Criminal Defense Attorney inClifton, SC

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

Getting charged with a crime in Clifton 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 Clifton, 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 Clifton, 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 Clifton, SC

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

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Clifton 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 Clifton
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Clifton 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 Clifton, SC
The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Clifton, SC

DUI penalties in Clifton 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 Clifton, 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 Clifton, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Clifton 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 Clifton, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Clifton, 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 Clifton, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Clifton 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 Clifton, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Clifton, 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 Clifton 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 Clifton 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 Clifton, 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 Clifton
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Clifton, 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 Clifton.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Clifton, 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 Clifton 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 Clifton, 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 Clifton, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Clifton, 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 Clifton. 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 Clifton include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Clifton, 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 Clifton, 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.

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Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

Latest News in Clifton, SC

East Spartanburg growth: Plans revealed for $60 million Clifton Mill redevelopment

OneSpartanburg, Inc. announced a private-public partnership on Monday with Greenville developer, M Peters Group, to redevelop the former site of Clifton Mill Number Two, another indication of development interest progressing to the east side of Spartanburg.Spartanburg County, which acquired the site in 2013 for $226,000, will ...

OneSpartanburg, Inc. announced a private-public partnership on Monday with Greenville developer, M Peters Group, to redevelop the former site of Clifton Mill Number Two, another indication of development interest progressing to the east side of Spartanburg.

Spartanburg County, which acquired the site in 2013 for $226,000, will transfer 30 acres to the developer for public improvements and private redevelopment. Once the project is complete, M Peters Group will transfer 19 acres of public space back to the county as a public park. The development is a $60 million investment from M Peters Group.

Residential and commercial development, as well as park and recreational improvements, are all elements of the project.

“There's 30 acres out there right now and we don't need 30 acres to develop our development. There's no reason for us to take more than we need. So, what we're going do is make public improvements,” said Mark Peters, president of M Peters Group, about the partnership. “Rather than pay the county money, we're going to do an exchange. The county is working with us to give us an economic development agreement. That way we can charge rents that can be supported by this community.”

County council approved the development project unanimously Monday evening.

M Peters Group plans to construct a 239-unit multi-family residential development with studios, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments, all with views of the Pacolet River. Apartments will be priced at market rates. The architects for the project are Perkins & Will and SGA Narmour Wright Design.

“All these buildings are placed in a way to maximize the views of the river as opposed to them just running straight along the bank like they might typically be, “ said Jennifer Gosnell, executive vice president at M Peters Group about the residential design. “These are tilted and shifted around, trying to get around each other to allow anybody that lives here to have some view of the river.”

The redevelopment will also include 7,000 square feet of commercial space with intention to incorporate a riverfront restaurant and a place for kayak rentals. M Peters Group plans to enhance the existing informal kayak put-in on the river and transform it into a formal livery with a take-out 3 hours downstream in Pacolet.

Clifton Park, including the Clifton Beach area, will undergo improvements. M Peters Group will build bath houses and picnic shelters for beachgoers and improve a small playground area at the park.

Play. Advocate. Live Well!, or PAL, is also participating in recreational advancements of the redevelopment by expanding the Daniel Morgan Trail System with an additional 4.1 mile connector between Glendale and Clifton. The county and M Peters Group will partner to provide a pedestrian bridge across the river to connect to the trail.

Laura Ringo, PAL’s executive director, said the collaboration with M Peters Group aides in the overall progress of The Daniel Morgan Trail System, or The Dan, a 50-mile urban trial system of a collection of future and existing trails in Spartanburg. Ringo says one of the long-term goals of The Dan project is to develop a trail system that connects Middle Tyger River with the Pacolet River.

“Partnering with the M Peters Group on this project has given us an opportunity to reach a milestone in that progress,” Ringo said. “It's going to be an opportunity to connect two of our really beautiful natural amenities, the Lawson Fork Creek and the Pacolet River, so we're thrilled to be part of this.”

Another transformation for one of Spartanburg’s historic textile mills

The redevelopment of Clifton Mill represents a new dawn for another of Spartanburg’s historic textile sites. Over the past decade several other mill renovation projects kicked off across the county, including the Drayton Mill redevelopment, Inman Mill and the upcoming Converse Mill project, to name a few.

Clifton Mill No. 2 was built in 1888 as a part of Clifton Manufacturing Company, founded by Dexter Edgar Converse in 1880.

The mill was damaged in 1903 after the flooding of Pacolet River, but was rebuilt and expanded in the 1950s. The decades after brought various ownership and a number of financial hardships to site No. 2, but the mill operated in some capacity into the 1990s. After 124 years, the historic mill was ultimately demolished in 2012.

