McCoy & Stokes, LLC

Our firm's approach to representing our clients is heavily influenced by the values and ideals that we have been taught throughout our lives and that make South Carolina such a wonderful place to live.

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Firm Overview

At the downtown Charleston law firm of McCoy & Stokes, LLC, our lawyers have extensive experience at trial and in negotiations with spouses, prosecutors, other attorneys, and insurance companies.

Charleston criminal defense lawyer, Peter M. McCoy, Jr. and divorce lawyer Joshua P. Stokes, understand that clients need advice and answers that will help them understand the legal process, feel confident in their representation during their legal troubles, and will, ultimately, help the client achieve their overall goals. Our downtown lawyers will show you how to effectively and efficiently achieve a resolution in your case that meets your objectives in even the most challenging of situations. In every case, we will make sure that you understand the decisions that are made and that your expectations are accurate.

Experienced Charleston Attorneys
In South Carolina, we handle legal matters that include:

Family law, including separation, divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, property division, and other related matters;
Criminal defense in both state courts and federal court, including DUIs, BUIs, other alcohol related offenses such as Minor in Possession or Open Containers, drug charges, and violent crimes; and
Personal injury, including automobile accidents, premises liability issues, and medical malpractice claims.
Every case is important to us at McCoy & Stokes, LLC, and we work closely with all of our clients to ensure we understand the client's goals and that those goals are reasonable given their particular legal issue. If you are facing criminal charges, have been badly injured, or are involved in a divorce or other family law matter, you need an attorney who values his relationship with you, clearly understands the legal and personal stakes involved in your case, and can help you achieve the resolution you are seeking. At the law firm of McCoy & Stokes, LLC, each of our attorneys and our staff want to establish a one-on-one relationship with you so that we fully understand the circumstances of your case and we can assist you in acheiving the best possible legal result in an efficient and productive manner.

Criminal Defense, Family Law & Injury Attorneys
Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr. began his legal career in the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office in Charleston County, prosecuting a wide range of crimes. Since leaving the Solicitor's Office, Mr. McCoy's practice has focused on the defense of criminal charges from misdemeanors to aggravated felonies in both state and federal courts and exceptionally varied personal injury claims. Mr. McCoy's experience as a prosecutor and proven ability in the courtroom allows him to offer representation that is highly effective in helping our clients secure the best possible resolution of their cases.

Attorney Joshua P. Stokes has represented countless individuals in separation, divorce, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, property distribution, and adoption actions in the Family Court throughout South Carolina. While family law has been the primary focus of Mr. Stokes' practice since its inception, Mr. Stokes also spends significant time in the criminal courts of South Carolina safeguarding the rights of individuals facing criminal charges. Whether you are facing a potential custody battle, criminal domestic violence charge, or other family law issue or criminal charge, Mr. Stokes strives to ensure that each client is fully informed of their rights and obligations and completely satisfied with the resolution reached in their case.
Main Office

Main Office
135 King Street Charleston, SC
Charleston  SC  29401

Phone
  • (843) 628-2855
Fax
  • (843) 628-2859
Divorce
We understand that divorce is not just about filing divorce papers, sitting through negotiations and dealing with the complex legal issues. It's about you, your family and your life, both now and into the future.
Divorce is one of the most difficult times that you could experience in your life. It can be very stressful due to uncertainty about the future, fear of losing the relationships that have been and continue to be important to you, and a loss of control over the circumstances. During the divorce process, having an experienced divorce attorney can make a tremendous difference.

At McCoy & Stokes, LLC, our experienced Charleston divorce lawyers understand that divorce is not just about filing divorce papers, sitting through negotiations and dealing with the complex legal issues. It's about you, your family and your life, both now and into the future. Whether you are considering a divorce due to the irrevocable breakdown of your marriage, or your spouse has already filed for divorce, it is important to speak with a divorce attorney right away.

After the Decision to Divorce, Consider These Steps
1) Consult with Experienced Legal Counsel

It is extremely important that you consult with your own independent and experienced attorney regarding your divorce. Even though your divorce may be amicable throughout, it is important to understand your rights and obligations to your family and property as well as the extent of, and limits to, the South Carolina Family Court's power over you, your family, and your property. In the event the cooperative nature of your divorce breaks down or your divorce is contentious from the beginning, you will have an advocate on your side that understands the law in SC and is willing to fight for your rights.

