Jump to Navigation

One unique criminal defense strategy: admit and explain

Columbia residents likely know, whether from civics class or from television crime dramas, that our legal system presumes that anyone charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. They have the right to defend themselves against the charges, and a criminal defense attorney may prove invaluable in this regard. Different types of cases call for different defense strategies, however; for example, sometimes the best defense is to actually admit guilt - but to also offer an explanation that provides some kind of justification or context for one's actions.

A recent example of this type of criminal defense strategy can be seen in the case of Lonnie Randolph, the head of the South Carolina NAACP. Randolph was charged with a number of misdemeanors after an evening incident at a local dry cleaner. An employee called police claiming Randolph would not pay his bill, and that he started behaving erratically after being asked to leave the premises. When officers tried to get him into a police car, he resisted, with one officer eventually striking him in the chest and kneeing him in the leg twice in order to subdue him.

Charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, as Randolph found himself facing, are a serious matter for any South Carolinian. However, Randolph and his attorney were pleased to learn that Columbia police were actually dropping all charges against him due to one simple fact: a medical condition. Randolph is diabetic.

Randolph's attorney explained that the employee was unaware of this condition and called police instead of the paramedics. It is not uncommon, he noted, for ordinary people and even police to misinterpret Randolph's health issues. "For medical reasons," agreed authorities, "we know he was not himself."

Fortunately, Randolph received the care he needed after the incident and his attorney was able to explain his behavior to the satisfaction of police. Any Columbia residents charged with crimes like these may wish to consider this story and discuss their defense options with a legal professional - the best defense, in some cases, may just be admitting and explaining what happened.

Source: The State, "UPDATE: Columbia police decide to drop charges against SC NAACP chief," Clif LeBlanc and Tim Flach, July 16, 2013


Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Subscribe to This Blog's Feed Visit Our Criminal Law Website
Office Location

Matt Bodman, P.A.
1500 Calhoun Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Toll-Free: 866-806-8608
Phone Number:
Fax Number: 803-758-6087

Map & Directions