Clarendon County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Clarendon County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Clarendon County.
In a jury trial in Clarendon County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
What happens in Clarendon County at an arraignment?
In Clarendon County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
Who is the prosecutor for Clarendon County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Clarendon County criminal cases will either be a representative of Clarendon 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.
Clarendon County Required Court Appearances
In Clarendon 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.
Sentencing in Clarendon County
In Clarendon 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.
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.
I need help for my Clarendon 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 Clarendon 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 Clarendon 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.
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 Clarendon 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.
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.
Clarendon County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Clarendon County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Clarendon County Criminal Court Locations
Clarendon County Circuit Court
Address: 3 West Keitt Street, PO Box 136, Manning, SC 29102
Phone: 803-435-4443 Fax: 803-435-4844
Clarendon County Magistrate Court
Address: 102 South Mill Street, PO Box 371, Manning, SC 29102
Phone: 803-435-8925 or 803-435-2670 Fax: 803-435-0885
Manning Municipal Court
Address: 36 West Boyce Street, PO Box 546, Manning, SC 29102-0546
Phone: 803-433-0050 Fax: 803-435-8603
Summerton Municipal Court
Address: 10 Main Street, PO Box 279, Summerton, SC 29148
Phone: 803-485-2525 Ext. 104 Fax: 803-485-2914
Turbeville Municipal Court
Address: 1400 Main Street, PO Box 70, Turbeville, SC 29162
Phone: 843-659-2000 Fax: 843-659-2782