2) Think About the Children

When a divorce involves children, child custody, visitation, and support issues are extremely important aspects of the divorce case. Issues such as where will the children live, who will be entitled to make legal decisions for the children, when will the other parent get to see the children, will either parent have to pay child support and how much, and what is in the overall best interests of the children are necessary questions that will have to be answered during the divorce. Thinking about these questions prior to an initial consultation with an experienced family court attorney will help you to communicate your opinions to the attorney who can then advise you on the best way to proceed to accomplish your goals.

3) Division of Your Property, Assets, and Debts

One of the most complicated and contentious parts of any divorce process can be the division of the parties' assets and debts. One tip that can make this process easier is to gather as much information as possible about your real property, financial accounts, other assets, and debts. Listing the real estate you own; your furniture, personal property, and jewelry in your home(s); financial accounts held by both spouses; and any debts you owe is fantastic place to start. Including descriptions, values, and locations for assets and debts only makes these lists more valuable to an experienced family court attorney who will then help you develop a strategy for identifying and dividing all marital assets.

The experienced family court attorneys at McCoy & Stokes, LLC understand the law as it relates to divorces in SC and we make it a priority to understand your ultimate goals in any divorce case. The three considerations above are crucial to setting the stage for an equitable divorce that protects your interests and rights and will ensure that we are able guide you through this difficult process and protect your rights and best interests at all times.

If you find yourself in need of an experienced family court attorney, please call McCoyand Stokes, LLC immediately at (843) 628-2855 to schedule an initial consultation.

Experienced Charleston Divorce Attorneys
Our lawyers can assist you with every aspect of your divorce case. We are experienced at handling contested and uncontested divorces or couples with estates that range from simple to complex. We can help you with a variety of family law matters, including:

Divorce
Child custody and visitation
Child support
Spousal support/alimony
Property division
Business valuations
Modification actions
Contact Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys Today

Have you and/or your spouse decided that it's time for a divorce? At McCoy & Stokes, LLC, we know how difficult a time this can be for you personally and for your family. There are many issues such as child custody and visitation, support, and property division that will be dealt with as a part of your divorce. A little preparation can help a family law attorney, like the experienced attorneys at McCoy & Stokes, LLC, identify and focus on the issues that are relevant to your domestic law situation. This will ensure that the separation and divorce process go smoothly and that your bests interests are kept at the forefront of situation. Here are three things to consider now that you have decided to start the divorce process.
Criminal Defense
If you have been arrested in South Carolina and face the possibility of prison and other potential consequences of a criminal conviction, it is important that your rights are protected and that you have an experienced defense lawyer on your side.
If you have been arrested in South Carolina and face the possibility of prison and other potential consequences of a criminal conviction, it is important that your rights are protected and that you have an experienced defense lawyer on your side to guide you through the process. Given what is at stake for your freedom and your future, you need dedicated representation from a criminal defense attorney who will place your best interests first.

Criminal law attorney Peter McCoy of McCoy & Stokes, LLC, is a former criminal prosecutor with the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office in Charleston County. His experience prosecuting cases grants him a valuable insight and perspective into how a prosecutor will approach a case, what tactics and strategies he or she will employ, and what his or her goals for the case are. He will make the fullest use of this information in defense of your rights. That is our commitment at McCoy & Stokes, LLC.

Charleston Criminal Law Attorneys
Being charged with a crime can cause significant uncertainty about your future. McCoy & Stokes provides criminal defense for charges that include:

Charleston DUI, BUI and other drunken driving charges

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in South Carolina. The most common drunken operation charges involve automobiles. However, individuals can also be charged with boating under the influence (BUI), or they can suffer penalties for operating a two-wheeled vehicle such as a bicycle, scooter, or moped while impaired. McCoy and Stokes, LLC offers representation for South Carolina residents charge with DUI, BUI and other drunken driving charges.

White collar crimes

Charges involving fraud and other deceptive practices are taken very seriously in the criminal court system. These types of crimes can cause thousands even millions of dollars worth of damage to the victim, be it an individual or an organization. If you've been charged with a white-collar crime, hiring a criminal defense attorney ensures that all the facts are heard and your rights are upheld throughout the case.

