Criminal Defense Attorney inBluffton, SC

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CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Bluffton, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Bluffton can be a traumatic experience. Even "petty" crimes can cause an individual's life to fall apart professionally and personally. Spending time in jail is bad enough, but the ramifications of a criminal record run deep, resulting in loss of employment, loss of friends, and even family. For many people, having a zealous criminal defense attorney in Bluffton, SC, to defend their rights is the only shot they have of living a normal life.

That's why, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of a veteran criminal defense lawyer early in the legal process. That's where CDH Law Firm comes in to give you or your loved one hope when you need it the most.

Our criminal defense law firm was founded to help people just like you - hardworking men and women who are looking at diminished employment opportunities and a possible lifetime of embarrassment. But with our team of experts fighting by your side, you have a much better chance of maintaining your freedom and living a normal, productive life. When it comes to criminal law in Bluffton, we've seen it all. With decades of combined experience, there is no case too complicated or severe for us to handle, from common DUI charges to complicated cases involving juvenile crimes. Unlike some of our competition, we prioritize personalized service and cutting-edge criminal defense strategies to effectively represent our clients.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Clients rank CHSA Law, LLC as the top choice for Bluffton criminal defense because we provide:

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Bluffton Legal Process and Its Risks
  • Ardent, Effective Representation
  • Commitment to Our Clients and Defending Their Rights
  • Prompt Inquiry Response
  • Robust Experience with Criminal Law Cases in Bluffton
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Bluffton can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in the Lowcountry, and we're ready to defend you too. Some of our specialties include:

 Law Firm Bluffton, SC
The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Bluffton, SC

DUI penalties in Bluffton can be very harsh. Many first-time DUI offenders must endure a lifelong criminal record, license suspension, and the possibility of spending time in jail. Officers and judges take DUI very seriously, with 30% of traffic fatalities in South Carolina involving impaired drivers, according to NHTSA. Criminal convictions can have lasting impacts on your life, which is why CDH Law Firm works so hard to get these charges dismissed or negotiated down. In some cases, we help clients avoid jail time altogether.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Bluffton, SC
When you hire our DUI defense firm, our team will always work towards your best interests and will go above and beyond to achieve the best outcome in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges, we will investigate whether:
  • Your DUI stop was legal
  • You were administered a field sobriety test correctly
  • The breathalyzer used was calibrated correctly and properly maintained
  • Urine and blood tests were administered and collected properly

The bottom line? Our criminal law defense attorneys will do everything possible to keep you out of jail with a clean permanent record. It all starts with a free consultation, where we will take time to explain the DUI process. We'll also discuss your defense options and speak at length about the differences between going to trial and accepting a plea bargain.

DUI Penalties in Bluffton, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Bluffton depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level and how many DUIs you have received in the last 10 years. If you're convicted, the DUI charge will remain on your criminal history and can be seen by anyone who runs a background check on you. Sometimes, a judge will require you to enter alcohol treatment or install an interlock device on your automobile.

If you're on the fence about hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Bluffton, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

First Offense

Offense

48 hours to 90 days

in jail

with fines ranging from

$400 to $1,000

Second Offense

Offense

Five days to three years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$2,100 to $6,500

Third Offense

Offense

60 days to five years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$3,800 to $10,000

Additional consequences can include:

1

Alcohol or Drug Treatment

When convicted of DUI in South Carolina, most offenders must join the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This program mandates that offenders complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow the recommended treatment options.

 Law Firm Bluffton, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Bluffton may choose to complete community service in lieu of jail time. Community service hours are usually equal to the length of jail time an offender would be required to serve.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Bluffton, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Bluffton, their driver's license is restricted or suspended. The length of restriction or suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions an individual has.

First DUI Offense

First-time DUI offenders must endure a six-month license suspension. Drivers convicted with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or more do not qualify for a provisional license. However, sometimes they may still drive using an ignition interlock device.

Second DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a second DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.

Third DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a third DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. That term increases to four years if the driver is convicted of three DUIs in five years.

Immobilized Vehicle

For offenders with two or more convictions, the judge will immobilize their vehicle if it is not equipped with an IID. When a judge immobilizes a vehicle, the owner must turn over their registration and license plate. Clearly, the consequences of receiving a DUI in Bluffton can be life-changing, and not in a good way. The good news is that with CDH Law Firm, you have a real chance at beating your charges and avoiding serious fines and jail time. Every case is different, which is why it's so important that you call our office as soon as possible if you are charged with a DUI.

