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1st Step: ARREST

This means that you are arrested for a particular crime. You are then read their rights, including the right to remain silent, use it and ask for your lawyer. If you are arrested you will actually be placed in handcuffs and transported "somewhere" to detention center. That "somewhere" is the second place.

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2nd Step: JAIL

You are transported to a jail or detention facility. You're fingerprinted. You're photographed. The image of being given a number to hold in front of you is the more traditional way that people sort of think about being booked in at the jail. Its actually more expansive than that, You are fingerprinted, photographed and you have a number that you hold in front of you and you get the displeasure of having your face posted up online and the whole world knows that you've been arrested. Usually, those "mugshots" are put into an online catalog called, Booked, Jailbirds or some other less than flattering publication. Companies then place the image into one of several publications that publish mugshots of people and lists what crimes they have been charged with near their name. This can also include your date of birth and address so that anyone who searches you can find it. We all know that Its embarrassing and its frustrating for the person who is arrested. However, it can be embarrassing for their family too and may even result in the loss of your job and some important business and personal relationships. Most people want to avoid this step and want to never set foot back into a jail again.

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3rd Step: BOND/BAIL

A bond or bail is an amount of money that you pay to the court, or a bondsman to be released. Bail is where you have to that amount to be able to get out of jail in the hopes and the promise that you'll come back and defend your case in court or complete your case. A bondsman will typically charge anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the face amount of the bond as their fee to "sign" your bond for you. If you don't come back to court, they will take it personally and come get you! There money is on the line and they will make a point of finding you.

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An arraignment is a court proceeding where you have a criminal charge against you and they bring you before the judge and he or she says, "We have this criminal charge against you. How do you want to proceed? Do you plead guilty or not guilty and do you want to challenge it?" And of course you challenge it. You challenge it with a lawyer. It is not wise to plead guilty at an arraignment and most jurisdictions won't let you. This proceeding is handled by the lawyer and the client says very little at this stage. Use your right to remain silent and let your lawyer speak for you at this stage.

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This is a very important and often overlooked step in any criminal case. After you've been arrested you only have "10 DAYS" to request this hearing in South Carolina. This is why it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as you get out of jail, because this time limit is very strict. A good lawyer will request your hearing for you and preserve your right to this hearing immediately. This request is usually sent with the lawyer's letter of representation and discovery (evidence) request package to the prosecutor or the officer. At the preliminary hearing, the only question is whether or not there was probable cause to find that they should have stopped you in the first place. If you are were in a car and driving or if you were stopped on the street and arrested, they should have had a legal reason to stop you and that is that is to say that they should have had "probable cause" to believe that you're committing a crime.

The state, through the officer's testimony, must establish that there was probable cause for the arrest for the case against you to continue to proceed forward.

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This is the next step in the process. This is the opportunity to see if the case can be worked out before a trial date is set. Specifically, at the pretrial conference the lawyer has a chance to talk to the officer, to the prosecutor and also to the judge, in many instances. in this crucial court proceeding, it is determined whether or not the case will be going forward with a trial or a plea. If there are any negotiations for a lesser charge or sentence, it will first happen at this conference.

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We have a "jury trial" for a reason and that reason is to preserve justice. If you don't end up working it out on a plea, then you end up with a bench trial (trial in front of a judge only) or a jury trial. At that jury trial, there will be 6 jurors in a magistrate or municipal (little court) court case or 12 jurors in a general sessions (big court) case who are supposed to be fair and impartial jurors. A juror is supposed to hear all of the evidence presented by the attorneys and the prosecutors and to decide your fate. It is their collective and unanimous decision on whether or not you will only be found guilty or not guilty that determines your outcome. This is where the skill and experience of your attorney is best utilized and a where a good attorney can truly help you.

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This is where your fate is decided. The sentencing is not done by jurors; they just decide whether they believe you are guilty or not guilty, that is, whether or not they believe that you committed the crime or not. The sentencing phase is done by the judge. The judge, himself, or herself, will be able to say that, "Based on the jury finding you guilty, your sentence is X." The sentence they impose is within their own discretion within the range of acceptable sentences provided by law, including probation or immediate jail time. If, however, you are found not guilty, then the judge will allow you to walk away a free man or woman and the case is over.

