Greenville County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Greenville County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Greenville County.
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.
Greenville County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Greenville County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Greenville County. The Greenville 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.
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 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.
Greenville County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Greenville County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Mandatory Appearances in Greenville County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Greenville 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.
Where can I get help for my Greenville 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 Greenville 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.
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.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
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.
Greenville County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Greenville County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Greenville 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 Greenville 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.
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 Greenville County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Greenville County Criminal Court Locations
Greenville County Circuit Court
Address: 305 East North Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Phone: 864-467-8551 Fax: 864-467-8540
Greenville County Magistrate Court – Bates
Address: 114 North Poinsett Hwy, Travelers Rest, SC 29690
Greenville County Magistrate Court – Bond Court
Address: 4 McGee Street, Room 116-A, Greenville, SC 29601
Greenville County Magistrate Court – Chick Springs
Address: 2801 Wade Hampton Blvd, Suite 302, Taylors, SC 29687
Greenville County Magistrate Court – Cleveland
Address: 3208 Greer Highway, PO Box 506, Marietta, SC 29661
Greenville County Magistrate Court – Fairview/Austin
Address: 205 North Maple Street, Suite 4, Simpsonville, SC 29681
Greenville County Magistrate Court – Gantt
Address: 1103 White Horse Road, Greenville, SC 29605
Greenville County Magistrate Court – Greer
Address: 100 South Main Street, Suite A, Greer, SC 29650
Greenville County Magistrate Court – Highlands
Address: 6 Bailey Mill Road, Travelers Rest, SC 29690
Greenville County Magistrate Court – South Greenville
Address: 8150 Augusta Road, Piedmont, SC 29673
Greenville County Magistrate Court – West Greenville
Address: 6247 White Horse Road, Greenville, SC 29611
Fountain Inn Municipal Court
Address: 315 North Main Street, Fountain Inn, SC 29644
Phone: 864-409-0617 Fax: 864-409-8363
Greenville Municipal Court
Address: 426 North Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Phone: 864-467-6650 Fax: 864-467-6651
Greer Municipal Court
Address: 100 South Main Street, Greer, SC 29650
Phone: 864-848-5374 Fax: 864-848-5377
Mauldin Municipal Court
Address: 5 East Butler Road, PO Box 249, Mauldin, SC 29662
Phone: 864-289-8907 Fax: 864-297-3411
Simpsonville Municipal Court
Address: 118 NE Main Street, Simpsonville, SC 29681
Phone: 864-228-2009 Fax: 864-967-9530
Travelers Rest Municipal Court
Address: 6711 State Park Road, Travelers Rest, SC 29690
Phone: 864-834-1630 Fax: 864-834-4123