Bamberg County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Bamberg County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Bamberg County.
What is Jury Deliberation?
After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Bamberg County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
Sentencing in Bamberg County
In Bamberg 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.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
Bamberg County Required Court Appearances
In Bamberg 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.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
Bamberg County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Bamberg County will take place at the Bamberg County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Bamberg County Criminal Court Locations.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Bamberg County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Bamberg County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Bamberg County. The Bamberg County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
Arraignments in Bamberg County
During an arraignment in Bamberg 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 Bamberg 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 Bamberg County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
I need help for my Bamberg County criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Bamberg County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Bamberg County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
Bamberg County Criminal Court Locations
Bamberg County Circuit Court
Address: 2959 Main Highway, PO Box 150, Bamberg, SC 29003
Phone: 803-245-3025 Fax: 803-245-3088
Bamberg County Magistrate Court
Address: 2873 Main Highway, PO Box 187, Bamberg, SC 29009
Phone: 803-245-3016 Fax: 803-245-3085
Bamberg Municipal Court
Address: 619 North Main Street, PO Box 300, Bamberg, SC 29003
Phone: 803-245-2463 Fax: 803-245-3960
Denmark Municipal Court
Address: 19 Maple Avenue, Denmark, SC 29042
Phone: 803-793-1882 Fax: 803-793-1884
Ehrhardt Municipal Court
Address: 13704 Broxton Bridge Road, PO Box 185, Ehrhardt, SC 29081
Phone: 803-267-5335 Fax: 803-267-5335
Olar Municipal Court
Address: 14978 Low Country Highway, PO Box 183, Olar, SC 29843
Phone: 803-368-5055 Fax: 803-368-8095