Stephen L. Denton

Steve Denton was formerly a narcotics and vice squad officer in the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department. He worked his way in to homicide investigations before he retired from law enforcement. He retired from law enforcement as a captain over the investigations division, supervising well over 100 detectives. He has maintained very important law enforcement contacts throughout the state based on his experience. At the age of 43, he went to law school, ventured over to the other side of the courtroom, and now represents defendants.

Through his law enforcement career, he knows first hand people need defending.

“Just because you are charged with a crime doesn't mean you are guilty,” he says.

Steve grew up in Spartanburg, graduated from Spartanburg High School and went on to study criminal justice at Spartanburg Methodist College where he earned an Associates Degree, and followed that up with a Bachelor of Science from the University of South Carolina Upstate.

After college, he went straight to work at the Sheriff’s Department in his hometown, and after retiring with two decades of law enforcement on his resume, he entered the Charleston School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctor in 2010. He was admitted to the South Carolina State Bar that same year.

Denton practiced law on his own for a year before joining the law firm of Harrison White, P.C., where he practices criminal law. It is his dream job.

Partner John White is one of Steve’s mentors.

“I have looked up to John White since 1985, and I have watched him work throughout my career as he practiced defense law,” Steve says. “That is who I wanted to be like.”

Steve is proud of the years of experience he earned during his years in law enforcement, and little surprises him anymore. Those years have served him well and prepared him for his practice today. He is a highly sought after attorney.

“Overall, I have people coming to me, and I’m flattered that so many high profile people trust me with their cases,” he says.

The trust Steve inspires is both flattering and daunting. His firm handles anywhere from 300 to 350 active cases all the time.

“It’s just a constant stream of cases, but we have great resources here,” he says. “We employ a terrific investigator and great paralegals. Our staff is incredible and we can get a lot done.”

Steve is also easy to find. Everyone has his phone number and few hesitate to use it.

He has kept the same cell phone number for more than 20 years, dating all the way back to his law enforcement days. And it was his pager number before he had a cell phone.
That number is written on his car, and he goes through 500 business cards a month.

Call him, and he’ll answer his phone every time. Even at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning.

“In law enforcement, you have to answer every call,” he says. “I have just kept up that practice.”

Steve averages around 50 after-hours calls per week. Sometimes people just need advice. Sometimes they need representation.

“I pick up a lot of cases just by answering the phone,” he says.

When Steve is not working 60-hour weeks, he enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and spending time with his wife, Leigh and their two daughters.