SC sheriff seeks to level legal playing field - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC sheriff seeks to level legal playing field

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BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner wants to hire an attorney for his office to help reduce a case backlog and level the legal playing field in court.

The Beaufort Gazette reports there is a 125-case backlog of drunken-driving and criminal domestic violence cases in magistrate's court in the county. Tanner says hiring an attorney and another DNA analyst will help eliminate the backlog.

DUI cases are usually prosecuted by deputies who find themselves opposed by trained defense attorneys in magistrate's court.

Tanner says a sheriff's attorney could better handle legal issues in a case while the arresting officer is the primary witness.

Tanner is seeking almost $290,000 for the positions in the next budget.

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