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9th Step: APPEAL

If you lose your case you have the right to an appeal. That is that you've been found guilty of a particular crime. You did not get to walk away free and be found not guilty. Usually, this would be the end of it, but if you've been found guilty of a particular crime you may decide to appeal the jury's verdict at trial or appeal the sentence of the judge. In most jurisdictions, you have only 10 to 30 days to be able to appeal that conviction, depending on which jurisdiction you're in, or to appeal the jury trial's result, depending on what the jurisdiction you're in. The appeal itself is a completely separate court case and can take months or years to resolve. During this time the person will remain in jail or may in rare cases will be granted an appeal bond and allowed to be out of jail pending an appeal, usually with electronic monitoring such as an ankle bracelet with a GPS fastened to their leg to ensure that the court knows where they are at all times. These are the general stage of a criminal case. The attorney you choose helps you navigate this legal minefield to get the best result. So choose your attorney carefully. They have your life and you freedom in their hands.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most common questions that new clients at our firm ask are:

For the answers to these and many more frequently asked questions, click HERE.

South Carolina's Statewide Service Law Firm

"My dad is going to kill me"

"Please just let me pass this"

"How will I get to work without my license?"

"My parents are so disappointed their son is in jail"

"How am I going to pay bills after my accident?"

"Should I try to go back to work or recover from my injury?"

"Did someone really abuse my mom?"

"What do we do now that he's gone?"

"Who's giong to pay to repair this?"

Featured Appearances

Freddy has been featured on national and local telvision stations, including...

Our Commitment to You


24/7 Availability

Call us day or night and someone is available to speak with you.


Same Day Service and Call Back

If you call us, we speak with you right away or call you right back. We know you may need help right now.


No Fees Unless We Win Your Case

In accident and injury cases only, there will be no fees unless we win for you. We believe that's the right thing to do.


We Will Come to You

If you are recovering at home or at the hospital from an injury, we will come to visit you.


Exceptional Client Service

In every case, whether it's a criminal or injury case, we will give our full commitment to do our very best work.


Responsive Service

We can handle your case quickly, even if your court date is tomorrow. We have a full staff of professionals who can handle your case, even on a moment's notice.

Smart, Responsive Lawyers with Experience to Win


We understand that you may want to know what areas we dedicate our life’s work to do everyday. We are glad that you had that you want to know and have provided the answers here. We have developed our practice with a deep knowledge and experience in the following areas of law. Please click below:

DUI Defense

When you are arrested for a DUI, it can spoil more than your day or evening, it can wreak havoc with your future. A DUI is not like a speeding ticket. If you get a speeding ticket you are given a piece of paper and told to come to court or pay a fine if you don’t want to appear. A DUI is much more serious. If you are arrested for a DUI, you go to jail, may have to pay a bond to get out and you could wind up losing your license, going back to jail, taking alcohol and drug classes and paying heavy fines and penalties. In order to fight a DUI, you need a law firm that has handled cases like yours before. Here at The Woods Law Firm we have handled thousands of DUI cases and we have the knowledge, skills and experience to fight this battle for you.

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Criminal Defense

Just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are a hardened criminal, we know that, and WE DON’T JUDGE YOU. Our goal is to help you get your life back on track and get beyond the feelings of guilt, the long court appearances, the threat of prison and the fear of the judges. We have taken many, many cases to trial in over 20 years of practice and we know and can navigate the system to help you succeed in your case. If you have been charged with a crime you may have a whole lot questions, luckily, we have a whole lot of answers. Call us today to figure out how you can safely get past this rough patch and difficult moment in your life.

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Car Accidents

An auto accident can ruin even the best day. The auto accident by definition is an "accident" which is something that you did not intend to happen to you. The collision can happen within an instant, but the resulting crash could leave you sidelined for a long time with often severe injuries. The insurance companies will have teams of lawyers working for them to deny or undervalue your just claim to damages. Fortunately, we have years of experience representing people just like you against the big insurance companies. They have a legal team on their side and when you come to our firm, so do you! We take care of the details so that you don’t have to so that all you need to is to rest, recuperate and get better. We will handle the rough legal stuff.

