Criminal Defense Attorney inHilton Head Island, SC

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CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Hilton Head Island, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Hilton Head Island 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 Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, SC

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

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

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Hilton Head Island 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 Hilton Head Island, SC
The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Hilton Head Island, SC

DUI penalties in Hilton Head Island 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 Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Hilton Head Island 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 Hilton Head Island, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Hilton Head Island 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 Hilton Head Island, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

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

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island 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 Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island. 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 Hilton Head Island include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, 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.

Ask us anything

Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

Latest News in Hilton Head Island, SC

Post Office pitfalls continue on Hilton Head Island. ‘I’m tired of being stolen from’

Worries of missing and stolen mail from the U.S. Postal Service in Hilton Head have reached into the new year, but officials remain silent on the cause and potential solutions.“Never in my life have I seen such horrific and irresponsible service from a Post Office,” said Windmill Harbor resident Lisa Fields, who says Hilton Head’s mail service has misplaced $150 in gift cards on top of a score of checks and packages. “I’m tired of being stolen from.”Emails obtained last summer from an adminis...

Worries of missing and stolen mail from the U.S. Postal Service in Hilton Head have reached into the new year, but officials remain silent on the cause and potential solutions.

“Never in my life have I seen such horrific and irresponsible service from a Post Office,” said Windmill Harbor resident Lisa Fields, who says Hilton Head’s mail service has misplaced $150 in gift cards on top of a score of checks and packages. “I’m tired of being stolen from.”

Emails obtained last summer from an administrator at the Office of Inspector General confirmed a female employee at the island’s north-end Post Office had been allegedly nabbing gift cards and discarding stolen checks from residents’ mail. She was reportedly “removed” from the location to minimize losses, although the USPS has not officially verified the events or released the name of the employee.

The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette received over two dozen reports of missing mail dating back to June 2022, totaling $2,315 in value. New stories suggest the issue hasn’t been resolved.

When mail does get delivered, Fields said, it often goes to the wrong people — certain good Samaritans “from all around the island” have brought her some pieces of misplaced mail.

The problem extends beyond the missing items, Fields emphasized. She’s been charged late fees for mailed payments that never arrive, and has repeatedly re-delivered packages that were mistakenly left on her doorstep. “It’s constant stress. Constant,” she said.

Fields’ experience is corroborated by a number of users on the neighborhood social media site NextDoor, where initial rumors of mail theft began to swirl last summer. Most complaints cite missing contents from packages that had obviously been opened or tampered with.

Representatives from the Office of Inspector General in Columbia have maintained throughout that the Postal Service “does not confirm or refute” information on ongoing theft investigations, but residents can report missing mail by filing an online complaint at https://www.uspsoig.gov/hotline.

It’s been a tough year for mail in and around Beaufort County. Just before the holidays, residents and business owners in Ridgeland complained of massively delayed deliveries, which the Postal Service attributed to a staffing shortage.

The reported problems are not contained to federal postal service — they are also extending to the private United Parcel Service (UPS). In October 2023, Sun City resident Marcus Stineman was arrested for reportedly tampering with and stealing from packages while on the job at a UPS processing facility on Hilton Head. In a disposition on Thursday, Stineman was fined $50 after entering a plea of nolo contendere — meaning he didn’t contest the charges but refused to admit guilt.

Mailing funds through a money order or check is preferable, according to the USPS, although those mailing cash can insure it up to $50,000.

This story was originally published February 2, 2024, 12:22 PM.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Hilton Head in 2024, Tripadvisor says

Whether you’re a longtime local or visiting tourist, Hilton Head Island is filled with new things to explore.To make sure you’ve at least experienced the best things to do on the island, Tripadvisor recently released its list of the 2024 top attractions to do in Hilton Head.Here are the top attractions on the list.Are you over the age of 21? Head on over to ...

Whether you’re a longtime local or visiting tourist, Hilton Head Island is filled with new things to explore.

To make sure you’ve at least experienced the best things to do on the island, Tripadvisor recently released its list of the 2024 top attractions to do in Hilton Head.

Here are the top attractions on the list.

Are you over the age of 21? Head on over to Hilton Head Distillery, which was ranked as the best on the list for attractions on Hilton Head Island, and is the island’s only distillery and craft spirits locale. The distillery offers a unique experience for guests with a wide variety of activities such as the opportunity to engage in a hands-on mixology experience, daily behind-the-scenes tours, tastings, signature cocktail classes and a bottle shop.