Traffic Violation Cases

Most drivers brush off traffic law violations as minor offenses, but the fact of the matter is they are criminal matters to be taken seriously. Despite popular opinion, Traffic Violation cases in Bluffton can carry significant consequences like fines and even incarceration. If you or someone you love has been convicted of several traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, restricting your ability to work and feed your family.

Every driver should take Traffic Violations seriously. If you're charged with a traffic crime, it's time to protect yourself and your family with a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Bluffton, SC. Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC is ready to provide the legal guidance and advice you need to beat your traffic charges. We'll research the merits of your case, explain what charges you're facing, discuss your defense options, and strategize an effective defense on your behalf.

Common Bluffton
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

There are dozens and dozens of traffic laws in Bluffton, all of which affect drivers in some way. Our Bluffton defense attorneys fight a full range of violations, including but not limited to the following:

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC
  • Driving Under Suspension: If you drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you could be looking at 30 days in jail and fines up to $300.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol is illegal and often results in jail time and fines.
  • Reckless Driving: You could be ordered to pay up to $200 in fines or jailed for up to 30 days if you drive with wanton disregard for the safety of other people.
  • Racing: You can be cited and fined if you aid or participate in street racing.
  • Hit and Run: When you leave the scene of an accident that involved injury to another party, you can be arrested. This serious charge can lead to up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for first-time offenders.
  • Disregard Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signals and control devices, less they be ticketed and sometimes fined.

As seasoned traffic violation lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be to get charged with a Traffic Violation. While some traffic charges can be minor, others are severe and can affect your life for years to come. Don't leave your fate up to chance call CDH Law Firm today for the highest-quality Traffic Violation representation in Bluffton.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Bluffton, SC

At Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC, we understand that children are still growing and learning about the world around them. As such, they may make mistakes that get them into trouble with the law. Children and teens who are arrested in Bluffton can face much different futures than other children their age. Some face intensive probation, while others are made to spend time in jail.

This happens most often when a child's parents fail to retain legal counsel for their son or daughter. Cases referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice often move quicker than adult cases, so finding a good lawyer is of utmost importance. With that said, a compassionate criminal defense attorney in Bluffton, SC, can educate you and your child about their alleged charges. To help prevent your child from going to a detention center, we will devise a strategy to achieve favorable results in their case.

 Law Firm Bluffton, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Bluffton, SC

Juvenile Detention Hearings

Unlike adults, juveniles don't have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. Instead, once your child is taken into custody a Detention Hearing is conducted within 48 hours. This hearing is similar to a combination of a Bond Hearing and a Preliminary Hearing. Unfortunately, there is little time to prepare for these hearings, which is why you must move quickly and call CDH law firm as soon as possible.

Our team gathers police reports, petitions, interviews your child at the DJJ, speaks with you about the case and talks to the prosecutor to discover if they have plans for detention. In most cases, we strive to avoid detention and seek alternatives like divisionary programs or treatment facilities. This strategy better addresses your child's issues and keeps them out of the juvenile legal system in Bluffton. If your child is charged with a crime, and South Carolina decides to prosecute, your child will appear before a family court judge, who will find them delinquent or not delinquent. There are no juries in juvenile cases in South Carolina, which is why it's crucial to have a lawyer present to defend your child if they go in front of a judge.

Common penalties for juveniles charged with crimes in Bluffton include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC
  • Probation: Children charged with probation are released to their parents or guardians. Depending on their charges, they must abide by certain stipulations while at home and may be subject to random drug screenings. Violation of probation often results in jail time.
  • 90 Days in Juvenile Detention Center: When probation is not a viable option, prosecutors may push for 90 days of jail time in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Juvenile Detention: Children who commit very serious crimes can be sent to a juvenile detention center for a long time. These sentences can last up to the child's 21st birthday.
  • School Expulsion: When a child is convicted of a crime, their school is notified of the offense. Sometimes, the administration may decide to expel the child from school for the misdemeanors or felonies they commit.

We Fight to Protect
Your Rights So You Can
Provide for Your Family

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a serious traffic violation, CDH Law Firm is here to fight for your rights so you can continue living life. The future might seem bleak, but our criminal defense lawyers in Bluffton, SC, have the tools, experience, and strategy to win your case, as we have with so many others. Don't lose hope call our office today and maintain your freedom tomorrow.