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Truck Accidents

On the highway, the sight of an 18 wheeler or other tractor-trailer truck driving fast beside you or behind you in your rear view mirror can often leave people with a little anxiety. When you are the victim of an accident with one of these "big rigs" you can have serious or often life threatening injuries, or worse yet, a loved one may have died in this accident. The last thing that an injured person wants to do is to be re-injured by the insurance company failing to pay your claim. A truck accident may involve multiple parties and therefore may be classified as multi-party litigation if multiple people and companies are involved. Fortunately, at The Woods Law Firm, we know how to navigate this minefield and find you the best possible compensation for your injuries.

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Motorcycle Accidents

One of the most liberating feelings in the world is riding your motorcycle on the open road, feeling the wind in your face and moving with the environment around you. It’s all good until a car or a truck pulls out in front of you or T-bones you from the side. The injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident are often the most severe injuries and healing can mean resetting broken bones or having skin grafts to patch road rash and burned skin. It may take months or years before you can ride again, if it all. What you need is to feel free again and if you need help with your case or claim, we are here to help you. We can help you pick up the pieces and move forward after this type of accident.

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Medical Malpractice

Our devotion for this practice area stems from our own personal tragedy. Some of us in our firm have lost close family members due to medical negligence. A doctor should be the person you trust the most with your life and care. While, the vast majority of all doctors are very well respected, highly trained professionals with years of experience that you should trust with your care, there are some great doctors out there! However, the few who do not meet the minimum standard of care can do some very tortious things with your body and your life. In cases where the doctor has injured someone from not meeting his or her standard of care, you may want to fight for what’s fair. Only a small number of medical cases actually rise to the level of medical malpractice, we can help you find out if your case is one of them. Call us for a free evaluation of you or a loved ones’ individual situation to see if it rises to the level of a case.

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Nursing Home Abuse

If you have had the misfortune of being in the difficult position of having a loved one in a nursing home, you know how hard that decision can be. Sometimes, the apprehension and the conflict of not knowing if you made the right decision can really eat away at you. If your loved one was abused or injured in the care of the nursing home, that apprehension can turn into fear, doubt and outright rage against the facility in which they were hurt. Instead of blindly getting mad at the situation, be calm and seek for your loved one to be justly compensated for their rough treatment. The compensation may be used to help them lead a better life in their later years (and that’s probably what you wanted for them in the first place).

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Wrongful Death

Accidents don’t always just happen, they are caused by someone and many accidents actually can be fatal. The loss of life can not only be tragic, it can be a crime with civil and criminal penalties, liabilities and consequences. A death may have been caused by the misdiagnosis of a medical provider or the failure of medical personnel to act in the appropriate amount of time to a crisis. The death could have been caused by faulty equipment which led to an auto accident or the toxins that have been discovered in a community for which a company is at fault. While it is true that death eventually comes for everyone, it does not have to come at the hands of person or company that is at fault. If you suspect foul play surrounding the death of your loved one, call us to talk about what you can do to right this wrong. We know what to do next.

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Catastrophic Insurance Claims

Hurricane - Flood - Fire

A hurricane can strike quickly, without much advance notice and can decimate coastal communities. Every year, meteorologists set out to name the most menacing hurricanes and tropical depressions with people’s names. Hurricanes such as Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy have devastated coastal cities and towns and claimed lives and property in the process. The resulting floods from storms of all kinds can metaphorically and/or physically leave your whole life underwater. When the insurance company refuses to pay you can feel “soaked” again because you have lost everything and now you may feel that you have no help to rebuild your property and put your life back together again. Likewise, a fire can take the life of those you love and leave you with nothing that is recognizable in the ashes. We want you to know that you have an advocate, you are not alone and we are here to help. We will fight the insurance companies to get you the compensation that you need to rebuild and maybe relocate if necessary. If you want to start over after a major catastrophe, put our know-how to work for you. Call us to see how we can help you start over again.