After the county purchased the property in 2013, it utilized the popularity of Clifton Beach to pursue the development of Clifton Park. The area has undergone some recreational improvements since the purchase. However, the beach was tentatively closed earlier this year after two separate drowning incidents over the summer.

County councilman, David Britt, said the M Peters Group redevelopment of Clifton Mill will improve the overall safety of the beach and park.

“We'll still include our Parks and Recreation folks out there, keeping the area clean, but it will just be different,” Britt said. “It won't be a river that you go jump in, it'll be a nice park. I think it'll be an improvement and I don't think we'll have these problems down the road.”

Britt described M Peters Group vision for the development as transformative for the Clifton area.

“They will reimagine the Clifton, Cowpens, Glendale area,” Britt said. “It will impact that whole area for not even just the rest of our lives but for generations to come.”

Kathryn Casteel covers growth and development for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Contact Kathryn at KCasteel@shj.com or on Twitter @kathryncasteel.

These 23 Rare Photos Show South Carolina's Cotton Milling History Like Never Before

South Carolina cotton mills sprang up in the mid-to-late 1800s and were a leading industry in South Carolina well into the depression era when the price of cotton plummeted and many mills went under. The lives of the mill workers and the history of South Carolina textile mills during this era remain a...

South Carolina cotton mills sprang up in the mid-to-late 1800s and were a leading industry in South Carolina well into the depression era when the price of cotton plummeted and many mills went under. The lives of the mill workers and the history of South Carolina textile mills during this era remain a point of curiosity, almost as much as the lives of our ancestors who lived through the Great Depression.

These 23 rare photos document mill workers, particularly the children, and give an unprecedented insight into the lifestyle as well as the livelihoods and the family life of cotton mill workers in South Carolina.

This rare glimpse into the life of cotton mill workers in the first two decades of the 1900s provides some insight into the lifestyle and hardships endured in this era. South Carolina was built on the backs of these laborers, who literally put the clothing on the backs of their fellow South Carolinians and others around the country.

For another look into South Carolina’s past, take a look at these 21 Rare Photos Taken In South Carolina During The Great Depression.

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Charleston plumbers, public works overwhelmed with service calls in cold weather weekend

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - After dangerously high pressure on the Charleston Water System, officials say customers aren’t in the clear just yet, but conditions are looking better after a hectic holiday weekend.

Laura Clifton, Communications Coordinator for Charleston Water System, says due to pipe leaks and bursts, customers were using in total nearly 100 million gallons of water a day. That’s dangerously close to the 105-million-gallon threshold that would trigger a boil water notice.

“Overnight, we saw a dramatic decrease in the overnight we saw a dramatic decrease in our demand. We went from about 95 million gallons a day, down to 80 million gallons a day. So that is great news,” Clifton says.

She says their call center and crews have been working hard for the past four days. Clifton says the water service is waiving the water shut off fee for a crew to come to your home and turn off the system because of the emergency, but she expects that won’t last much longer.

“Since about Christmas Eve, our call center has received more than 1,400 calls from customers who have leaks in their home. So that’s at least 1,400 homes that we know of who are leaking water that doesn’t always account for people who are out of town on vacation, or people who have leaks, but were able to stop them themselves. So, all of that water usage accumulates, it really puts a high demand on our system,” Clifton explains.

Clifton says crews have also taken the liberty of turning off water at homes with visible leaks or bursts that appeared empty over the weekend. If you come home from out of town to your water turned off, just give them a call.

At the same time, plumbers across the Lowcountry are swamped with calls about pipe problems. Plumb Pro serves the tri-county area and offers a 24/7 emergency line. Danny Osterman, Commercial Consultant at the company, says it has been all hands-on deck for the past few days.

“In a normal week, per day we’ll probably get about 100-150 calls. Just this past weekend, we fielded over 1,500 in 48 hours,” Osterman says.

Osterman says the company always has someone on call to manage the 24/7 line, but many workers stepped up, leaving their home on the holiday to help out. When it comes to water emergencies, an uncontrolled leak or burst pipe can often be the first of many problems.

“Being proactive and not reactive can save you thousands of dollars. You’re talking about flooring damage, about insulation damage and then mold mitigation at that point so that’s where those dollar signs really get to adding up,” Osterman says.

To prevent hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, there are a few things you can do to protect pipes in cold weather.

Should your pipes freeze, Osterman says you can use a hairdryer or space heater to defrost them and you should monitor a space heater the whole time. If you are worried about the situation, he says you should call a professional or your local water system.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Judge halts South Carolina’s new stricter abortion law until state Supreme Court review

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A judge put South Carolina’s new law banning most abortions around six weeks of pregnancy on hold Friday until the state Supreme Court can review the measure, giving providers a temporary reprieve in a region that has enacted strict limits on the procedure.Judge Clifton Newman’s ruling that put the state’s abortion law back at roughly 20 weeks ca...

