Criminal Defense Attorney inPacolet, SC

Ask us anything

or Homes-for-Sale-phone-number 843-936-6680

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

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

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

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

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

DUI Cases
in Pacolet, SC

DUI penalties in Pacolet 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, SC

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Pacolet 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 Pacolet, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

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

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Pacolet, 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 Pacolet.

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, SC

Man pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Upstate town

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County man pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from an Upstate town.Callis Anderson Jr., a contractor, was arrested by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for defrauding the Town of Pacolet b...

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County man pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from an Upstate town.

Callis Anderson Jr., a contractor, was arrested by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for defrauding the Town of Pacolet by embezzling money from a renovation project.

The project was to renovate an old mill building into a senior center.

Anderson Jr. was contracted between 2014-2016 to work on the renovation, according to officials.

“That dream was stolen from the town by this greedy person, Mr. Anderson,” Pacolet Town Administrator Patrick Kay said. “It will never be what was originally dream up for the town.”

The judge ordered Anderson Jr. to pay $115,000 in restitution. He is also under probation and will face jail time if he violates it.

The Mayor, Ned Camby, said he’s glad Anderson is being held accountable for his actions, even if the town is not getting the full amount back.

From the Attorney General’s Office:

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that the contractor charged in one of the largest frauds against a small town in South Carolina in years has pleaded guilty and been ordered to pay restitution of $115,000.

Callis J. Anderson, Jr., 68, pleaded guilty to Breach of Trust, Obtaining money or property Under False Pretenses, and Embezzlement felony charges in front of acting Circuit Judge Daniel Martin on Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday afternoon, Anderson provided $60,000 of the restitution immediately and was sentenced to two 10-year sentences and a one-year sentence, with all sentences suspended to five years of probation, provided the balance of the restitution is paid.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, who assigned prosecutors from his office to handle the case, emphasized the importance of prosecutions such as this one. “Contractor and other white-collar fraud can be every bit as devastating as losses from other types of crimes. For small towns, the outcome is especially devastating because they have less public money and are disproportionally hurt by these schemes,” Wilson said.

The case began in 2014 when the town of Pacolet had a dream to build a Senior Center, which they planned to do by transforming an old mill building Milliken had gifted the town. The town obtained gifts and grants to secure funding for the project and then hired Anderson to oversee the largest and final portion of the project, the transformation of part of the Mill’s old cloth room into a senior activity center, complete with a commercial kitchen so healthy meals could be prepared at the center.

The state alleged, and Anderson pleaded guilty to, taking money that was to be for the kitchen and other portions of the project and stealing it. Because of Anderson’s theft, the town ran short of money and had to take out a loan, which was supposed to be sufficient to complete it. Anderson embezzled a portion of that money as well and never completed the project, resulting in the town being in debt and having to repay grants and loans without getting the desired recreation center.

Reached for comment, Pacolet Mayor Ned Camby indicated “Today was a great day. Callis Anderson—the man who stole the town of Pacolet’s hopes and dreams of a beautiful, welcoming, and special place for all its citizens, but especially its senior citizens, to get together and play, eat, and socialize, has been held accountable for what he did to our town.”

The case was investigated by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Special Agents Jacob Pridgen and Todd Ruffner and South Carolina Attorney General Investigator Valerie Williams and prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Donald Zelenka and Special Assistant Attorney Generals Tracy Meyers and John Meadors. Mr. Anderson was represented by attorneys Rick Vieth, Jennifer Wells, David Collins, and Stephen Denton, all of Spartanburg.

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — Multiple streets and roads in Western North Carolina and the Upstate have closed due to flooding from the onslaught of rain.

Bagwell Farm Road is closed until further notice due to debris. Drivers are asked to use Glenn Forest Boulevard as a detour for Bagwell Farm Road.

Hatchett Road in the Walnut Grove area is also closed.

According to Broad River Fire & Rescue, part of NC-9 is closed at High Rock Acres. There are trees and power lines down across the area. Additionally, roads are icy, so drivers have been urged to avoid travel.

In Greenville, parts of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, areas of Unity Park, the River Street underpass, the McDaniel underpass and the Sliding Rock Creek Bridge are closed.

Water is rushing down steps at Greenville High School. Students are having an e-learning day due to the weather.

Boilings Springs Road at Sugar Creek is closed due to the road being flooded.

A flash flood warning has been issued for Greenville County until 3 p.m.

Streets in Hendersonville are flooded due to large amounts of rain. The city has asked that individuals to not walk, swim or drive through the flood waters.

