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John A. O'Leary

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Columbia, SC

O'Leary Associates, PA
714 Calhoun Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-779-5556
Fax: 803-252-7515
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2022
Licensed in South Carolina Since: 1974
Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI, Employment & Labor: Employee, Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff, Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff, Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff
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Attorney Profile

Attorney John A. O’Leary is the founder of O’Leary Associates, P.A., in Columbia, South Carolina. Mr. O’Leary practices criminal law at the state and federal levels, handling matters involving drug violations, DUI and other misdemeanors and felonies. He serves clients in Columbia, Chapin, Irmo, Orangeburg and Sumter.

Mr. O’Leary has been a licensed attorney since 1974 and has more than 40 years of legal experience. He is admitted to practice in South Carolina, Florida and Michigan.

In addition to running his practice, Mr. O’Leary has trained federal law enforcement on high-speed chases and served as an adviser to police and public safety departments throughout the country. He has received appointments to committees for Crime Delinquency and Juvenile Justice, the South Carolina National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the South Carolina Jail Commission. He regularly testifies as an expert witness and gives presentations on DUI and law enforcement topics.

Over the course of his career, Mr. O’Leary has always been an active member of his legal community. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar, The Florida Bar and the State Bar of Michigan. He is a lifetime member and former chairman of the legal officer’s section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and previously served as president of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training.

Mr. O’Leary received a bachelor’s degree in history from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, for graduate school. He received his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Practice Areas
  • 30%Criminal Defense
  • 30%Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI
  • 10%Employment & Labor: Employee
  • 10%Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • 10%Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff
  • 10%Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff
Focus Areas

Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Felony, Juvenile Delinquency, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Murder, Parole, Probation, Theft, Traffic Violations, Criminal Domestic Violence, DUI/DWI, Assault, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Wrongful Death, Dram Shop Laws, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Medical Malpractice, Delayed or Incorrect Diagnosis, Informed Consent, Motor Vehicle Defects, Medical Devices


10 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2022

About John A. O'Leary

First Admitted: 1969, Michigan

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • South Carolina Bar, Member
  • South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, South Carolina Division
  • State Bar Association of South Carolina, Member
  • South Carolina Trooper's Association, Counsel
  • S.C. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Michigan
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • State Bar Association of Michigan, Member
  • S.C. Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • State Bar Association of Florida, Member

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Office of Legal Coordinator, Detroit Police Department, Appointed by Commissioner Patrick Murphy, Detroit, Michigan, 1970
  • Wayne County Sheriff's Department, Michigan, 1969
  • National Association of State Directors of Law Enforcement Training (NASDLET), Past President
  • Metropolitan Dade County Department of Public Safety, Miami, Florida, Legal Advisor
  • Appointed to a Law Enforcement Task Force on Drugs, sponsored by the White House Conference on a "Drug Free America", 1987
  • Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department, Michigan, Deputy, 1967
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Legal Officer's Section, Life Member
  • Gary, Indiana Police Department, Special Officer
  • Special, Non-Partisan Presidential Law Enforcement Task Force, Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, 1980
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Legal Officer's Section, Past Chairman
  • Gary, Indiana Police Department, Legal Advisor
  • Metropolitan Dade County Department of Public Safety, Miami, Florida, Special Officer


  • Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement, 1983

Educational Background

  • Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, 1970
  • The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina, Major: History, 1966, 1966

Industry Groups

  • American Association For Justice
  • And SC Bar Association
  • National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National College For DUI Defense
  • SC Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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Office Location for John A. O'Leary

714 Calhoun Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Phone: 803-779-5556

Fax: 803-252-7515

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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