Florence County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Florence County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Florence County.
Mandatory Appearances in Florence County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Florence 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.
Sentencing in Florence County
In Florence 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.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
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.
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.
Arraignments in Florence County
During an arraignment in Florence 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 Florence 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 Florence County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Who is the prosecutor for Florence County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Florence County criminal cases will either be a representative of Florence 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.
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 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.
I need help for my Florence 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 Florence 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 Florence 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.
Florence County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Florence County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Florence County Criminal Court Locations
Florence County Circuit Court
Address: 180 North Irby Street, Florence, SC 29501
Phone: 843-665-3031 Fax: 843-665-3097
Florence County Magistrate Court – Effingham
Address: 6719 Friendfield Road, Effingham, SC 29541
Phone: 843-665-6690 Fax: 843-629-9970
Florence County Magistrate Court – Florence
Address: 180 North Irby Street, MSC-W, Florence, SC 29501
Phone: 843-665-0031 Fax: 843-661-7800
Florence County Magistrate Court – Johnsonville
Address: 114 West Broadway Street, PO Box 904, Johnsonville, SC 29555
Phone: 843-380-9211 Fax: 843-380-9411
Florence County Magistrate Court – Lake City
Address: 345 Ron McNair Blvd, PO Box 39, Lake City, SC 29560
Phone: 843-394-5461 Fax: 843-394-3865
Florence County Magistrate Court – Olanta
Address: 220 East Main Street, PO Box 362, Olanta, SC 29114
Phone: 843-396-9056 Fax: 843-369-9406
Florence County Magistrate Court – Pamplico
Address: 124 East 3rd Avenue, PO Box 367, Pamplico, SC 29583
Phone: 843-493-0072 Fax: 843-493-5391
Florence County Magistrate Court – Timmonsville
Address: 307 East Smith Street, PO Box 190, Timmonsville, SC 29161
Phone: 843-346-7472 Fax: 843-346-0660
Coward Municipal Court
Address: 3720 US Highway 52, PO Box 67, Coward, SC 29530
Phone: 843-389-2585 Fax: 843-389-1981
Florence Municipal Court
Address: 324 West Evans Street, Florence, SC 29501
Phone: 843-665-3148 Fax: 843-665-3251
Johnsonville Municipal Court
Address: 111 West Broadway Street, PO Box 428, Johnsonville, SC 29555
Phone: 843-386-3500 Fax: 843-386-3423
Lake City Municipal Court
Address: 202 Kelley Street, PO Box 1329, Lake City, SC 29560
Phone: 843-394-5421 Fax: 843-394-5742
Olanta Municipal Court
Address: 365 North Magnolia Street, PO Box 396, Olanta, SC 29114
Phone: 843-396-4301 Fax: 843-396-4414
Pamplico Municipal Court
Address: 201 River Road, PO Box 296, Pamplico, SC 29583
Phone: 843-493-5551 Fax: 843-493-5013
Quinby Municipal Court
Address: 611 East Ashby Road, PO Box 15056, Quinby, SC 29506
Phone: 843-669-3820 Fax: 843-669-1004
Scranton Municipal Court
Address: Highway 52, PO Box 279, Scranton, SC 29591
Timmonsville Municipal Court
Address: 117 East Main Street, Timmonsville, SC 29161
Phone: 843-346-7492 Fax: 843-346-7965