Chesterfield County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Chesterfield County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Chesterfield County.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Chesterfield 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.
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.
Where will Chesterfield County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Chesterfield County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Chesterfield County.
Chesterfield County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Chesterfield County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Chesterfield County. The Chesterfield 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.
Where can I get help for my Chesterfield 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 Chesterfield 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.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Chesterfield County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Mandatory Appearances in Chesterfield County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Chesterfield 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.
If guilty, who sentences the defendant?
If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.
Chesterfield County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Chesterfield County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Chesterfield 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 Chesterfield 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.
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.
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.
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.
Chesterfield County Criminal Court Locations
Chesterfield County Circuit Court
Address: 200 West Main Street, PO Box 529, Chesterfield, SC 29709
Phone: 843-623-2574 Fax: 843-623-6944
Chesterfield County Magistrate Court – Bond Court
Address: 319 Goodale Road, Chesterfield, SC 29709
Phone: 843-623-2261 Fax: 843-623-2088
Chesterfield County Magistrate Court – Central Criminal Domestic Violence
Address: 151 East Jackson Road, Chesterfield SC 29709
Phone: 843-623-9009 Fax: 843-623-3623
Chesterfield County Magistrate Court – Cheraw
Address: 3357 Highway 9, Cheraw, SC 29520
Phone: 843-921-2030 Fax: 843-921-2031
Chesterfield County Magistrate Court – Main Office
Address: 115 Green Street, Chesterfield, SC 29709
Phone: 843-623-9009 Fax: 843-623-3459
Chesterfield County Magistrate Court – Pageland
Address: 310 West McGregor Street, Pageland, SC 29728
Phone: 843-672-5685 Fax: 843-672-9507
Chesterfield County Magistrate Court – Patrick
Address: 129 Turnage Street, Patrick SC 29584
Phone: 843-498-6665 Fax: 843-498-6379
Cheraw Municipal Court
Address: 200 Market Street, PO Box 219, Cheraw, SC 29520
Phone: 843-537-8411 Fax: 843-537-8404
Chesterfield Municipal Court
Address: 110 Main Street, PO Box 350, Chesterfield, SC 29709
Phone: 843-623-2419 Fax: 843-623-2132
Jefferson Municipal Court
Address: 142 S Main St, PO Box 306, Jefferson, SC 29718
Phone: 843-658-7600 Fax: 843-658-7058
McBee Municipal Court
Address: 38 West Juniper Avenue, PO Box 177, McBee, SC 29101
Pageland Municipal Court
Address: 310 West McGregor Street, Pageland, SC 29728
Phone: 843-672-6437 Fax: 843-672-9507