Marion County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Marion County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Marion County.
I need help for my Marion 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 Marion 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 Marion 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.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Prosecutor in Marion County
In Marion County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Marion County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent South Carolina. For the most part, the prosecutor in Marion County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Jury Deliberations in Marion County
In Marion 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.
Arraignments in Marion County
During an arraignment in Marion 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 Marion 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 Marion County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Marion County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Marion 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.
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.
Where will Marion County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Marion County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Marion County.
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.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.
Marion County Criminal Court Locations
Marion County Circuit Court
Address: 100 West Court Street, PO Box 295, Marion, SC 29571
Phone: 843-423-8240 Fax: 843-423-8242
Marion County Magistrate Court
Address: 2715 E Highway 76, Suite B, Mullins, SC 29574
Phone: 843-423-8210 (Civil) Fax: 843-429-8394
Marion Municipal Court
Address: 1024 South Main Street, PO Box 1190, Marion, SC 29571
Phone: 843-423-8616 Ext. 305 Fax: 843-423-8604
Mullins Municipal Court
Address: 151 East Front Street, PO Box 408, Mullins, SC 29574
Phone: 843-464-0707 Fax: 843-464-0722
Nichols Municipal Court
Address: 108 South Nichols Highway, PO Box 32, Nichols, SC 29581
Phone: 843-526-2193 Fax: 843-526-2743
Sellers Municipal Court
Address: 2552 Highway 301, Sellers, SC 29592
Phone: 843-752-5009 Fax: 843-752-9338