Criminal Defense Attorney inSummerville, SC

Ask us anything

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

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

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

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

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

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

DUI Cases
in Summerville, SC

DUI penalties in Summerville 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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, SC

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Summerville, 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 Summerville, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Summerville 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 Summerville, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

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

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Summerville, 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 Summerville.

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Summerville, 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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, SC

Luxury boat manufacturer to expand Summerville corporate HQ, production facility

A Charleston area luxury boat manufacturer will expand its Dorchester County headquarters with a $10 million investment.The investment by Scout Boats will expand and renovate the company’s corporate headquarters and will facilitate the production of the new 67 LX series yacht, one of the largest outboard-powered sportfishing yachts to be built in the world, according to a news release from the South Carolina Department of Commerce.Scout Boats plans to enlarge its 36-acre campus by expanding and renovating its corporate he...

A Charleston area luxury boat manufacturer will expand its Dorchester County headquarters with a $10 million investment.

The investment by Scout Boats will expand and renovate the company’s corporate headquarters and will facilitate the production of the new 67 LX series yacht, one of the largest outboard-powered sportfishing yachts to be built in the world, according to a news release from the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Scout Boats plans to enlarge its 36-acre campus by expanding and renovating its corporate headquarters located at 130 Spaniel Lane in Summerville, the release stated. Scout will also build a new 35,000-square-foot facility, which will allow the company to build component parts for its yacht division and support its new product line for the 67 LX series, a 67-foot model that debuted at this year’s Miami International Boat Show in February.

Related content: Summerville boat company plans new yacht, plant expansion

“We meet with the craftsmen and women in each of our four plants every month for award ceremonies, and I often remind them that we ship our boats all over the world to some very affluent customers who choose our brand because of the pride they put into each and every build,” Scout Boats CEO Steve Potts said in the release.

Scout Boats designs and manufactures world-class, luxury models ranging currently from 17 feet to 53 feet, according to the release. The company’s portfolio includes custom, state-of-the-art sportfishing center and dual consoles, and inshore and bay boat models.

“We have a long-standing partnership with Scout Boats and are proud to see its continued growth in Dorchester County,” said South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III in the release. This expansion underscores not only the strength of South Carolina’s growing boat manufacturing sector but speaks to the ability of our workforce to produce luxury products that are available worldwide.”

Renovations are expected to be complete by spring 2024, and operations are expected to be online by summer 2024.

“Since 1989 Steve Potts and Scout Boats have been important assets to Dorchester County,” Dorchester County Council Chairman S. Todd Friddle said in the release. “We are thrilled at Scout Boats’ newest commitment to our community, their employees and recreational boating. Dorchester County looks forward to supporting many more years of Scout Boats’ growing success.”

LIST: Where to see Santa across the Lowcountry this holiday season

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Santa has a jam-packed schedule this holiday season. Are you wondering where to take the kids to see Santa? Below, you’ll find a breakdown of all the areas Santa will be across the Lowcountry.Summerville – Head to Top Dawg Tavern in Summerville on Dec. 20 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and grab some pictures with Santa. Kids are welcome to attend, and there will be live music from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with specials running all night.– Children of Summerville can tak...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Santa has a jam-packed schedule this holiday season. Are you wondering where to take the kids to see Santa? Below, you’ll find a breakdown of all the areas Santa will be across the Lowcountry.

Summerville

– Head to Top Dawg Tavern in Summerville on Dec. 20 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and grab some pictures with Santa. Kids are welcome to attend, and there will be live music from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with specials running all night.

– Children of Summerville can take pictures and give Santa their wish list letters at the Old Time Summerville Christmas Celebration on Nov. 28 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Mount Pleasant

– Support local children’s charities and see Santa and Mrs. Clause by attending Winter Wonderland at The Belle Hall Shopping Center in Mount Pleasant. The event will be Dec. 1 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

– All kids can get a free chocolate pop and a photo shoot with Santa at Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre from Nov. 24 to Dec. 24. To see the photo shoot schedule and make reservations, go to https://mtpleasanttownecentre.com/events/photos-with-santa-claus/

– Ahead of the Folly Beach Christmas Parade, citizens can grab photos with Santa Pierview, Pavilion Ballroom, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. There will be ornament-making craft tables and a hot and cold food buffet. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.tidesfollybeach.com/breakfast-with-santa/?utm_source=third_party_listings&utm_medium=calendar_listing&utm_campaign=santa-breakfast

Isle of Palms

– Eat at Rudolph’s pancake buffet and have breakfast with Santa on Dec. 2 in the Tides Ballroom at Wild Dunes Resort from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Call 877-230-9224 to book a reservation.