Violent crimes and weapons charges

Assault and battery, illegal possession of a firearm, robbery and other related crimes carry significant punishment upon conviction. It's important to have counsel who can advise you on how to handle your case as well as experienced attorneys who can represent you during courtroom proceedings. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer ensures that the proper procedures are followed throughout the case and that your rights are preserved throughout the proceedings.

Drug charge defense

Whether you've been charged with possession of marijuana, or you've been caught in possession of or selling a more serious drug such as cocaine, crack, heroine or methamphetamine, South Carolina law is stringent when it comes to dealing with drug offenders. A criminal defense attorney helps ensure you get a fair defense in fighting your charge.

Criminal domestic violence

Charges of Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV), as well as the more serious Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (CDVHAN), can ruin families and result in significant punishment for the alleged offender. The court system generally gives the victim the benefit of the doubt, meaning that it's important to have a criminal defense lawyer in Charleston who can articulate the facts of the case and help ensure you aren't unfairly charged or receive an excessive sentence.

Open container and underage drinking charges

Our firm often represents students who are concerned about school issues of suspension, expulsion and loss of scholarships. Generally, these concerns arise after the student is charged with a crime such as open container or underage drinking. Whether you've been charged with a crime on campus or you're a college-aged student having to deal with the consequences of a bad decision, our criminal lawyers in Charleston provide compassionate counsel and fervent representation to ensure your mistake doesn't set you back in life.

Contact McCoy & Stokes, LLC
At McCoy & Stokes, LLC, we are dedicated to achieving the successful resolution of our clients' cases. Our Charleston criminal defense lawyers bring skill and experience that can help you achieve the best possible resolution to your case.
DUI and DWI
McCoy and Stokes, LLC offers representation for South Carolina residents charge with DUI, BUI and other drunken driving charges.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in South Carolina. The most common drunken operation charges involve automobiles. However, individuals can also be charged with boating under the influence (BUI), or they can suffer penalties for operating a two-wheeled vehicle such as a bicycle, scooter, or moped while impaired. McCoy and Stokes, LLC offers representation for South Carolina residents charge with DUI, BUI and other drunken driving charges.
Child Custody
Determining a child's future can be a stressful time for all the parties involved, as spouses may have different interpretations regarding the best interests of the child.
Determining a child's future can be a stressful time for all the parties involved, as spouses may have different interpretations regarding the best interests of the child. Charleston family lawyers bring a voice of reason to the discussion, helping the spouses negotiate a custody and visitation agreement that keeps the child at the forefront of the negotiations.

Joshua P. Stokes

Joshua P. Stokes is committed to providing his clients with the highest quality of legal services available in the Lowcountry, and South Carolina as a whole. Mr. Stokes graduated from Presbyterian College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a minor in Computer Science. He was a member of the Charleston School of Law's inaugural class earning his Juris Doctor in May 2007. Mr. Stokes was admitted to the South Carolina Bar at the end of 2007, and began his legal career as an attorney at the Law Offices of Paul E. Tinkler located in downtown Charleston, South Carolina in December 2007. In June 2010, Mr. Stokes opened the Law Office of Joshua P. Stokes, LLC. In September 2011, Mr. Stokes and Peter M. McCoy, Jr. merged their individual practices to form McCoy & Stokes, LLC. In April 2013, Mr. Stokes was one of five lawyers throughout South Carolina selected as a 2013 Super Lawyers Rising Star in the primary practice area of Family Law. In April 2014, Mr. Stokes was recognized again as a South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star. For 2014, Mr. Stokes was one of only three lawyers in South Carolina selected as a Rising Star in the primary practice area of Family Law. Mr. Stokes also holds the highest peer-reviewed, professional rating ("AV Preeminent") available from Martindale-Hubbell reflecting a combination of "Very High General Ethical Standards" and overall "Legal Ability".

Mr. Stokes is admitted to practice in all state courts in South Carolina and the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. He is a member of the American Bar Association, South Carolina Bar Association, and Charleston County Bar Association. Since his admission to the South Carolina Bar in 2007, Mr. Stokes has practiced extensively in the state courts of South Carolina from municipal courts and ciruit courts across the state to the South Carolina Court of Appeals as well as the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Mr. Stokes is originally from Anderson, South Carolina, but he has lived in Charleston since 2004. He and his wife, Julianne, reside on James Island with their two young children. The couple met while at Presbyterian College as members of the Presbyterian College Concert Choir, and both continue to be avid singers to this day. Mr. Stokes has been a member of the Charleston Men's Chorus since he moved to Charleston in 2004. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Chorus since August 2008, was elected as the Board's Vice-President for the Chorus' 2009 2010 performace season, and he has served as the President of the Chorus' Board of Directors since May 2010. Mr. Stokes has also recently been selected as a member of the Presbyterian College Alumni Board of Directors.

