Pickens County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Pickens County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Pickens County.
Mandatory Appearances in Pickens County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Pickens 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 Pickens County
In Pickens 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Pickens County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.
Prosecutor in Pickens County
In Pickens County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Pickens County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent South Carolina. For the most part, the prosecutor in Pickens County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
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 will Pickens County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Pickens County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Pickens County.
Where can I get help for my Pickens 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 Pickens 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.
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.
Arraignments in Pickens County
During an arraignment in Pickens 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 Pickens 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 Pickens County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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 if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Pickens County Criminal Court Locations
Pickens County Circuit Court
Address: 214 East Main Street, PO Box 215, Pickens, SC 29671
Phone: 864-898-5857 Fax: 864-898-5863
Pickens County Magistrate Court – Central/Clemson
Address: 115 Commons Way, Suite B, Central, SC 29630
Phone: 864-639-7976 (Preliminary Hearings) Fax: 864-639-0701
Pickens County Magistrate Court – Easley
Address: 135 Folger Avenue, Easley, SC 29640
Phone: 864-850-7076 Fax: 864-850-7075
Pickens County Magistrate Court – Liberty
Address: 147 Kay Holcombe Road, Suite B, Liberty, SC 29657
Phone: 864-843-5833 (Bad Checks) Fax: 864-843-5824
Pickens County Magistrate Court – Pickens
Address: 216 C. David Stone Road, Pickens, SC 29671
Phone: 864-898-5551 (Traffic) Fax: 864-898-5546
Central Municipal Court
Address: 1067 West Main Street, PO Box 549, Central, SC 29630
Phone: 864-639-6381 Ext. 121 Fax: 864-639-2610
Clemson Municipal Court
Address: 1250 Tiger Blvd, Suite 3, Clemson, SC 29631
Phone: 864-653-2045 Fax: 864-653-2044
Clemson University Municipal Court
Address: G01-C Edgar Brown Union, Clemson, SC 29634
Phone: 864-656-5258 Fax: 864-656-7116
Easley Municipal Court
Address: 220 NW Main Street, Easley, SC 29640
Phone: 864-855-7915 Fax: 864-855-7920
Liberty Municipal Court
Address: 206 West Front Street, PO Box 716, Liberty, SC 29657
Phone: 864-843-3956 Fax: 864-843-2612
Norris Municipal Court
Address: 100 East Jamison Street, PO Box N, Norris, SC 29667
Phone: 864-639-2033 Fax: 864-639-2033
Pickens Municipal Court
Address: 219 Pendelton Street, PO Box 217, Pickens, SC 29671
Phone: 864-878-6421 Fax: 864-878-0450