarter million dollars, that they must provide attorneys to indigent defendants that may face incarceration.
The ACLU of South Carolina, Nelson Mullins (law firm), and the City of Beaufort and Town of Bluffton settled a class action lawsuit last week that alleged that the cities were unlawfully incarcerating people without properly informing them of their right to have an attorney and without providing an attorney to people that could not afford to retain an attorney.
Under South Carolina Law cities are not required to have a municipal court but when they decide to implement a court system they are required to provide appropriate funding to provide attorneys to people that cannot afford to hire one. According to the settlement the City of Beaufort and Town of Bluffton will be required to comply with much more stringent requirements when informing people of their rights and when convicting people in their absence.
If you or your loved one has been charged with DUI, a Drug Offense, or any other criminal charges the Attorneys of Templeton Mims & Ward are here to help. Our experience in Criminal Defense will help to make sure that you get the best possible results in your case.