Areas of Practice:

70% Family Law (Separation, Divorce, Child Custody, Visitation, Child Support, Property Division, Alimony, Adoption, etc.)
25% Criminal Defense
5% Estate Planning

Litigation Percentage:

100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

South Carolina, 2007
United States District Court District of South Carolina, 2009

Honors and Awards:

2013 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star
2014 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America

Professional Associations and Memberships:

American Bar Association, Member, 2007-Present
South Carolina Bar Association, Member, 2007-Present
Charleston County Bar Association, Member, 2007-Present
Charleston Lawyers Club, 2007-Present

Past Legal Employment Positions:

McCoy & Stokes, LLC, Charleston, SC, Owner/Partner, 2011-Present
Law Office of Joshua P. Stokes, LLC, Charleston, SC, Owner, 2010-2011
Law Offices of Paul E. Tinkler, Charleston, SC, Associate Attorney, 2007-2010
Uricchio, Howe, Krell, Jacobson, Toporek, Theos & Keith, PA, Charleston, SC, Contract Attorney, 2007
Office of the Solicitor, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Charleston, SC, Law Clerk, 2007
Gay & Associates, P.C., Attorney and Counselor at Law, Mt. Pleasant, SC, Law Clerk, 2005-2006
McIntosh, Sherard, & Sullivan, Attorneys at Law, Anderson, SC, File Clerk, 1998-2001

Pro Bono Activities:

Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services, Volunteer, 2008-2011
Charleston Men's Chorus, Member, 2004-Present
Charleston Men's Chorus, Board of Directors, 2008-Present
Charleston Men's Chorus, Vice President, 2009-2010
Charleston Men's Chorus, President, 2010-2013
Charleston Men's Chorus, Treasurer, 2013-Present
Presbyterian College Alumni Board of Directors, Member, 2013-Present

Fraternities/Sororities:

Theta Chi International Fraternity
Education
  • Charleston School of Law, Charleston, South Carolina
    J.D. , 2007
    Honors: Academic Scholarship
    Student Health Law and Bioethics Society
    Student Trial Lawyers Association
  • Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina
    B.S. , 2003
    Major: Physics
    Minor: Computer Science
    Honors: Belk Scholar; Dean's List; Order of Omega, Greek Honor Fraternity Activities: Presbyterian College Music Ensembles; Theta Chi International Fraternity (Treasurer 2000-2002); Special Olympics Coordinator, Student Volunteer Services

Peter M. McCoy, Jr.

Peter McCoy's legal background has given him the experience and knowledge needed to vigorously defend the rights of his clients in all courts in South Carolina. Whether it is a criminal defense case, DUI, family law matter, or a personal injury case, Peter McCoy is prepared to handle all the needs of his clients. During law school, Peter clerked for the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office during his summer and winter breaks from school. After graduation, he was hired as an Assistant Solicitor for the Ninth Circuit by Solicitor Ralph Hoisington.

After spending more than five years as a criminal prosecutor, Peter has handled thousands of drug, drug trafficking, murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, white collar, DUI, and felony DUI crimes in Charleston County. He started off his work as a prosecutor by being the lead DUI prosecutor for Charleston County. In this capacity, he prosecuted countless DUI and Felony DUI cases throughout the Ninth Circuit. For his remaining tenure as a criminal prosecutor, Peter handled violent, gun, and drug crimes. He has extensive court room experience having handled numerous jury trials for some of the most serious crimes in Charleston County. In 2010, when Peter was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives he left the Solicitor's Office and opened up his own firm.