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A judge put South Carolina’s new law banning most abortions around six weeks of pregnancy on hold Friday until the state Supreme Court can review the measure, giving providers a temporary reprieve in a region that has enacted strict limits on the procedure.

Judge Clifton Newman’s ruling that put the state’s abortion law back at roughly 20 weeks came about 24 hours after Gov. Henry McMaster signed the bill into law without any notice, which had left dozens of people seeking abortions in limbo and created the potential for a legal abortion becoming illegal as a doctor performed it.

“It’s extraordinarily difficult not only for the women themselves, but for their doctors — not just the doctors at Planned Parenthood — but hospitals all across the state who need to understand what to do in an emergency,” said Vicki Ringer, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood in South Carolina.

The developments in South Carolina are a microcosm of what has played out across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade a year ago, allowing states to decide their abortion laws and leaving patients scrambling to find care wherever they can in situations where weeks or even days can make a huge difference.

Other news

States are moving in different directions after the Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health opinion ended the federal right to abortion.

Current restrictions Post-Dobbs laws

All

stages of pregnancy

6-

8 weeks

12

weeks

15-

22 weeks

24

weeks or later

Source: AP reports

The South Carolina measure joins stiff limitations pending in North Carolina and Florida, states that had been holdouts in the South providing wider access to the procedure, threatening to further delay abortions as appointments pile up in the region.

The state has seen the number of abortions climb sharply as other Southern states passed near-total bans. Before the overturn of Roe, less than 1 in 10 abortions in South Carolina were performed on people who lived out of state. Now, that figure is near 50% and the number of abortions each month has at least tripled, according to state health data.

The law passed Tuesday by the General Assembly is similar to a ban on abortion once cardiac activity can be detected that lawmakers passed in 2021. The state Supreme Court decided in a 3-2 ruling that the 2021 law violated the state constitution’s right to privacy.

Legislative leaders said the new law makes technical tweaks that should sway at least one justice to change his mind.

But Newman said it wasn’t his role to figure out if that would be successful.

“The status quo should be maintained until the Supreme Court reviews its decision,” Newman said. “It’s going to end up there.”

Hours after the ruling, lawyers for the state asked the Supreme Court to either cancel Newman’s order or hear the case as quickly as possible to “protect the lives of countless unborn children,” they wrote in court papers.

Planned Parenthood immediately sued after the law went into effect Thursday, saying South Carolina’s abortion clinics were flooded with canceled appointments from patients further along in their pregnancies and doctors were forced to carefully review the new regulations on the fly.

The abortion rights group said the new law was so similar to the old one that clinics and women seeking treatment would be harmed if it were allowed to stay in effect until a full court review.

Nearly all of the 75 women with appointments for abortions over the next several days appeared to be past six weeks, Planned Parenthood attorney Kathleen McDaniel said.

“There is irreputable harm. It is happening. It has already happened,” McDaniel said.

The majority opinion in the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling striking down the 2021 law said that although lawmakers have the authority to protect life, the privacy clause in the state constitution ultimately gives women time to determine whether they want to get an abortion and most women don’t know they are pregnant six weeks after conception.

Justice Kaye Hearn wrote the opinion. She has since had to retire because she turned 72 and was replaced by a man, making the South Carolina’s the only high court in the country without a woman on the bench.

“I would say that nothing in the law has changed,” McDaniel said. “The only thing that has changed is there is no longer a woman on the Supreme Court.”

The changes in the new law are directed at another justice in the majority, John Few, who wrote his own opinion saying the 2021 law was poorly written because legislators didn’t show it did any work to determine if six weeks was enough time for a woman to know she was pregnant.

Few suggested he would have found an even stricter full ban on abortion constitutional, saying that if a fetus had all the rights of a person, then a ban would be like child abuse or rape laws that don’t violate privacy rights.

Lawyers for the state leaned on the hope Few will change his vote

“We would strongly encourage the court to review that decision very carefully, to understand it focuses on one law, the 2021 act,” state assistant attorney general Thomas Hydrick said. But, he said, the new law is a good faith attempt to correct flaws lawmakers saw in how the justices interpreted the 2021 law.

Newman said that’s outside his role as a lower court judge. “Am I being asked to overrule the Supreme Court?” he asked.

Lawmakers continued to say they are confident they wrote a bill that will stand up to the high court’s scrutiny this time.