According to the City of Hendersonville, barricades have been put in areas impacted by flooding. Drivers are urged to not drive around barricades. Citations will be given out to drivers who ignore barricades.

The area’s Flood Response Plan has been upgraded to Flood Level 3, which means that flooding is actively happening.

The following roads and intersections are closed either by the City or the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT):

Laurens County

Residents in Laurens County shared images of flooding in the area.

A small SC town trusted him with a dream. Now half its annual budget is gone.

PACOLET — Next door to Pacolet Town Hall sits a historic mill building that once was the center of the small Upstate town’s industry, but now languishes in disrepair.The town had a vision to reclaim the Pacolet Mill Cloth Room and Warehouse’s former glory by renovating it into a senior center.But nearly a decade later and more than $500,000 in public funds gone, the building rots and the contractor entrusted to fix it has been convicted of fraud.The money amounts to roughly half the annual budget for th...

PACOLET — Next door to Pacolet Town Hall sits a historic mill building that once was the center of the small Upstate town’s industry, but now languishes in disrepair.

The town had a vision to reclaim the Pacolet Mill Cloth Room and Warehouse’s former glory by renovating it into a senior center.

But nearly a decade later and more than $500,000 in public funds gone, the building rots and the contractor entrusted to fix it has been convicted of fraud.

The money amounts to roughly half the annual budget for the town of 2,300, town manager Patrick Kay told The Post and Courier.

Earlier this week, Spartanburg contractor Callis J. Anderson Jr. pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement, breach of trust and obtaining money under false pretenses.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said it weighed whether it was better to take the 68-year-old to trial where he faced as much as two decades in prison or strike a deal that would have the town get back at least a portion of the money.

In 2019, the State Law Enforcement Division accused Anderson of stealing $568,360 from the town between the time he was awarded the renovation contract in 2014 to 2017.

In the Aug. 14 deal, Anderson was sentenced to five years probation on the condition that he pays back $115,000 of the money he was paid.

The town had hoped for much more.

“He stole a dream,” Kay said. “He stole a portion of the community’s future. The $100,000, the town appreciates giving something back, but it pales in comparison to what he actually stole.”

Anderson’s attorney, Rick Vieth, didn’t respond to The Post and Courier’s request to comment.

The Attorney General’s office said that while the restitution is not all of the money that was taken, Anderson wouldn’t agree to a deal that required him to pay more.

“It was best for the town to get the $115,000 rather than zero,” Robert Kittle, spokesman for the Attorney General’s office, told The Post and Courier. “It’s a sure thing with the plea, but not necessarily for the trial.”

New family center to help address struggles of Pacolet community in Spartanburg County

PACOLET — Residents living in rural areas of eastern Spartanburg County will have more accessibility to programs to improve their quality of life once the new Benjamin E. Mays Family Center opens in September.Spartanburg School District 3 donated the former Middle School of Pacolet building on Sunny Acres Road for the new center. The school closed in June 2021 after the school district consolidated Cowpens Middle School and Middle School of Pacolet.Pacolet, a town of about 2,500 residents, has struggled economically in re...

PACOLET — Residents living in rural areas of eastern Spartanburg County will have more accessibility to programs to improve their quality of life once the new Benjamin E. Mays Family Center opens in September.

Spartanburg School District 3 donated the former Middle School of Pacolet building on Sunny Acres Road for the new center. The school closed in June 2021 after the school district consolidated Cowpens Middle School and Middle School of Pacolet.

Pacolet, a town of about 2,500 residents, has struggled economically in recent years. It once relied on the textile industry to support jobs. With little industry and few jobs, the town's poverty rate is 21.2 percent, above the national average of 13.6 percent. The new center aims to help reverse these trends and offer renewed hope by providing access to services and programs offered through local non-profits.

Spartanburg News

"We are trying to build a resource center with programming and bring them to Pacolet so they don't have to travel to Spartanburg," said Jerry Rice, executive director of the Benjamin E. Mays Family Center. "I have been here the last four months working on getting to know people and develop relationships."

Rice said the center will open Sept. 7 with Favor Upstate providing support services for individuals and families affected by substance abuse disorders. Over the next several months, SC Works will begin providing job search and training opportunities at the center. ReGenesis Health Center, Hope Center for Children and First Steps Spartanburg will also partner with the center to offer services.

Spartanburg Politics

"We have some agreements already in place," Rice said. "There will be other programs run out of the center. People who live in small rural communities have to drive to Spartanburg for everything. We are working to find an easier way for them to get resources so they can can become self sufficient."

