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South Carolina sheriff pleads not guilty on bribery charges

A criminal charge that leads to a conviction can carry serious ramifications. Fines, jail time or even capital punishment can be carried out when an individual is convicted. Yet another result of a criminal conviction is the negative stigma and reputational damage. Because of these serious consequences, individuals charged with a crime should proceed with caution to ensure that they are not being wrongly punished.

South Carolina's longest serving sheriff was recently released on a $100,000 bond after being charged with federal bribery. Prosecutors believe that the sheriff allowed friends to buy favors. They also believe he was committing wire fraud and helping assist individuals that were in the country illegally for cash. The sheriff faces a total of ten separate charges.

In the United States, anyone charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution carries the burden to prove that the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If they fail to meet that burden, the defendant is released and the charges are dismissed.

Criminal defense strategy is very important to one's case and some strategies will work better than others. Sometimes an individual will completely deny the charges. Other times they may admit to conduct, but explain why it happened. Yet another strategy is telling the truth and gaining sympathy from the judge or jury.

Many other strategies play into one's criminal defense plan. Exploring these and other strategies with an experienced legal professional proves most useful for individuals charged with a crime. No individual in the state of South Carolina should face a serious charge alone.

Source: ABC News, "SC Sherriff Pleads Not Guilty to Bribery Charges ," Meg Kinnard, July 1, 2014

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