Marlboro County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Marlboro County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Marlboro County.
Marlboro County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Marlboro County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Where can I get help for my Marlboro 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 Marlboro 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.
Arraignments in Marlboro County
During an arraignment in Marlboro 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 Marlboro 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 Marlboro County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
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.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Marlboro County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Marlboro County criminal cases will either be a representative of Marlboro 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.
In a jury trial in Marlboro 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.
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 Marlboro County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Mandatory Appearances in Marlboro County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Marlboro 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.
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.
Marlboro County Criminal Court Locations
Marlboro County Circuit Court
Address: 105 Main Street, PO Drawer 996, Bennettsville, SC 29512
Phone: 843-479-5613 Fax: 843-479-5640
Marlboro County Magistrate Court
Address: Throop Street, PO Box 418, Bennettsville, SC 29512
Phone: 843-479-5620 Fax: 843-479-5646
Bennettsville Municipal Court
Address: 103 East Market Street, Bennettsville, SC 29512
Phone: 843-479-1582 Fax: 843-479-1585
Clio Municipal Court
Address: 110 North Main Street, PO Box 387, Clio, SC 29525
Phone: 843-586-2211 Fax: 843-586-7733
McColl Municipal Court
Address: 210 East Gibson Avenue, McColl, SC 29570
Phone: 843-523-5223 Fax: 843-523-5695