Spartanburg School District 3 donated 25 computers for the center, which will include conference space for meetings. The 50,000-square-foot building has two hallways connected to a space formerly used as a media center. Rice said the building remains in good shape and is scheduled to be cleaned in September. The former cafeteria space could be used to host meetings as well. Rice is also working with local churches to make people aware the center will be opening.

"The reception is people have been really positive," Rice said. "Trying to get the word out in a small community can be complicated and churches are going to be key in helping us do that."

Rice said the center could be used as a business incubator to encourage entrepreneurships. He noted that Pacolet and the surrounding rural communities continue to struggle since there are few jobs and barriers for some to transportation, however, programs at the center provide new opportunities.

"The old mill town has struggled over the years because everything was provided to them through the mill," Rice said. "They need to reach out and develop their own businesses and we can help them do that."

The Spartanburg Academic Movement has served as a consultant and lead in the center's grant writing process to secure more funding for programs. The center plans to use grant funding to offer a four-day program for 3K students. The Mary Black Foundation is also involved in working to secure funding for programs at the center.

Spartanburg News

"We are really excited about what they are doing in Pacolet," said Russell Booker, Spartanburg Academic Movement executive director, said. "They have done a really good job coming together in a strategic and thoughtful way with very little resources. Our role has been lead grant writer and support them in their overall work. What they will do is provide services not easily accessible in rural communities."

Benjamin E. Mays, a South Carolina native born in Greenwood County, was president of Morehouse College for 27 years and a mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who attended Morehouse. The Benjamin E. Mays Consolidated School in Pacolet was the first public school in the nation named after him.

Rice said the new center will include space to showcase Mays' life and contributions he made to the Civil Rights movement. A portrait of Mays hangs on a wall near the building's front entrance. Rice said the new center will bear Mays' name to honor his legacy and commitment to education throughout his life.

Middle School of Pacolet, formerly named the B.E. Mays Consolidated School, was built in 1953 to serve African American students. The name was changed to Pacolet Middle School in 1970 and later renamed Middle School of Pacolet in 1998 and Original Benjamin E. Mays School was added to the front of the building.

Upstate South Carolina Woman Hit With Tax Charges

“Render unto Caesar,” people. I don’t like oppressively high taxes – or the politicians who perpetuate them. That’s why my news outlet has pushed for years lower punitively high income tax rates – and other anti-competitive levies. But just because South Carolina has a regressive, job-stifling tax code does ...

“Render unto Caesar,” people. I don’t like oppressively high taxes – or the politicians who perpetuate them. That’s why my news outlet has pushed for years lower punitively high income tax rates – and other anti-competitive levies. But just because South Carolina has a regressive, job-stifling tax code does not give people the right to cheat the system.

Tax fraud only escalates hardship for the rest of us … which is why I support enforcement measures against tax cheats.

Earlier this week, agents of the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) exercised their enforcement authority against 51-year-old Shelley Ann Rochester of Pacolet, S.C. According to a news release from the agency, Rochester is charged with eight counts of assisting in the preparation of false returns, six counts of tax evasion, and one count of furnishing false tax statements.

The end result of all those alleged crimes? A total of $475,721 in “fraudulent medical deductions for tax years 2016 through 2021 on behalf of herself or others.”

***

Worth noting?

“The taxpayers whose returns were prepared by Rochester had no knowledge of the fraudulent returns and did not consent to them,” SCDOR’s release noted.

Which is probably one reason they weren’t charged in connection with this case …

Rochester owes the state of South Carolina $23,263 as a result of her alleged fraud, SCDOR noted, and could wind up paying tens of thousands of dollars in fines. She is also facing several years in prison.

Rochester was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Columbia, S.C. on Thursday. Her case will be prosecuted by Allen Myrick in the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.

“By taking enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers, (SCDOR) seeks to prevent unfairly increasing the tax burden on those who do comply,” the agency’s statement concluded.

Again, this news outlet is not in the business of defending big government in its routine pickpocketing of hard-working taxpayers … but as I have previously noted there is a big difference between clever accounting and outright theft.

SCDOR encourages anyone who knows or suspects individuals or businesses of committing state tax crimes – such as tax evasion or tax fraud – to submit a tax violation complaint form (.pdf) and email it here.

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

***

WANNA SOUND OFF?

Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.

