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Stephen Grooms

Stephen Grooms

Grooms & Thomas, LLC
  • Criminal Law, DUI & DWI, Personal Injury...
  • South Carolina
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

J. Stephen Grooms is a lifelong resident of Conway, South Carolina. He took a job with the Horry County Solicitor's Office as prosecutor in 2011 to begin his career in criminal law. While working in the Solicitor’s Office Grooms handled over three thousand cases, and took numerous cases to trial achieving favorable results on cases ranging from drug offenses to murder. Grooms was recognized for his leadership and trial results and was promoted to Senior Assistant Prosecutor in 2014. In 2016 Grooms and a fellow prosecutor opened Grooms and Thomas, LLC. Grooms experience as a former prosecutor and criminal trial attorney provides the knowledge to recognize the issues in your case, and has provided the tools to represent you with confidence whether your case is a relatively minor matter or a serious felony charge.

When charged with a criminal offense the stakes are always high, there are many attorneys out there who claim to have experience but few who actually possess an extensive knowledge of criminal law and real trial experience to ensure your best defense. Before you decide who to hire make sure you ask your potential attorney about their actual experience, and then I would invite you to call me to see the difference.

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • DUI & DWI
  • Personal Injury
  • Traffic Tickets
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
South Carolina
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Attorney / Partner
Grooms & Thomas, LLC
Charleston School of Law
J.D. (2010) | Law
Honors: Deans List
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University of South Carolina - Columbia
B.S. (2005) | English, Criminology
Honors: Deans List
University of South Carolina - Columbia Logo
John R Justice Award
South Carolina Prosecution Commision
Professional Associations
Horry County Bar Association
- Current
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South Carolina State Bar # 79104
- Current
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Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
32 Questions Answered

Q. What is the maximum sentence for offence code 2655. Code/Ordinance Sec 43-35-0085(B).
A: 5 years in prison, felony class F
Q. I'm a first time offender reasonably what am I looking at facing in court?
A: If no one was injured and the damage was minimal then the Hit and Run charge is likely a misdemeanor charge carrying up 30 days for an unattended vehicle or up to 1 year in prison if the vehicle was occupied and property damage was the result. No ethical attorney can tell you what the sentence will be if convicted, particularly with the minimal details provided, but with additional details and after the discovery process an attorney will be able to guide you through the process. If convicted of charges in this statute there are also significant impacts related to your driving privileges, such as your license being suspended revoked. I would recommend you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area before your first court date. Many will offer a free consultation that will give you additional information.
Q. do you automatically get jail time if you’re a first timer with two felonies? assault 1st degree. burglary 1st degree.
A: If you were convicted of Burglary 1st Degree the minimum mandatory sentence is 15 years in prison. The assault charge has no minimum so probation would be possible if convicted on that charge. However just because you are charged doesn't mean you will be convicted, and there is often times a plea offer made for a plea to a lower charge that wouldn't have mandatory minimum prison sentences such as a Burglary 2nd or Burglary 3rd. Depending on the facts and circumstances it is possible a diversion program might be an option, but that decision would be left to the Solicitor through negotiations with your attorney. I would recommend you consult with an experience criminal defense attorney as soon as you can, you don't want to wait until the last minute on a charge this serious.
Q. what would the charges be if a 17 year old is raped by three college students? victim was intoxicated before the assault
A: In South Carolina age 17 is considered to be an adult in terms of engaging in sexual activity so her age alone will not result in a potential criminal charge, but if she was voluntarily intoxicated to the point of being "mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless" and the alleged assailants knew of her condition then there could possibly be grounds for a criminal sexual conduct in the 2nd degree charge under " SC 16-3-654 Any alleged sexual assault is serious, and I would recommend talking to a counselor or member of law enforcement about the facts to get a more informative opinion about the possible options
Q. I'm 1995, was convicted of murder in Union County, South Carolina.
A: To be blunt, they do not have to answer the letters or open any investigation into a closed case for the reasons given. A judge and jury heard the case in 1995 and a decision was made. Reducing a sentence on the grounds that the interested parties now want mercy is not going to be possible without vacating the finding of guilt by the jury or reopening the sentencing phase. Either of these is highly unlikely without considerable reason as to how it would serve the interest of justice. Keep in mind Murder presently carries a minimum of 30 years. The only option I see with the information provided would be to present your information to the parole board once he comes eligible for parole. Please get a second opinion by contacting a defense attorney in your area or call the SC Bar service for a referral at 803 799-7100
Q. Can I buy a firearm if I plead guilty to distribution of cocaine?
A: You can always buy a firearm if someone is willing to sell it to you. The question is will your possession of that firearm be an illegal act. Distribution of Cocaine is a felony in South Carolina, but you will not be restricted from owning a firearm under South Carolina law as this is not an violent offense listed under 16-1-60. You are however likely prohibited from owning a firearm under Federal law due to the offense being a felony that carries over 1 year. So what that means is, a federal agency could bring charges against you in Federal court, but South Carolina law enforcement will be unable to bring charges in State court based solely on your prior distribution conviction. I hope that helps to answer your question.
Q. Should I go back up to the police station if they ask me too or do they plan to arrest me? He wouldn't say on the phone.
A: I would recommend you consult with an attorney before you make a decision. If you talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area he/she will be able to make contact with the officer to get the story before you put yourself at risk. You should also remember the police are legally allowed to lie in order to gain incriminating evidence. Just because he tells you aren't in trouble if your honest, doesn't mean that is the truth. It could be that he is being honest and this is in your best interest, but my advice would be to let an attorney guide you through the process and possibly speak on your behalf.
Q. Is 16-03-600 (d)(1) an misdemeanor
A: Yes, it is a misdemeanor assault and battery charge that carries up to 3 years. This statute and charge is specific to South Carolina. One thing to keep in mind is that any charge that carries over 1 year, may be classified as a felony for federal purposes on your criminal record. (NCIC)
Q. Do I need a lawyer for a shoplifting case?
A: If the charge is a misdemeanor shoplifting and you have no record you are likely eligible for Pre Trial Intervention. The program will cost around $325 but if you complete the program the charge will be dismissed and your record will be eligible for expungement. However just because you are eligible doesn't mean the officer or court will automatically refer your case to the program. You should speak to a criminal defense attorney in your area about your options and the norms of your local court in order to make your best informed decision.
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Contact & Map
Grooms and Thomas, LLC
4420 Oleander Drive
Suite 104
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Telephone: (843) 444-5702