Such options are a much-talked-about affair among adults and are ranked as a ‘must-do’ for many adult parties or gatherings. The distillery can be found at 14 Cardinal Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926.

Landing in second was the famed Coligny Beach. Accompanied by Coligny Plaza, this area on the island’s south end is a great place to spend the day with free parking, a shopping center, restaurants and miles of white sand beaches. Coligny Beach Park on its own has a splash pad, restrooms, outdoor showers, seating, free parking and more.

The beach’s public access point is located at 1 Coligny Circle.

Hilton Head Island’s bike trails may be one of the most widely-mentioned attractions the island has.

The Town of Hilton Head Island’s website shows several different interactive or printable map options for the many bike trails that the island has to offer.

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge can be found between Hilton Head Island and Bluffton off the U.S. 278 bridge connecting the island to the mainland. The area is an island dedicated to hosting an abundance of local wildlife and acts as a space for individuals to explore and observe the local flora and fauna.

The preserve attracts thousands of migratory birds annually and provides a rookery, a nesting habitat for colonial wading birds such as ibis, egrets and herons. Other local species such as alligators, armadillos, various snakes, turtles, butterflies, bats and salamanders make their home at the wildlife preserve as well. Visitors may enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, walking and wildlife viewing during the park’s sunrise to sunset visiting hours.

Rounding out the top five best attractions on Hilton Head Island is the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The 605-acre area of protected land on the south end of the island in the Sea Pines resort community is dedicated to wildlife habitat and outdoor exploration.

Following the construction of the preserve’s first trails in the early 1970s, Sea Pines Forest Preserve has grown to include bridle paths, wetland boardwalks, bridges and fishing docks. Aside from exploring the preserve through the many leisurely walking trails, horseback rides, guided boat tours, fishing expeditions or wagon tours are available for guests’ enjoyment. Visiting hours for the forest preserve are sunrise to sunset, which allows for an optimal day of exploration.

The 10 remaining best attractions on Hilton Head Island in 2024, according to an updated list by Tripadvisor, include:

‘Nothing too crazy:’ Hilton Head Island residents grateful for low impacts from Idalia

HITLON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - Idalia is now hours clear of our area, but WTOC has been on Hilton Head since noon Wednesday tracking the conditions.“This one appears to be the storm that just wasn’t,” said Hilton Head resident Robert Harris.Idalia huffed and puffed testing every ounce of strength in all kinds of objects.But with all said and done, residents here are thankful it wasn’t worse.“A lot of wind a lot of rain. Nothing too crazy like what we really expected,” said Hil...

HITLON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - Idalia is now hours clear of our area, but WTOC has been on Hilton Head since noon Wednesday tracking the conditions.

“This one appears to be the storm that just wasn’t,” said Hilton Head resident Robert Harris.

Idalia huffed and puffed testing every ounce of strength in all kinds of objects.

But with all said and done, residents here are thankful it wasn’t worse.

“A lot of wind a lot of rain. Nothing too crazy like what we really expected,” said Hilton Head resident Alex Harris.

We saw conditions worsen as the storm approached, but the town’s mayor says the only thing damaged is property.

“We’re at 28-30 trees that have fallen whether over roadways, cars or houses,” said Mayor Alan Perry.

With zero injuries reported on Hilton Head Island at this time, efforts to take care of those few dozen trees are already taking priority.

”We’ve got crews out there already that are working on some of the trees. The fire department responded to that and got them cut off and moved away and then tomorrow they’ll go through and get them picked up but come the weekend it’ll be back to business back to normal.”

He expects Labor Day tourism business to go off like Idalia never even happened... another storm to be looked back on as nothing more than a stress test.

“It’s also a good time to run your programs to make certain you’re prepared for the big one.”

Some of the other concerns emergency management had coming into this storm were flooding and storm surge. As far as flooding goes, the mayor says they’ll assess Thursday morning with daylight.

Although he says around the island, there was more rain Tuesday and Wednesday morning than Wednesday afternoon. As far as storm surge goes, he says the tide never got as high as they were worried it could, and the storm moving through when it did helped mitigate any impacts they might’ve seen from that.

Copyright 2023 WTOC. All rights reserved.

13 Best Places To Eat In Hilton Head

Eat your way across this South Carolina coastal town.Most people come to Hilton Head for pristine beaches, championship golf courses, and family time, but this beach town also has a thriving culinary scene. Naturally there’s fresh seafood aplenty, but you’ll also find Southern-inspired bites, farm-to-table dining, and homem...

