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Criminal Defense Attorney
Columbia, SC


Need a criminal defense attorney in Columbia, SC?

Criminal defense attorney Kent Collins represents people facing criminal charges in Columbia, SC, and the surrounding area, including charges for:

When Your Freedom is on the Line…

Kent Collins is a former prosecutor who knows SC criminal law, the local courts and prosecutors, and criminal procedure.

People turn to criminal defense attorney Kent Collins because of his experience and determination to fight for his clients.

He knows that the consequences of a criminal conviction can be severe, long-lasting, and unacceptable for most people.

A criminal conviction in South Carolina could result in:

  • Prison time
  • Loss of employment
  • Excessive fines
  • Suspension or even revocation of your driver’s license
  • Loss of occupational licenses
  • Loss of essential rights like the right to own a firearm
  • A permanent criminal record that cannot be expunged

Remember, you are being prosecuted by a trained professional whose job is to convict you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the prosecutor may see their job as putting you in prison. 

Your prosecutor also has the support of multiple investigative agencies, including the police department, SLED, and the solicitor’s office’s investigators, to build their case against you.

Shouldn’t you also have a criminal defense lawyer in Columbia, SC, who has the training and experience to get your case dismissed or go to trial when necessary?

You’ve Been Arrested, Now What?

Any arrest can be a traumatic experience for someone who has not experienced it before.

The possibility of a conviction by a trained solicitor who has made a career out of putting people in prison can also be terrifying.

Not to mention, the officer and the prosecutor want you to plead guilty, so they may not tell you all the consequences for pleading guilty.

For example, they may not tell you that you may go to prison, lose your driver’s license, lose your job, or be deported, depending on your circumstances.

You are a number on a case file, and they want to close your case and move on to the next defendant.

You will need to move fast to retain a criminal defense attorney, request a jury trial if you are in the magistrate or city courts, and begin preparing your case for trial.

You need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Columbia, SC, on your side who can investigate the facts of your case, retain any experts needed to build your defense and explore all possible alternatives to conviction and jail.

Putting your case in the hands of a criminal defense lawyer who cares is the best thing you can do for your peace of mind.


Get your case evaluated by a real attorney at no cost to you.



“I found Kent’s knowledge and experience in matters of law to be the determining factor in solving my legal issue.”


“I had an absolutely wonderful experience with Kent. He handled my case quickly and professionally. I would reccomend him to anyone!!”


“Mr. Collins exceeded my expectations by far! I have needed his services more than once and I couldn’t be more thankful for how much he has helped me!”


Common Questions for Criminal Defense Attorneys in Columbia

Can you get my charges dismissed?


No criminal defense attorney can guarantee a result, and every case is different. Still, we regularly get criminal charges dismissed for our clients, win acquittals at trial, or negotiate alternative resolutions that prevent a conviction or avoid prison time, depending on the circumstances.

How can I avoid a criminal conviction?

Depending on the results of our independent investigation, the facts of your case, the severity of your charges, and the mitigation material that we collect on your behalf, you may be able to avoid a conviction through:

What if I just want to plead guilty?

Whether you plead guilty or take your case to trial is always your decision – your attorney only gives you advice based on the evidence and your goals in your case. 

The decision to plead guilty, however, should never be made until 1) you have reviewed all evidence in your case, 2) you know the potential consequences for a plea or a trial, and 3) your criminal defense attorney has explored all possible options, including the possibility of dismissal, pretrial diversion, or a plea agreement to a lesser offense. 

Can I get a criminal conviction expunged in SC?

Some relatively minor criminal convictions can be expunged in SC, including:

  • First-offense 30-day misdemeanors in magistrate or municipal court after three years,
  • YOA offenses after five years,
  • First-offense domestic violence third-degree after five years,
  • Drug possession charges after three years, and
  • Possession with intent to distribute convictions after 20 years.

Experience Matters

How do you find the right criminal defense attorney in Columbia, SC? With so many criminal defense lawyers in Columbia, S.C., it can be challenging to determine who’s the right fit for you.

Don’t be afraid to 1) meet with several attorneys to determine who you are most comfortable with and 2) ask questions to determine what kind of experience each attorney has as a criminal defense lawyer.

Questions to ask a criminal defense attorney in Columbia, SC:

  • How many criminal cases have you handled?
  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • Have you ever worked as a prosecutor in SC?
  • What is your philosophy about going to trial or pleading guilty?
  • What criminal defense organizations are you a member of?
  • What type of criminal defense-specific training have you had?

Kent Collins is serious about criminal defense and committed to providing his clients with the best possible defense. His experience and qualifications include:

  • Handling thousands of criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to felony charges, including murder,
  • Years of experience with criminal defense clients in private practice,
  • Experience working as a prosecutor in both Orangeburg and Lexington Counties,
  • An active member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (SCACDL) and
  • Regularly attending ongoing training for criminal defense and trial techniques.
Accused of a Crime in Columbia, S.C.?

If you’ve been charged with a crime or think you may be under investigation, you should immediately speak with a criminal defense attorney in Columbia, SC.

If you’re ready to speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Columbia, SC, please schedule a free in-person consultation by calling 803.808.0905 or filling out our online contact form.


Get your case evaluated by a real attorney at no cost to you.