Ask us anything

Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

Latest News in Bluffton, SC

Neighbors concerned over contaminated tap water in Bluffton area

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — Imagine getting a notice from your utility company saying your drinking water may be contaminated. This recently happened to people who live in several Bluffton neighborhoods.“You expect your water to be safe and drinkable. So it’s very disappointing,” said Joshua Hower, who moved to Okatie in 2021 with his wife. He said since moving to the Lowcountry, his skin has gotten significantly dryer.People who live south of Broad River in Beaufort County most likely got a letter from the ...

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — Imagine getting a notice from your utility company saying your drinking water may be contaminated. This recently happened to people who live in several Bluffton neighborhoods.

“You expect your water to be safe and drinkable. So it’s very disappointing,” said Joshua Hower, who moved to Okatie in 2021 with his wife. He said since moving to the Lowcountry, his skin has gotten significantly dryer.

People who live south of Broad River in Beaufort County most likely got a letter from the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewage Authority.

It reads that during four quarterly water quality tests last year, the amount of disinfection byproducts violated a standard for safe drinking water.

“It’s definitely a little alarming, a little scary to think that I’ve been drinking this water for a year and a half, use it to wash my hands, take a shower, brush my teeth, and there could be long-term impacts to that.”

BJWSA said customers shouldn’t be worried. The letter reads that for it to cause cancer you’d have to drink this water over years. However, it doesn’t say exactly how long that would take.

“It’s only an issue if you’re exposed for X amount of time or you didn’t tell us what the total suspended solids were with the parts per million were you’re really just guesstimating how much I’ve been exposed to, how much tap water I drink based on the average amount of tap water,” Hower said. “Most people I think you’d find if you did a survey, most people say they don’t drink tap water, but they do. They just don’t realize they drink as much as they do. So your average is probably skewed. So the actual consumption rate, it’s probably much higher than you think. So your impact is much higher than you’re projecting, which is why these issues tend to snowball.”

The company said the reason the water was contaminated was because they used chlorine to change the color. Many people who live in the Bluffton area complain about brown or yellow-colored water.

“The water doesn’t need to look perfect. It needs to be safe,” Hower said. “And that should be the primary concern of providing water to the area.”

The company told WSAV that the water is safe to drink now.

“We mailed a public notice to customers located south of the Broad River, about quarterly testing results that indicated levels of haloacetic acids (HAA5) were higher than average regulatory limits,” a BJWSA spokesperson told WSAV in a statement. “This is not an emergency, we notified customers because they have the right to know details about the water they drink. Follow-up, supplemental tests show that HAA5 levels are back to normal with results between .052 and .031 mg/L, since October.”

The company also forwarded customers to a Q&A webpage.

They say the levels are back to normal and that the letter was not meant to alarm customers. However, even if it’s safe to drink people who live in the area are upset they didn’t get told earlier.

“It’s irresponsible to not give out this information as soon as you have it,” Hower said. “I know there’s a fine line between inciting panic in the local populace, and I really do understand that. I’m not trying to bind somebody up and say that I want to know the minute that you know that something’s not right. But within 30 days, we should have a notification.”

Kenny B’s Cajun restaurant getting ready for Mardi Gras in new Bluffton location

With Mardi Gras season officially under way in Louisiana, Kenny B’s French Quarter Cafe is gearing up for the holiday in its new Bluffton location.The restaurant that serves Cajun and Creole specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner first opened on Hilton Head’s south end in 1999 and, last year, made the decision to move to a larger space just across the bridges.Its new home is in Bridge Center, along U.S...

With Mardi Gras season officially under way in Louisiana, Kenny B’s French Quarter Cafe is gearing up for the holiday in its new Bluffton location.

The restaurant that serves Cajun and Creole specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner first opened on Hilton Head’s south end in 1999 and, last year, made the decision to move to a larger space just across the bridges.

Its new home is in Bridge Center, along U.S. 278 across from Moss Creek, and it quietly opened its doors to customers starting Dec. 27.

“I’ll be honest,” said chef and owner Ken Ballard, “it rejuvenated me doing this again. I had good memories from when we first started because that was a dream come true, you know, to finally get your own place.”

The building, once home to Thai Smile Cuisine, was extensively renovated over nearly a year to create a large waiting area for take-out orders and a spacious dining area with a combination of tables and booths and plenty of natural light.