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Workers' Compensation

You may have given years of service to your company, arrived on time and done your job. In the hustle and bustle of building the company or working on the jobsite, an unfortunate injury may occur and now you are placed on light duty or sidelined all together. When you talk to the company’s representative, they send you to a doctor that you didn’t ask for or tell you that your pay may be reduced or limited until you heal. The dilemma that you may face is do I stay home to heal and risk losing my job, or do I go to work and risk not healing? You don’t have to make a choice between two evils, the law is actually designed to help you when you invoke it in the right way. We help you with the process, advise you on what to do and put together a plan that gives you fair compensation and may let you keep your job, if you can later perform your duties after your injuries. We want you to work and to succeed. Contact us to find out how.

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Why Clients Choose Us

Results Oriented

With over two decades of experience, we have thousands of happy clients.

Exceptional Client Service

We pledge to provide you with outstanding client service and in order to help you be satisfied with your case.


We have great resources and an extensive network of litigation partners to fight the insurance companies for as long as it takes.

Dedication to the Community

We believe in giving back to the community. Our firm supports a number of local groups and charities.



"I went to court and had a great result. Mr. Woods won my case today and I was very well pleased with everything. If you wanna win, call them right away. Today was a great day !"



"Mr. Woods is an AWESOME lawyer. I don't know what Jesus came down and told him to say. I witnessed his excellence on a Monday morning. The courtroom was packed and everyone was worried about their cases. His client was facing 15 years in prison and had a lot of charges. Mr. Woods got every single charge dropped and in the end he got his client probation. The entire family was there and everyone was so happy. The other people in the courtroom where asking who the lawyer was and running after him to ask for help. There is no question in my mind. If you are really in trouble call The Woods Law Firm. They are the best at this."



“To put it simply, Mr. Woods is the greatest attorney that you can have on your side. When I chose him, I was scared about my future. Mr. Woods not only showed care and compassion, he showed what a decent human being he is. Mr. Woods was there for me any time i needed him, and with a powerful and commanding voice, explained the process we would go through. Mr. Woods is confident, he has decades of experience, and he stands his ground to fight for you. He had my charges dropped before it even went to court. Do not hesitate to have Mr. Woods represent you. His motto is "Justice on your side" and he is a man of his word. Thank you, Mr. Woods.”



“If you are looking around for a lawyer, stop, LOOK NO MORE, CALL HIM NOW! I had a situation where I needed help fast! I needed answers at that moment. A colleague of mine referred me to Mr. Woods and I called him right away. Mr. Woods and his staff were very helpful with that process. When I called he answered and didn't give me some crazy run around like the other lawyers I met with. He is so kind and didn't make me feel like a bad person or anything he was just down to earth and kind. He took care of me and got my case dismissed and I didn't even have to go court! Until this day when I see him we still speak and give hugs!!! This man knows what he is doing and wont b.s. you honest! This is the only lawyer to call when you really need help and want to win. I kept my job and my life. He gave me his cell phone number and was available by text or call. I felt that I got his best and that he gave me personal service. I was very, very happy and you will be too.”



“Freddy and his staff turned what was the worst experience of my life into something painless. I received a DUI charge where I blew 0.22. I Spent the night in jail, when I got out I immediately looked up attournies and came across Freddy. When I called for the first time Freddy answered the phone himself! Very impressive! I was scared and he told me to relax and let him handle everything. He immediately made me feel at ease. Freddy got my license back 4 days after being arrested. Immediately a weight was lifted!!! After that he and his staff kept in constant contact with me through email, text and phone. I never felt alone. Freddy and his staff were so accommodating, friendly and knowledgeable!!! After talking with others that had received a DUI ( didn't realize there were so many) I felt discouraged. It seemed like it took them almost a year to get resolution. They were all AMAZED when I come back 4 months later with a resolution... That being said Freddy got my DUI completely dropped and made the officer rewrite the ticket in my final court hearing. I'd also like to point out that my arresting officer has previously been awarded some special awards for his DUI arrests and had previously arrested 3 others for a DUI the same night I was. I am so happy that I retained Freddy he and his staff literally took all my fears and anxiety over this awful situation away. I just can't say enough about him. What a great guy and an amazing attorney!!!!”