Cottageville

– Bee City Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights will feature Santa visits from Nov. 22 to Dec. 31. To purchase tickets and see Santa’s schedule, visit https://www.beecityzoo.com/

North Charleston

– Visit with Santa at the City of North Charleston Christmas Festival and Parade at Felix C. Davis Community Center, Dec. 2, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

– Santa’s Workshop will be set up at Northwoods Mall in North Charleston on Nov. 22. To reserve your visit or find visitor hours, click here: https://www.shopnorthwoodsmall.com/store/santas_workshop

Charleston

– Santa will be at the Citadel Mall Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Nov. 24 through Dec. 24. You can also make reservations and skip the line at citadelmall.net

– Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be at The Charleston Place on the 2nd-floor landing Dec. 2,9 and 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

– The Charleston Santa welcomes visitors at The Best Friend Train Museum every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Reservations are required; however, admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except on Dec. 16, 17, and 23, which will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

– Visit with Santa in the library at The Restoration Hotel on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

– On Christmas Eve, Santa will be at the Crown Ballroom for a breakfast buffet filled with sweet and savory foods. If you want breakfast with Santa, call 843-990-5460 or make reservations online at https://www.opentable.com/r/hotel-bennett-special-events-charleston. Tickets are $82 per adult and $47 for children under 12.

HOT PROPERTIES: NAI closes $4M sale of Summerville restaurant building

NAI Charleston broker Will Sherrod recently facilitated the sale of about 1.3 acres of land and a 5,200-square-foot former restaurant building at the corner of N. Main Street and Azalea Square Boulevard. The property was previously the Mellow Mushroom at the main entrance to the Azalea Square shopping center. It will be redeveloped by the buyer, Woodhaven Development Group LLC.Sherrod represented the seller, Flour-Town Holdings LLC, and Micah Groeber with Atlantic Retail represented the buyer. Th...

NAI Charleston broker Will Sherrod recently facilitated the sale of about 1.3 acres of land and a 5,200-square-foot former restaurant building at the corner of N. Main Street and Azalea Square Boulevard. The property was previously the Mellow Mushroom at the main entrance to the Azalea Square shopping center. It will be redeveloped by the buyer, Woodhaven Development Group LLC.

Sherrod represented the seller, Flour-Town Holdings LLC, and Micah Groeber with Atlantic Retail represented the buyer. The property sold for $4,006,250.

“The real estate along the N. Main Street corridor in Summerville continues to show significant value and demonstrates the demand for well-positioned retail assets in the market,” Sherrod said in an announcement.

Hot Properties highlights recently sold or leased commercial properties in the Charleston region. Send in your transactions using our online form. Other recent commercial real estate transactions include:

Kristen Krause of Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic represented the seller in the sale of 2,500 square feet on 1.29 acres of commercial redevelopment space at 1905 Old Trolley Road in Summerville, for $1.5 million. Michael Silverman of TSCG represented the buyer.

Lee & Associates represented the seller in the sale of just under a quarter-acre of land at 56 State St. in downtown Charleston. The property sold for $4,750,000 to SSI Fund Acquisitions LLC.

Kip Bowman and Sara Bodell of Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic represented the tenant, Aspen Fencing LLC, in the lease of 4,533 square feet of industrial warehouse space at 4509 Savannah Highway in Ravenel to 1667 Meeting Street LLC. Joseph Teckenburg of CCTRE represented the landlord.

Vitré Ravenel Stephens & Taylor Sekanovich of Harbor Commercial Partners represented the landlord, McDew LLC, in the lease of 1,210 square feet of retail space for Unit E at 5117 Dorchester Road in North Charleston to S. Rochelle Richardson.

Patrick Nealon of Colliers represented JP Morgan in the lease of 3,509 square feet of retail space at 1260 Appling Drive in Mount Pleasant to II Brunettes.

Markus Kastenholz of Colliers represented McNeel Properties in the purchase of 1.5 acres of land at 107 Traders Cross in Bluffton.