There are reminders of the original location, with framed mementos and posters lining the walls. Ballard even had large canvases printed with photos of the iconic French Quarter mural that went from floor to ceiling at the Hilton Head restaurant.

The larger space also allowed for the creation of a vivid red “Dawghouse” room for fans of the University of Georgia bulldogs. Ballard’s own bulldog Beignet Bouchet (“BAYN-yay BOO-shay”), named for the Louisiana-style pastry fried and dusted with powdered sugar, is well represented among the photos.

All of Ballard’s employees moved to the new location, and he has also added additional staff.

While the space is new, customers can be reassured that the menu hasn’t changed.

Previously, all ordering was done on paper and customers were rung up on an old cash register. The new space now has a modern point-of-sale accounting system that allows pick-up orders to be placed online.

“I’ve had a good mix of my old customers from Hilton Head, a lot of them tourists that were here for the new year holidays came in. That that was the best sign of anything, that I know I will still get my summer people, as I call them,” Ballard said, “and then I’ve gotten a lot more people that live out here that would have never went down to Hilton Head.”

The lunch shift in particular has been busy with locals on their midday breaks from work.

Mardi Gras on Tuesday, Feb. 13, will be a customer appreciation day. Ballard hopes to have his license to serve beer and wine by then, but regardless, he plans lunch specials on po-boys, jambalaya, gumbo and muffalettas. Of course, there will be king cake; at Kenny B’s, those who find a plastic baby in their cake will get a prize.

On a recent day, two separate customers stopped to talk to compliment Ballard on the food and the space over the course of about 15 minutes.

“This is the best food ever,” said one woman who identified herself as from Ohio. “We have nothing like this.”

This story was originally published January 16, 2024, 9:12 AM.

New Italian restaurant coming to Old Town Bluffton. Here’s a look inside before it opens

One-year-old Joelle DeLeo sat in a stroller rattling a small plastic toy on a recent Thursday morning as activity buzzed around her. She was sitting in the middle of a soon-to-open restaurant that will bear her name in Bluffton.Joelle, the restaurant, is located at 132 Bluffton Road, Suite 100, in a newly constructed building that also is home to a salon, an architecture firm and other businesses. It’s the result of years of planning and work by two ge...

One-year-old Joelle DeLeo sat in a stroller rattling a small plastic toy on a recent Thursday morning as activity buzzed around her. She was sitting in the middle of a soon-to-open restaurant that will bear her name in Bluffton.

Joelle, the restaurant, is located at 132 Bluffton Road, Suite 100, in a newly constructed building that also is home to a salon, an architecture firm and other businesses. It’s the result of years of planning and work by two generations of the family, and, if all goes well with a liquor license and town permits, they will be serving patrons from a “modern Italian” menu later this spring.

Robert and Breana DeLeo, the toddler’s parents and the restaurant’s owner, met while working in the hospitality industry in Charleston, later moved to New York, and now live in Bluffton. Robert’s family owns Island Restaurant Equipment on Hilton Head. His father also is one of the partners in the development of the center where the restaurant is located, making it a true family business.

The DeLeos’ vision for the restaurant is light and airy but still cozy. Breana described it as “modern, but not too modern.”

“We’re trying to go very Italian coastal, very neutral tones,” she said.

That Italian coastal theme echoes in the food served there.

Chef Brandon Torre has worked at The Ritz-Carlton, The Omni Hotel, The Westin Hotel and, most recently, Colleton River Club in Bluffton. He is planning a menu that offers wood-fired pizza and Italian fare including fresh, house-made pasta.

The food will be “from-scratch fresh,” Torre said. “You can usually make it better yourself.”

The goal is not to duplicate traditional Italian-American fare but offer more modern, refreshing and lighter takes.

“We want very unique, very chef-forward dishes with the Italian cuisine as the focal point,” Robert DeLeo said.

To the right of the entrance, Joelle’s bar area will seat 18 between at the bar and at three tables there.

The inside dining area will seat around 44 people at tables and booths, while the outside dining area will seat around 50 people. Between them are large sliding doors that can be left open on nicer days.

The restaurant will be open six days a week for lunch and dinner. It will be closed on Tuesdays.

Why Tuesdays? Many restaurants in Bluffton reduce their hours or close altogether on Sundays and Mondays.

“Coming from New York and coming from an Italian family, we always used to go out for Italian dinner on Sundays,” Robert DeLeo explained. “That’s kind of the day to go out for that cuisine. ... Why not try and compete on those two days when not many places are open?”