- A.N.


“Mr. Woods represented my family and I in our case. He did everything we asked for and more! He always had a positive attitude throughout our case. He won us a better result than what we could have ever hoped for. We were VERY satisfied with him as our lawyer.”

- E.L.W.


South Carolina Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Attorney

We don’t just practice law, we work hard everyday to efficiently improve our work as legal professionals. When you entrust your case to us you can be confident in knowing that we truly care about you and your case. We know that you and your case are important, and that’s just how we will treat you. It is your case, but we are your generals in your legal battle, and just like in a battle we develop effective strategies from the beginning to the end to improve your odds of winning.

An attorney for more than 20 years, Freddy Woods, established The Woods Law Firm in 1997. Freddy is licensed to practice law in all courts in the State of South Carolina, including the federal and state courts. Mr. Woods founded The Woods Law Firm with one goal in mind, successfully winning justice for the people against the powerful. In over 2 decades as a lawyer he has successfully resolved thousands of cases, defending his clients against the government in criminal defense cases and winning substantial compensation for accident and injury victims.

Over time, The Woods Law Firm has evolved into a place where those accused of a crime can find an advocate and where accident and injury victims can find lawyers who champion their cause from the beginning to the end. In defending every new case our strategy evolves to suit the needs of you our client, but our core values don’t change. We pledge to give you our immediate attention, deliver our best work on your case, use our knowledge and years of training to your benefit and to provide exceptional client service. Since we know that your legal issues often can’t wait for hours or days to speak to a lawyer, we have 24/7 phone support, day or night, to answer your call.

The Woods Law Firm is also here to answer your legal questions with free phone consultations and a willingness to listen and help. Call, click or come by to see us. The Woods Law Firm: Justice On Your Side. Talk to us today!

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Meet Our Lead Attorney

Freddy Woods

Founder and Partner

A lawyer who works daily in the state and federal courtrooms throughout South Carolina, attorney Freddy Woods knows how real experience makes a difference in the outcome for criminal and personal injury cases. A seasoned trial lawyer with over 20 years of direct courtroom experience, attorney Freddy Woods has helped thousands of people in South Carolinawho have been charged with a crime or been victims of accidents. Over the years, he has represented people throughout all 46 counties in South Carolina with criminal and civil cases, including federal and state criminal charges and regularly tries cases in South Carolina courtrooms. Court personnel and members of law enforcement know firsthand the work we do at our law firm, that is why prosecutors, officers and even court personnel often call us to help their friends and families who are charged with crimes.

When it is necessary for our trials, we are backed by a team of highly experienced independent investigators as well as leading forensic and toxicology professionals who can testify for us in our cases. Attorney Freddy Woods regularly attends continuing legal education conferences to keep abreast of the latest developments in DUI defense, criminal law, and personal injury law. He writes articles, editorials, authors ebooks and makes public speaking appearances on the subjects of DUI and Criminal Law and has been regularly featured as a guest commentator on the issues of personal injury and workers’ compensation. Among other awards, Freddy has been listed in Rue Ratings as one of the best attorneys in America, recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the top 100 trial lawyers, is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Association of Premier DUI lawyers, and has been rated as one of the three best lawyers by and maintained a perfect 10.0 rating on Avvo.

Freddy has also been featured on local television stations including WYFF (NBC), FOX Carolina (FOX), and WLOS (ABC).

A Few of Our Awards and Recognition

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A Little More about Freddy

Four Convenient Locations to Serve You

Greer, South Carolina

Main Office
955 West Wade Hampton Blvd, Unit 10B
Greer, SC 29650

Columbia, South Carolina

Satellite Office
350 North Main St, #200
Columbia, SC 29203

By Appointment Only. All files are maintained at the main office.

Beaufort, South Carolina

Satellite Office
28 Old Jericho Rd, #100
Beaufort, SC 29906

By Appointment Only. All files are maintained at the main office.

Greenville, South Carolina

Satellite Office
1106 Pendleton St
Greenville, SC 29601

By Appointment Only. All files are maintained at the main office.

Contact Us

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