Robert Pratt of Re/Max Pro Realty represented the buyer, Dentvestment LLC, in the purchase of 3,337 square feet of medical space at 1709 Old Trolley Road in Summerville from 1709 Old Trolley Road LLC for $1.1 million.

‘We’re going to break our own record,’ Trump tells SC voters

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Former President Donald Trump took the stage at a campaign event in Summerville Monday predicting a record-breaking win in the South Carolina Primary as he campaigned for a second term as commander-in-chief.Trump is speaking Monday afternoon at Sportsman Boats in his first visit to South Carolina since the Silver Elephant Gala last month.He told the crowd that his last two years in office were the best two years South Carolina boat builders and South Carolina businesses have ever had, saying that boat...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Former President Donald Trump took the stage at a campaign event in Summerville Monday predicting a record-breaking win in the South Carolina Primary as he campaigned for a second term as commander-in-chief.

Trump is speaking Monday afternoon at Sportsman Boats in his first visit to South Carolina since the Silver Elephant Gala last month.

He told the crowd that his last two years in office were the best two years South Carolina boat builders and South Carolina businesses have ever had, saying that boat builders couldn’t make the boats fast enough.

“When I left the office business was roaring like a 400 horsepower Mercury outboard motor,” Trump said. “But then the economy slammed into a pile of rocks known as crooked Joe Biden.”

He promised to end Biden’s “war on American energy” and reclaim energy independence.

“In other words, we will drill, baby, drill,” he said.

Trump said he won South Carolina twice by record numbers and pledged to do it again.

“We did phenomenally here. We’ve always done well here and we’re going to do it at a level that nobody’s ever seen,” he said. “So we broke the record twice. We’re going to break it a third time. We’re going to break our own record.”

He said he intends to “take back our country and we’re going to make America great again.”

Before Trump’s speech, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told the crowd he went into the State House about a month after Trump went into the White House.

“And South Carolina has been booming ever since,” he said. “But then in January 2021, everything changed.”

McMaster said his administration has had to fight the Biden Administration “every day.” He cited the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates for military personnel, and accused it of destroying the nation’s borders and the nation’s energy independence.

“From 2016 until now, [the Biden Administration] has been doing anything and everything they could, legal, illegal, ethical, unethical, unheard of, unprecedented, to do one thing: That includes two bogus impeachments and full-of-baloney indictments to do what? To stop one man, to stop our man from being president of the United States,” McMaster said.

Dorchester County deputies said earlier on Monday that Trump’s visit to Summerville would cause delays on Highway 78 from Summerville east of Berlin G. Myers Parkway to Jedburg Road at Mallard Road. Drivers in the area are asked to search for alternate routes if they don’t live or work along Highway 78 and are encouraged to use other entrances to neighborhoods in the area.

Traffic delays are expected to last through about 5 p.m. Monday but the delays could be extended.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Bugs, blood & beatings: Docs reveal claims against Summerville youth facility

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Newly obtained documents show dozens of complaints have been filed in recent years against a Summerville youth treatment facility, alleging there are bugs, abuse, dangerously low staffing levels, violent fights and blood and vomit smeared throughout the building.Mary Wilcox’s grandson spent time in that facility, Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health, earlier this year.“Terror” is how she describes her feelings about the residential facility, which is for children and teens ages 7-1...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Newly obtained documents show dozens of complaints have been filed in recent years against a Summerville youth treatment facility, alleging there are bugs, abuse, dangerously low staffing levels, violent fights and blood and vomit smeared throughout the building.

Mary Wilcox’s grandson spent time in that facility, Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health, earlier this year.

“Terror” is how she describes her feelings about the residential facility, which is for children and teens ages 7-18 with emotional and behavioral issues.

Her 13-year-old grandson was admitted to the youth residential treatment facility earlier this year.

For weeks, he stayed locked behind the doors of the facility; for weeks he recounted the horror and violence to his grandmother; and for weeks, Wilcox said she fought to get him out.

“[He] was abused in ways that most parents would say would be the worst thing to happen to their child,” Wilcox says.

During phone calls with his grandmother and an in-person visit, he detailed vicious fights, sexual assaults and abuse.

“He was struggling to deal with what was going on, and he attempted to escape,” Wilcox said. “He was handled by a staff member who slammed his head into a chain link fence causing a gash, causing blood to drop down his face.”