“While I respect Judge Newman’s decision, I remain convinced that the heartbeat bill is constitutional and that the Supreme Court will agree,” Republican state Senate President Thomas Alexander said in a statement.

Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman guest speaker at NAACP banquet

Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman recently served as the guest speaker at the NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet held at the Kennedy Center in Greeleyville.He was introduced by his daughter Circuit Court Judge Joycelyn Newman. The Father Daughter team is the first to serve together in the state of South Carolina.Judge Newman is a native of Greeleyville, he is the former Assistant Solicitor in Williamsburg County. He delivered a very rousing and informative message.Photo ProvidedI stumbled across an old magazine fe...

Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman recently served as the guest speaker at the NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet held at the Kennedy Center in Greeleyville.

He was introduced by his daughter Circuit Court Judge Joycelyn Newman. The Father Daughter team is the first to serve together in the state of South Carolina.

Judge Newman is a native of Greeleyville, he is the former Assistant Solicitor in Williamsburg County. He delivered a very rousing and informative message.

Photo Provided

I stumbled across an old magazine feature of mine and it made me recall stops I’d made along that long, winding road called “Career.” Some memories were good; some not so great. Let’s be honest. Is there anyplace more artificial than fluorescent-lit cube farm workplaces? You put in eight hours, maybe, and call it a day. You put in your 40 hours, maybe, and call it a week. You go through team-building nonsense and do the bidding of the suits and all seems well. Then come Friday afternoon, you hightail it out of there. Monday morning, the cycle begins anew.

Another truth. Is there anything more temporary than workplace friends? You work together, go to lunch together, and socialize after work and sometimes weekends, but how long do you remain friends when you no longer work together? Invariably the bonds of friendship weaken, then break. I’ve seen it happen and so have you. Seems to me what keeps workplace colleagues friends is a sense of purpose. A lot of folks work to collect a check, but some see their work as a mission. Some of you will disagree, but it could be you work or worked in a place that added meaning to your life. Consider yourself fortunate.

I’ve worked for employers whose subject matter was abysmally lifeless, but I worked for one employer where the work hummed with life, and that brings me to my time as a writer of all things natural. At the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources I made friends that have lasted throughout my life. They have lasted because of what we share. The work I did there stayed with me and today I still write for South Carolina Wildlife magazine and I follow the work of its associate, The Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund.

Jim Goller, executive director of the HHWF and I have been friends for over 40 years. Robert Clark and I met at DNR and we have been friends for over 40 years as well. The three of us, besides being friends, share a love for natural resources, outdoor recreation, and the sheer beauty of the natural world. All three of us at one time worked together for South Carolina Wildlife magazine, which will mark its 70th anniversary in 2024. Our friendship, you could say, came naturally.

Since 1954 South Carolina Wildlife has fostered a love for outdoor treasures. The magazine continues to give readers a close look at the natural world—from the ivorybill woodpecker to pitcher plants and barrier islands, cove forests, lightning bugs, striped bass, saltwater fishing, whitetail, and more.

The Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund provides scholarships for young people interested in careers in natural resources, where I’m sure they will make like-minded friends for life as well. The HHWF supports DNR projects such as Marine Education and programs and projects including fish stocking and tagging and the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series and much more. It helps put people in the great outdoors and helps keep South Carolina’s outdoors great.

Work isn’t always work. A day afield in a Carolina bay, on a bay, river, or lake or in deep woods is a joy. You put in as many hours as you can before the setting sun calls it a day. A week writing about such places often exceeds 40 hours, but so what. There is no such thing as the workweek. You work each day except it isn’t work when you love what you do. How can anyone not love a career working with all things natural.

Other careers where you never get outside? Well, someone’s got to do it, and I suspect the friends they make there won’t last over the long haul. You can’t spell friend without e-n-d. A career devoted to wildlife, however, does indeed make for a better life. I’m fortunate to write about nature and I’m fortunate to count men like Robert Clark and Jim Goller as lifelong friends. A sense of purpose keeps us going.

About Tom Poland

Tom Poland is the author of fourteen books and more than 2,000 magazine features and columns.

Tom writes about the South, its people, culture, land, natural wealth, and beautiful detritus—ruins and abandoned places. He travels back roads looking for forgotten places, captivating people, and vestiges of bygone times. Much of that work finds its way into books, columns, essays, and features.

Tom grew up in Lincoln County, Georgia and graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism. He began my career as a scriptwriter, moved into magazine work, then wandered into the book world. His work has appeared in magazines throughout the South. Among his recent books are Classic Carolina Road Trips From Columbia, Georgialina, A Southland, As We Knew It, and Reflections of South Carolina, Vol. II. In April 2018 the History Press published his book, South Carolina Country Roads.

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