Eat your way across this South Carolina coastal town.

Most people come to Hilton Head for pristine beaches, championship golf courses, and family time, but this beach town also has a thriving culinary scene. Naturally there’s fresh seafood aplenty, but you’ll also find Southern-inspired bites, farm-to-table dining, and homemade Italian cuisine. Best of all, many places offer oceanfront dining, so you can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the Atlantic while you eat (and maybe even enjoy a frozen cocktail or two).

01 of 13

Hilton Head Social Bakery

Get your French pastry fix at Hilton Head Social, which is owned and operated by award-winning French chef Philippe Feret. There are two locations (the original is at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, and the newest one is near the Sea Pines Circle), both of which serve Insta-ready pastries, decadent desserts, and buttery croissants galore. You’ll feel as if you’ve been magically transported to the streets of Paris.

02 of 13

Lulu Kitchen

The menu at Lulu is wide-ranging and delicious, offering American favorites with a Southern twist. Think butter-poached lobster, short rib grilled cheese, and house fried chicken. Come for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch and bask in the cheery, laid-back setting.

03 of 13

The Sea Shack

This no-frills, counter-serve restaurant is a gem. Check out the daily “Blackboard” special, or take your pick from grilled, fried, or blackened seafood that’s fresh from the sea. Expect to wait in line during peak summer months—The Sea Shack is popular with locals and tourists alike.

04 of 13

Chez Georges

Enjoy tasty French bistro staples like escargots de bourgogne (served with garlic herb butter sauce and crispy leeks), perfectly cooked cassoulet, and two kinds of moules-frites at Chez Georges. The wine list is impeccable, as well. Catch the aperitif hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Friday, when adult beverages are two dollars off and there’s a small plates menu offered. The restaurant also uses this time to host ticketed wine tastings complete with paired cheese plates.

05 of 13

Nectar Farm Kitchen

For a fresh-off-the-farm feast, head to Nectar Farm Kitchen, where every dish is lovingly prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The breakfast and lunch menu features Southern classics like sausage biscuits and gravy, country fried steak, and creative Benedicts. Hearty “supper plates and bowls” include Lowcountry cioppino, root beer-braised short ribs, and filet mignon, alongside lighter fare like salads and soups.

06 of 13

Coast

With incredible waterfront views and a spacious, twinkly-lit outdoor patio, Coast is a picture-perfect date night spot. Located at the Sea Pines Resort, this restaurant serves all manner of seafood, sandwiches, tacos, and more; there’s also a great raw bar. Wash it all down with a frozen specialty cocktail. During the summertime, there’s often live entertainment.

07 of 13

Skull Creek Boathouse

You’ll likely want to linger for some time after you finish eating at Skull Creek Boathouse. The restaurant is known for its scenic location (on the banks of Skull Creek) and fun, relaxed ambiance. Apart from multiple dining areas, there’s an indoor sushi bar with raw oysters, ceviche, and sashimi, and an outdoor bar with Adirondack chairs and killer sunset views. Don’t leave without trying the famed salt and vinegar crab cakes.

08 of 13

The Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar

Billed as an “American bistro with Southern soul,” Lucky Rooster has an exceptional menu that changes often based on seasonality and what chefs can find fresh. Expect refined comfort food like deviled eggs topped with smoked salmon, bacon, tomato, and parsley or scallops and shrimp finished in a cognac cream sauce and served with Charleston red risotto.

09 of 13

Black Marlin Bayside Grill

Whatever you do, you must try a cup of the Bayside Chowder at Black Marlin; it’s what they’re known for. The fish tacos are a great choice, too, although you may have a hard time picking just a couple items off their broad menu that also includes seafood entrees, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and various pastas. There’s ample indoor and outdoor seating.

10 of 13

Burnt Church Distillery

Pair a charcuterie board or brick-oven pizza with creative cocktails made from authentic Lowcountry spirits. In addition to great food and drinks, Burnt Church also offers a 7,000 square-foot tasting room, gift shop, humidor, history room, and on-site manufacturing facility—it’s a whole experience unto itself.

11 of 13

Nunzio Restaurant + Bar

Get your fill of homemade Italian fare at Nunzio. Traditional dishes run the gamut from Pugliese-style meatballs to homemade ravioli to tagliatelle alla bolognese. Round out your meal with a mouthwatering dessert like lemon sorbet or hot chocolate souffle cake served with vanilla gelato.