Her grandson’s story is not the first troubling one that has been shared. Nearly 200 pages of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request for complaints against the facility in the past few years detail allegations of what some say erupts in the hallways and common areas and what hides, tucked away in patients’ rooms.

The dozens of complaints filed describe alleged bug infestations, inadequate staffing, filthy conditions, overmedicating and a prison-like environment.

One complaint says a staff member attacked a patient.

“On the video, it was observed that a staff member placing [redacted] into a choke hold and then it is observed on camera that same staff member punching [redacted] six times once [redacted] is taken down to the ground,” the complaint states.

Another states a patient was so heavily medicated they fainted. In a different complaint, an employee is accused of grabbing a patient by the shirt, pulling them down and kneeing them in the face.

“It does not surprise me at all,” Wilcox says. “My grandson communicated similar conditions to me. It is very alarming that this happened to my grandson; it’s alarming that children are in the facility still.”

One complaint alleges the facility frequently only has one nurse on duty with 60 patients and was so short-staffed they couldn’t provide proper treatment.

Another states there have been “numerous human rights violations” and claims patients are refused medical treatment and prescriptions.

“Supervisors explicitly tell staff to ‘treat them like prisoners because they are here for punishment’ rather than treating the patients with compassion as they go through treatment,” the complaint states.

Another complaint describes cockroaches and ants crawling around and blood and vomit smeared inside.

“[Palmetto Summerville] should be investigated,” Wilcox says. “They need to be checked out. They need to be monitored, and they need to be held accountable.”

The State Department of Health and Environmental Control is the agency responsible for investigating complaints against health facilities like Palmetto Summerville. It can also penalize them.

“When there is noncompliance with the licensing standards, the facility must submit an acceptable written plan of correction to DHEC that must be signed by the administrator and returned by the date specified on the report of inspection/investigation,” an email from DHEC states. “When DHEC determines that a facility is in violation of any statutory provision, rule, or regulation relating to the operation or maintenance of such facility, DHEC, upon proper notice to the licensee, may impose a monetary penalty, and deny, suspend, or revoke licenses.”

Last month, DHEC investigated two complaints against Palmetto Summerville, but no violations were cited, according to officials. In August, however, the facility was fined $19,000 for nine violations.

“DHEC executed a consent order with the facility in August after it was determined that it was appropriate to impose a civil monetary penalty for violations of Regulation 61-103,” the email from DHEC states.

Some of those violations, documents show, include failing to have a registered nurse immediately accessible by phone and available within 30 minutes, failing to notify DHEC of a serious accident or incident within 24 hours, failing to make sure residents were free from harm and failing to make sure medications were available for administration.

“[Patients] are further traumatized,” Wilcox says. “They are further placed into a downward spiral by being in these facilities.”

That downward spiral and that trauma, she says, prevent any effective treatment for the children who spend time at Palmetto Summerville and similar facilities.

Some studies show that could be right.

One study shows there’s not enough research to know if the interventions — therapy, activities and treatments — inside these facilities are effective or an effective use of money.

“We also don’t know a lot about what the, what treatments they’re actually getting because we don’t necessarily see the day-to-day life of these kids in these facilities,” Roderick Rose, an associate professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore and researcher in the study, says.

A common trend in the facilities: Medication. One study shows about 90 percent of stays at facilities analyzed included an antipsychotic medication, even though only 3 percent of patients were diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.

“You also see just a lot of medicating children,” Rose says.

For her grandson, Wilcox believes the best treatment has been being back home. He’s in school and playing basketball and is doing better. The trauma from the facility still lingers, however, and Wilcox says she prays other children can get the help they need outside of the gates of Palmetto Summerville.

“I am so very grateful that he is one child that escaped being in the situation he was in long,” she says. “Other children, as well, to be rescued, which is a most appropriate word. They need to be rescued from these facilities.”

Norman Bradley, the director of risk management and performance improvement for Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health released this statement:

Due to HIPAA patient privacy laws, we cannot offer comment on specific patients or their care.

Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health takes all allegations of abuse seriously and completes full investigations as warranted. Any and all allegations required to be reported to the Department of Health and Environmental Control have been done, and necessary action plans have been implemented to address the issues raised. Recent site visits by DHEC have been positive and have resulted in no findings.

Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health is a residential treatment facility for girls and boys ages 7 to 18, in need of a highly structured, therapeutic environment. Our patient satisfaction scores reflect the care that is delivered by our compassionate and dedicated team.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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.