***

*****

Pacolet's funny lady has 1.2 million TikTok followers, competed on UK's 'The Circle'

Michelle Rider has always been able to find the humor in life and says she has her dad to thank for that.Growing up in the small town of Pacolet, Rider and her father recognized humor through everyday scenarios which later sparked her passion to become a comedian."My dad was a truck driver and loved to come home and tell these dirty, Johnny jokes," Rider said. "My dad would take me to go see Jerry Clower, and when he walked out on stage and be around people that were laughing was amazing for me. I ...

Michelle Rider has always been able to find the humor in life and says she has her dad to thank for that.

Growing up in the small town of Pacolet, Rider and her father recognized humor through everyday scenarios which later sparked her passion to become a comedian.

"My dad was a truck driver and loved to come home and tell these dirty, Johnny jokes," Rider said. "My dad would take me to go see Jerry Clower, and when he walked out on stage and be around people that were laughing was amazing for me. I wanted to do that when I grew up."

Rider decided to chase that dream and became the Southern comedian known as "Shelly Belly" on TikTok. She made several skits featuring adult themes about women and relationships. Her skits were popular and she decided to try stand-up comedy and performed for the first time at the Comedy Zone in Greenville.

"I just told my husband that I wanted to go and do an open mic," Rider said. "He looked at me like I was crazy, but all these funny things were in my head. It's about my life, being a woman, what women go through and all these things that are relatable."

From TikTok to 'The Circle,' social media boosts Rider's career

Rider's career began to kick off when her son arrived home from active leave in the Marines. Her son showed her a video that he made on TikTok, the social media app that allows users to create and share videos. Rider decided to check out the app and eventually reached a mind-blowing, 1.2 million followers.

"I did a video and said 'Look, I have 200 followers!' I thought I was something," Rider said. "He looked at me and said 'Mom, I have friends with 5,000 followers.' Challenge accepted. I was laying in bed one night and I did a video about my neighbor, and it just blew up."

Netflix's hit reality show, "The Circle," reached out to Rider, asking if she would be interested in auditioning. Next thing she knew, Rider was in the United Kingdom to compete in the show's third season with other contestants to win $100,000.

"The Circle" is a social media-based competition where contestants live in the same apartment building but are never allowed to meet and must communicate online. The show is similar to "Big Brother."

Rider was eliminated on episode three, but it didn't bother her and she continued with her growing career as a comedian.

"When I say that I went on 'The Circle' as myself, I meant it," Rider said. "The only benefit that came out of it was the [Netflix] logo and people recognizing me. I built my own brand and do everything on my own. I am thankful I had the experience, and it's not really owed to anyone but God."

The day before the show aired, Rider was laid off from her job at a distribution company. She was upset and trying to figure out her next steps, but her husband assured her that another door will open and she could continue to live her dream.

The bittersweet moment allowed Rider to focus on her dreams and further her career as a stand-up comedian.

The laughs that give back

Rider's platform has allowed her to not only accomplish her dreams but to give back to the community and fans. She said charity benefits are some of her most enjoyable shows.

"I'm doing a fundraiser in Greenville at the Think Tank Brew Lab for 'Just Say Something,'" Rider said. "I just got invited to do a benefit show in Georgia for domestic violence and child abuse. You do good for others and it will always come back to you."

Rider said the help and support of fellow comedians have helped her comedy career. Brandon Rainwater, a South Carolina comedian, is not only one of Rider's closest friends but is someone she considers a mentor.

"As a female, it's really hard," Rider said. "It's the hardest business to be in as a female. He [Rainwater] actually gave me my first show and the opportunities when a lot of people wouldn't. He's an amazing person and an amazing comedian."

Rainwater said Rider has both, the talent and the hustle.

"Her talent meets her hustle and not a lot of people can do that," Rainwater said. "Shelly is definitely putting in the work, and she definitely has her vision board planned out. It just works out together."

Rider recently announced she will be going on tour with comedian, Andrew Conn. The "Down Yonder Southern Tour" will take place on March 17-18 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also has tours scheduled with comedian Tanya Lee Davis.

Conn said he is excited about their upcoming tour together, and that their duo will make a shockwave.

"I think me and Michelle are gonna make a real good duo," Conn said. "We both started out on social media and both now into the millions of followers. It’s crazy how two strangers can meet and talk and then, boom, you're on together. I think we are going to make shockwaves in the standup comedy world!"

Rider will perform in Greenville at the Think Tank Brew Lab, located at 101 Airport Road, on May 4. To check out more tour dates, visit her website.

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.