Newberry County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Newberry County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Newberry County.
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.
Sentencing in Newberry County
In Newberry 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.
What happens in Newberry County at an arraignment?
In Newberry 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.
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 Newberry County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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 can help me in Newberry County?
For general information about your case the Newberry County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.
Required Court Appearances in Newberry County
Any required court appearances in Newberry County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
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.
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.
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.
Newberry County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Newberry County will take place at the Newberry County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Newberry County Criminal Court Locations.
Newberry County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Newberry County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Newberry County. The Newberry 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.
Newberry County Criminal Court Locations
Newberry County Circuit Court
Address: 1226 College Street, PO Drawer 10, Newberry, SC 29108
Phone: 803-321-2110 Fax: 803-321-2111
Newberry County Magistrate’s Court – Central Traffic Court
Address: 3239 Louis Rich Drive, Newberry, SC 29108
Phone: 803-321-2144 Fax: 803-321-2172
Newberry County Magistrate’s Court – Little Mountain
Address: 824 Main Street, Little Mountain, SC 29075
Phone: 803-945-7222 Fax: 803-945-7222
Newberry County Magistrate’s Court – Peak-Pomaria
Address: 441 Church Street, Peak, SC 29122
Newberry County Magistrate’s Court – Whitmire
Address: 313 Main Street, PO Box 61, Whitmire, SC 29178
Phone: 803-694-5756 Fax: 803-694-5756
Little Mountain Municipal Court
Address: 824 Main Street, PO Box 154, Little Mountain, SC 29075
Phone: 803-945-7278 Fax: 803-945-7222
Newberry Municipal Court
Address: 1507 Nance Street, PO Drawer 538, Newberry, SC 29108
Phone: 803-321-1010 Fax: 803-321-1004
Prosperity Municipal Court
Address: 250 School Drive, PO Box 36, Prosperity, SC 29127
Whitmire Municipal Court
Address: 210 Main Street, Whitmire, SC 29178
Phone: 803-694-2121 Fax: 803-694-3002