Aiken County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Aiken County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Aiken County.
Where can I get help for my Aiken County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Aiken County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
Aiken County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Aiken County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
What is the Burden of Proof?
The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
Who is the prosecutor for Aiken County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Aiken County criminal cases will either be a representative of Aiken County or a representative from South Carolina. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
Arraignments in Aiken County
During an arraignment in Aiken County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Aiken County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Aiken County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Sentencing in Aiken County
In Aiken County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Aiken County Required Court Appearances
In Aiken County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
Jury Deliberations in Aiken County
In Aiken County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Aiken County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.
Aiken County Criminal Court Locations
Aiken County Circuit Court
Address: 109 Park Avenue SE, PO Box 583, Aiken, SC 29802
Phone: 803-642-1715 Fax: 803-642-1718
Aiken County Magistrate Court – Aiken
Address: 1930 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801
Phone: 803-642-1744 Fax: 803-642-1749
Aiken County Magistrate Court – Bond Court
Address: 435 Wire Road, Aiken, SC 29801
Aiken County Magistrate Court – Midland Valley
Address: 129 Langley Dam Road, Langley, SC 29834
Aiken County Magistrate Court – Monetta
Address: 5697 Columbia Highway North, Monetta, SC 29105
Aiken County Magistrate Court – New Ellenton/Jackson
Address: 227 Gateway Drive, Suite 133, Aiken, SC 29803
Aiken County Magistrate Court – North Augusta
Address: 537 Edgefield Road, North Augusta, SC 29841
Phone: 803-202-3580 Fax: 803-202-3583
Aiken County Magistrate Court – Traffic Court
Address: 420 Hampton Ave NE, Aiken, SC 29801
Phone: 803-642-7555 Fax: 803-643-1924
Aiken County Magistrate Court – Wagener/Salley
Address: 108 Main Street North, Wagener, SC 29164
Phone: 803-564-5989 Fax: 803-564-6004
Aiken Municipal Court
Address: 251 Laurens Street NW, PO Box 1177, Aiken, SC 29802
Phone: 803-642-7676 Fax: 803-642-7673
Burnettown Municipal Court
Address: Physical: 3144 Augusta Road, Burnettown, SC 29851
Phone: 803-593-2676 Fax: 803-593-2676
Jackson Municipal Court
Address: 106 Main Street, PO Box 369, Jackson, SC 29831
Phone: 803-471-2228 Fax: 803-471-9563
New Ellenton Municipal Court
Address: 200 Main Street North, PO Box 459, New Ellenton, SC 29809
Phone: 803-652-2214 Fax: 803-652-3233
North Augusta Municipal Court
Address: 454 East Buena Vista Avenue, North Augusta, SC 29481
Phone: 803-441-4273 Fax: 803-441-4286
Perry Municipal Court
Address: 1075 East Railroad Avenue North, Perry, SC 29137
Phone: 803-564-5756 Fax: 803-564-6004
Salley Municipal Court
Address: 230 Pine Street NW, PO Box 484, Salley, SC 29137
Phone: 803-258-3485 Fax: 803-258-3485
Wagener Municipal Court
Address: 113 Railroad Ave West, PO Box 400, Wagener, SC 29164
Phone: 803-564-3412 Fax: 803-564-3507