Comments on Pro Se Motions

Our leading South Carolina criminal defense attorney, Russell W. Mace III, was cited in the Sun News for his insight on pro se motions.  Kachef Spain pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a handgun.  Because of his prior record, Spain received five additional years under the Armed Career Criminal Act.  Under the Act, if a defendant has three violent felonies or serious drug offenses, he or she could potentially receive an enhanced sentence.

In a pro se motion to the district court, Spain argued that two of his previous felonies should only have counted as one given that they were part of the same crime.  Judge Bryan Harwell ordered Spain to resubmit his pro se motion as it was improperly filed.  Mr. Mace stated that Spain’s argument could potentially have merit if the two felonies were, in fact, part of the same criminal act.  On the other hand, Mr. Mace said that Spain could still be given an enhanced sentence if he has other felonies that qualify under the Act.

This situation shows the importance of hiring a good criminal defense lawyer.  The procedures involved with the judicial process can be difficult to understand.  There are a lot of rules and technicalities that must be followed before a court will even accept a motion.  Spain’s motion was dismissed because he did not follow proper procedure.  It would be best for him to consult with a South Carolina criminal defense attorney to determine whether his motion has merit and whether he has any other potential arguments to be made before the court.  It is unclear whether Spain has already exhausted his right to appeal or whether he waived it during his guilty plea.  In any event, it would be best for any defendant, whether charged or convicted of a crime, to consult with a criminal defense attorney to ensure all of their arguments are made before the court and preserved.

If you or loved one has been charged with a crime, contact our office for a free consultation at 1-800-94-TRIAL or contact us online.  We have criminal defense attorneys licensed in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia.