General Sessions Offenses
General Sessions Court has jurisdiction over most offenses that carry a potential penalty of more than 30 days. If you have been charged with a General Sessions level offense, the procedure that you must follow varies from county to county, but will invariably involve multiple court appearances. In most cases, a magistrate will set your bond, and you will be given information about your first court appearance and the procedure for requesting a preliminary hearing before you are released from jail.
In every county, you will be given two court appearances automatically, called the First and Second Appearances. If you do not appear in court on these days, the Solicitor will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and you can be held without bond until your trial date or until the bench warrant is lifted by a judge.
Following your arrest, law enforcement forwards their investigative file to the Solicitor's office for prosecution. We obtain all evidence in your case from the prosecutor, and we will also investigate your case ourselves, using private investigators and experts as necessary. Although we will often speak with the arresting officers, most negotiations are done with the prosecutor in your case. An independent defense investigation of your charges and circumstances can sometimes lead to a dismissal of your case when appropriate, or an offer of a reduced sentence. When negotiations are unsuccessful, you must be prepared to take your case to trial.
If you are charged with a General Sessions offense in South Carolina, call our Myrtle Beach defense firm at 843-444-6122 or contact us online to find out how we can help you.