This story was originally published March 11, 2024, 11:14 AM.

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Bluffton daffodil farm blooming and ready for visitors. Here’s when it will be open

A colder than usual winter has delayed the expected opening of the U Pick Daffodil farm, but the Bluffton-area attraction’s owners say they are now ready to welcome visitors.A trip to the farm has become a spring rite for families, flower-lovers and photographers, and co-owners Chuck and Diane Merrick expect to be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. The farm may close early if the Merricks begin to run out of blooms.“Cold weather doesn’t hurt the flowers; it just slows them down,” said Chuck Me...

A colder than usual winter has delayed the expected opening of the U Pick Daffodil farm, but the Bluffton-area attraction’s owners say they are now ready to welcome visitors.

A trip to the farm has become a spring rite for families, flower-lovers and photographers, and co-owners Chuck and Diane Merrick expect to be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. The farm may close early if the Merricks begin to run out of blooms.

“Cold weather doesn’t hurt the flowers; it just slows them down,” said Chuck Merrick, who estimated the blooming fields are about two weeks behind where they would be in a typical year.

The weather forecast for Saturday in Bluffton is sunny and windy with a high of 67, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston. Sunday will be sunny with a high near 60.

The fields are located at 48 Calhoun Plantation Road, just off Pinckney Colony Road.

Each stem picked is 50 cents. Cash and card payments will be accepted.

This year, the Merricks likely will open the fields only on weekends because that’s when their family is available to help them. Weather and the lack or abundance of blooms will affect what days the farm is open.

For information about days the farm will be open, watch its Facebook page or go to its website at upickdaffodils.com. Those who’d like to check on the status of the flowers before making a longer commute can also text Chuck Merrick at 843-368-1998.

The U Pick Daffodil tradition started more than 50 years ago, and each year the farm has expanded to meet a growing demand.

Chuck Merrick uses a planting machine purchased from Holland — it is pulled behind a tractor — to plant tens of thousands of daffodil bulbs with varying blooming times so the farm has a longer picking season.

Daffodils don’t grow easily in the Lowcountry climate, he previously told The Island Packet, and every year the farm loses about half of the ones they had planted in earlier years.

Bluffton Chef honored by being named 2024 South Carolina Chef Ambassador

BLUFFTON, S.C. —A Bluffton chef is being recognized in a big way.In this week's Lowcountry Living, we're sharing how she hopes to use her new title to bring positive change to the entire state of South Carolina.Leslie Rohland is head chef and owner of The Cottage, The Juice Hive, May River Coffee Roasters, and the Bluffton Pasta Shoppe.And she says her successful restaurant endeavors are thanks, in part, to her childhood.“Really do the stuff that I remember as a child loving to ...

BLUFFTON, S.C. —

A Bluffton chef is being recognized in a big way.

In this week's Lowcountry Living, we're sharing how she hopes to use her new title to bring positive change to the entire state of South Carolina.

Leslie Rohland is head chef and owner of The Cottage, The Juice Hive, May River Coffee Roasters, and the Bluffton Pasta Shoppe.

And she says her successful restaurant endeavors are thanks, in part, to her childhood.

“Really do the stuff that I remember as a child loving to see. My grandmothers, my grandfathers, my mother and my father do because everyone seemed to be a great cook back then. And just really taking the stuff I love to cook and then being able to serve it and put it on the table," said Rohland.

Rohland’s passion for cooking was just recognized by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster as she was named just one of three 2024 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors.

She’ll serve in this role for a year, and during that time, one of her main goals is to support local farmers.

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“It’s really nice to know where our food is coming from. It’s nice to be able to see the footprint of where the lettuce is from or the shrimp," Rohland said.

And she hopes her impact will last well beyond her time serving as Chef Ambassador.

“This is some information that really needs to be passed onto our kids. Kind of like the old days, you know, when you were creating recipes basically with what was in your backyard, said Rohland.

Roland says supporting local does more than just stimulate the economy; it also has health benefits for patrons.

“There’s nothing better, I think, than knowing what you’re eating, and knowing where it comes from. You know, we’ve all seen the labels on certain foods that are like, I can’t even pronounce that item. And this is just kind of like, ok, this came from up the road, and it’s strictly just eggplant," Roland said.

Rohland adds it was extra special to be selected as a South Carolina Chef Ambassador now as the program is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

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