Calhoun County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Calhoun County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Calhoun County.
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.
Calhoun County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Calhoun County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Calhoun County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Calhoun County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
Sentencing in Calhoun County
In Calhoun 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.
Who can help me in Calhoun County?
For general information about your case the Calhoun County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.
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.
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.
Prosecutor in Calhoun County
In Calhoun County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Calhoun County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent South Carolina. For the most part, the prosecutor in Calhoun County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Jury by Trial Right
The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Calhoun County
Any required court appearances in Calhoun County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
Jury Deliberations in Calhoun County
In Calhoun 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.
Calhoun County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Calhoun County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Calhoun County Criminal Court Locations
Calhoun County Circuit Court
Address: 902 F.R. Huff Drive, PO Box 709, St. Matthews, SC 29135
Phone: 803-874-3524 Fax: 803-874-1942
Calhoun County Magistrates Court – Cameron
Address: 206 Boyce Lawton Drive, PO Box 663, Cameron, SC 29030
Phone: 803-823-2266 Fax: 803-823-2288
Calhoun County Magistrates Court – Gaston
Address: 1724 Old State Road, Gaston, SC 29053
Phone: 803-794-4706 Fax: 803-739-2536
Calhoun County Magistrates Court – St. Matthews
Address: 1623 Bridge Street, PO Box 191, St. Matthews, SC 29135
Phone: 803-874-1112 Fax: 803-874-1111
Cameron Municipal Court
Address: 204 Boyce Lawton Drive, PO Box 663, Cameron, SC 29030
Phone: 803-823-2145 Fax: 803-823-2288
St. Matthews Municipal Court
Address: 1313 Bridge Street, PO Box 172, St. Matthews, SC 29135
Phone: 803-874-2405 Fax: 803-874-1111