Since entering private practice, Peter has practiced extensively in Magistrate, Municipal, General Sessions, Common Pleas, and Federal District Court handling cases that range from speeding tickets, to serious criminal felony charges, to numerous civil disputes ranging from car accidents to libel/slander defamation suits. In September 2011, Peter and Joshua P. Stokes merged their individual practices to form McCoy & Stokes, LLC. In April 2013, Peter was one of seven lawyers throughout South Carolina selected as a 2013 Super Lawyers Rising Star in the primary practice area of Criminal Defense. For 2014, Mr. McCoy was again selected as a South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star in the primary practice area of Criminal Defense. Mr. McCoy also holds the highest peer-reviewed, professional rating ("AV Preeminent") available from Martindale-Hubbell reflecting a combination of "Very High General Ethical Standards" and overall "Legal Ability".

Peter's years at the Solicitor's office coupled with his service as an elected official have earned him the reputation as a honest, fair, and hard working trial lawyer. He has been awarded the Key to the Town of James Island, he sits on the advisory board to the Save the Morris Island Lighthouse, and is a regular lecturer at the College of Charleston, the Citadel, and Trident Technical College on the topics of Criminal Law and Local Politics.

Having come from a long line of attorneys who have served South Carolina in the Legislative and Judicial branches of State Government, Peter has a deep commitment to the people of the State of South Carolina. Peter and his law firm look forward to helping with you with all of your legal concerns and needs.

Areas of Practice:

Magistrate/Municipal Criminal Charges
State (General Sessions) Criminal Charges
Driving Under the Influence, Boating Under the Influence, and Other Alcohol Related Offenses
Drug Charges
Gun Charges and Violent Crimes
Federal Criminal Charges
White Collar Criminal Defense State & Federal
Civil Litigation including Automobile Accidents, Premises Liability, Medical Malpractice, and Libel/Slander Claims
Estate Planning and Probate Issues

Litigation Percentage:

100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

South Carolina, 2005 (All Courts)
U.S. District Court District of South Carolina, 2007
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2008

Honors and Awards:

2013 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star
2014 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Key to the Town of James Island, Awarded in 2010
Advisory Board to Save the Morris Island Lighthouse
Past President of the Charleston Lawyer's Club

Professional Associations and Memberships:

American Bar Association, Member, 2005-Present
South Carolina Bar Association, Member, 2005-Present
Charleston Lawyer's Club, Member, 2005-Present
South Carolina House of Representatives, Member, 2010-Present

Past Employment Positions:

Wills & Massalon, Law Clerk 2002
Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office, Law Clerk 2003 & 2004
Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office, Assistant Solicitor 2005-2010
Law Office of Peter McCoy, LLC, Owner 2010-2011
McCoy & Stokes, LLC, Owner/Partner 2011-Present
Education
  • Regent University School of Law
    J.D. , 2005
  • Hampden-Sydney College
    B.A. , 2001
    Major: History & Religion

Sara A. T. Palmer

Sara Palmer grew up in Bluffton, South Carolina, and moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 2005 to attend the College of Charleston. She completed college in three years and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications in May 2008. After graduating from the College of Charleston, Sara attended Charleston School of Law and earned her Juris Doctor in December 2011. Sara took the February 2012 South Carolina Bar Exam and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in May 2012. Sara initially worked with Axelrod & Associates in their Charleston, SC office before joining McCoy & Stokes, LLC as an Associate Attorney in December 2013. Sara's main areas of concentration include Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Civil Litigation. Sara and her husband, William, live in Charleston, SC with their dog, Riley.

Areas of Practice:

Family Law
Magistrate/Municipal Criminal Charges
State (General Sessions) Criminal Charges
Civil Litigation

Bar Admissions:

South Carolina, 2012

Professional Associations and Memberships:

American Bar Association, Member, 2012-Present
South Carolina Bar Association, Member, 2012-Present
Charleston Lawyer's Club, Member, 2013-Present

Past Employment Positions:

McCoy & Stokes, LLC, Associate Attorney, 2013-Present
Axelrod & Associates, P.A., Associate Attorney, 2012-2013
Bluestein, Johnson & Burke, Law Clerk, 2008-2011
Rosen, Rosen & Hagood, LLC, Legal Intern, 2007, Summer Law Clerk, 2010
Education
  • Charleston School of Law
    J.D. , 2011
    Dean's List: Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2009
    CSOL Ambassador 2010-2011
    MUSC Presidential Scholar, CSOL spokesperson 2009-2010
    Charleston County Student Bar Association
    Health Law and Bioethics Society, Secretary
  • College of Charleston
    B.A. , 2008
    Major: Communications
    Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority (Executive Judicial Council 2008)

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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