12 of 13

Hudson’s Seafood House On The Docks

Boasting beautiful views of Port Royal Sound, this iconic seafood joint has been around for more than 50 years. Seafood doesn’t come fresher than this—Hudson’s sources its fish and shrimp directly from one of only two remaining local fishing fleets on Hilton Head. Always order the specials, which can change multiple times a day depending on what’s being unloaded from the boats.

13 of 13

Johnson Creek Tavern

Satisfy your craving for pub grub at this low-key hangout on Harbor Island. Lunch and dinner options at Johnson Creek Tavern are simple but so satisfying. Start with hot crab and shrimp dip, then choose between a shrimp burger, crab cake sandwich, or fried flounder sandwich. You won't go wrong with any. Kick back with a cold beer or glass of wine and stay awhile.

Drenching rains and lashing winds on tap for East Coast. Will Hilton Head be hit?

The Lowcountry is not out of the clear as a strong low-pressure system will push its way from the Gulf Coast, sending drenching rains and lashing winds along the Eastern Seaboard this weekend.Beginning Saturday afternoon, rain and coastal wind will whip up in the Lowcountry, and the effects will linger into Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service’s Charleston Office.NWS meteorologist Michael Stroz said impacts to the Lowcountry will depend on the storm’s track and timing. As models become clearer, ...

The Lowcountry is not out of the clear as a strong low-pressure system will push its way from the Gulf Coast, sending drenching rains and lashing winds along the Eastern Seaboard this weekend.

Beginning Saturday afternoon, rain and coastal wind will whip up in the Lowcountry, and the effects will linger into Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service’s Charleston Office.

NWS meteorologist Michael Stroz said impacts to the Lowcountry will depend on the storm’s track and timing. As models become clearer, the storm looks like it will track to the northeast, paralleling the coastline. Stroz said the Lowcountry will see the majority of effects starting late Saturday and lasting through Sunday evening.

“Sunday will be a rather ugly weather day for us,” said Frank Strait, the state’s severe weather liaison. “Travel conditions will be awful due to wet roads and strong winds; I recommend staying home if you can.”

Beaufort County could get pelted with rain that totals between 3 and 4 inches. Local amounts could be higher, the service added. Low-lying areas and those with poor drainage will be particularly vulnerable, and roads and bridges may be slippery. Because of the rate of rain over time, Stroz said there is little likelihood that flash flooding will occur.

On Friday, the uncertainty of the storm’s track meant impacts from coastal flooding weren’t immediately clear, Strait said.

The storm will pass close to the coast, he said, but it could track just inland or offshore. The further offshore the storm center passes, onshore wind will be less significant. That would lead to a decreased coastal flooding risk during Sunday morning’s high tide. But, if it tracks over land, the longer period of onshore winds whipping through would increase flooding risk.

Rain accumulation doesn’t account for its interaction with high tides. In Beaufort, Saturday and Sunday’s high tides range between 7.3 feet and 8.6 feet, USHarbors predicted. On Hilton Head Island, the weekend high tides span from 6.5 feet to 7.5 feet.

Local meteorologists forecast that wind gusts along the South Carolina coast could blow up to 40 mph throughout the weekend. Strait said wind is the primary threat, with the possibility of causing damage to trees and power lines. Beaufort County is at a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms on Sunday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NWS called marine and surf conditions “dangerous,” as wind gusts and high seas are expected to stir up waters. Across the entire South Carolina coast, forecasters say breaking waves will reach up to 5 feet or greater, agitating the seas Saturday night through Sunday.

Seas as high as 10 feet to 18 feet are possible Saturday into Monday morning, the service said. Beginning Saturday and lasting through Sunday night, there is a potential for 35 to 45 kt wind gusts blasting over local waters.

What does that all mean? Avoid beaches. Ditch any boating plans. Prep for property flooding. Leave time for travel and room between cars. And check any arriving and departing flights.

As of Friday morning, there were no delayed arrival or departure flights at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport or the Hilton Head Island Airport. While Beaufort County won’t see major impacts until Sunday, do not to count out traveling further south, where the deluge, strong winds and the potential for severe thunderstorms are expected as early as Saturday morning.

The majority of South Carolina’s coast is under a small craft advisory and gale watch. Stroz said a high surf advisory for the entire coast may be issued.

Based on local weather predictions, Beaufort County should clear up Monday, but evening temperatures will cool.

This story was originally published December 15, 2023, 11:47 AM.

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