An Overview of SC Criminal Law
The criminal justice system is complex and can be difficult for most people to navigate. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor in the magistrate or municipal court, or a serious felony in General Sessions Court, it is essential that you have an experienced SC criminal law attorney to guide you through the process.
If you miss certain deadlines, or if requests are not made at the right time and at the right place, you could unwittingly be waiving important rights. If you miss a court date, you can be found guilty in your absence and a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.Don’t Plead Guilty
If you are found guilty in your absence or plead guilty to a magistrate or municipal court level misdemeanor, it may impact any General Sessions level charges that you have.
For example, although it may seem like no big deal to pay a fine on a minor traffic violation at your initial bond hearing, if that traffic violation led to an arrest for drugs in the car you may have just admitted to probable cause for the traffic stop.
Don’t plead guilty to anything or make any decisions about your case until you have spoken to your criminal defense lawyer.Who Prosecutes Criminal Cases in SC?
Criminal cases are usually prosecuted by the government, unlike civil cases which are prosecuted by individual or corporate plaintiffs.
General Sessions level offenses are prosecuted by either the Circuit Solicitor’s office or the Attorney General, municipal offenses are usually prosecuted by a city attorney, and magistrate court offenses are prosecuted by either the Solicitor’s office or the arresting officer depending on what the charge is.What Should I Expect After I’ve Been Charged with a Crime in SC?
The procedure will be different depending on what court you are in, what you are charged with, and what county you are in. You can find more information about each stage of the criminal process here on our website:
- Bail – Bond Hearings
- Magistrate & Municipal Court Offenses
- SC General Sessions Offenses
- Preliminary Hearings
- Criminal Penalties
- Criminal Jury Trials
- Right to Counsel
If you have been charged with a crime or if you are under investigation, do not delay in contacting a criminal defense attorney. Our firm will move fast to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Call the Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm now for a free initial consultation at our Myrtle Beach or Columbia office at 843-444-6122 or contact us online today.