Barnwell County Criminal Court

Barnwell County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Barnwell County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Barnwell County.

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Appealing a guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

Barnwell County Criminal Court

Barnwell County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberations in Barnwell County

In Barnwell 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.

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.

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.

Barnwell County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Barnwell County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Barnwell County. The Barnwell 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 Barnwell County

During an arraignment in Barnwell 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 Barnwell 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 Barnwell County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Sentencing in Barnwell County

In Barnwell 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.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

I need help for my Barnwell 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 Barnwell 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 Barnwell 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.

Mandatory Appearances in Barnwell County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Barnwell County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.

Barnwell County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Barnwell County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

Barnwell County Criminal Court Locations

  • Barnwell County Circuit Court

    Address: 141 Main Street, PO Box 723, Barnwell, SC 29812
    Phone: 803-541-1020 Fax: 803-541-1025

  • Barnwell County Magistrate Court – Barnwell

    Address: 599 Joey Zorn Blvd, PO Box 1205, Barnwell, SC 29812
    Phone: 803-541-1035 Fax: 803-541-1055

  • Barnwell County Magistrate Court – Blackville

    Address: 5997 North Lartigue Street, Blackville, SC 29817
    Phone: 803-284-2765 Fax: 803-284-9107

  • Barnwell County Magistrate Court – Williston

    Address: 12445 Main Street, PO Box 485, Williston, SC 29853
    Phone: 803-266-3700 Fax: 803-266-5496

  • Barnwell Municipal Court

    Address: 1810 Burr Street, PO Box 776, Barnwell, SC 29812
    Phone: 803-259-1838 Fax: 803-759-7959

  • Blackville Municipal Court

    Address: 5997 North Lartigue Street, Blackville, SC 29817
    Phone: 803-284-3444 Fax: 803-284-3243

  • Williston Municipal Court

    Address: 13112 Main Street, Williston, SC 29853
    Phone: 803-266-7011 Fax: 803-266-4644

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