York County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in York County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in York County.
York County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In York County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in York 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 York 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.
In a jury trial in York 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.
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.
York County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in York County, the prosecutor will be a representative of York County. The York 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.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In York County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
York County Required Court Appearances
In York County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
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.
I need help for my York 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 York 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 York 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.
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.
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 York County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
York County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the York County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
York County Criminal Court Locations
York County Circuit Court – Clerk of Court/General Sessions (Criminal)
Address: 1675 York Highway, Suite 1G, PO Box 649, York, SC 29745
Phone: 803-628-3036 (Clerk of Court Main) Fax: 803-628-3226
York County Circuit Court – Common Pleas (Civil)
Address: 300 West Liberty Street, York, SC 29745
Phone: 803-684-8507 Fax: 803-684-8575
York County Magistrate Court – Bethel/Kings Mountain (Clover)
Address: 201 South Main Street, Clover, SC 29710
Phone: 803-222-9404 Fax: 803-222-3653
York County Magistrate Court – Bond Court
Address: 1675 York Highway, York, SC 29745
Phone: 803-628-3095 Fax: 803-628-3178
York County Magistrate Court – Broad River/Bullock Creek (Hickory Grove)
Address: 5800 Wiley Avenue, Hickory Grove, SC 29717
York County Magistrate Court – Catawba-Ebeneezer (Rock Hill)
Address: 529 South Cherry Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730
Phone: 803-909-7600 Fax: 803-909-7606
York County Magistrate Court – Centralized DUI Court
Address: 529 South Cherry Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730
Phone: 803-909-7650 Fax: 803-909-7636
York County Magistrate Court – Fort Mill
Address: 114 Springs Street, Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: 803-547-5572 Fax: 803-547-6344
York County Magistrate Court – York/Bethesda (York)
Address: 1675 York Highway, Suite D, York, SC 29745
Phone: 803-628-3029 Fax: 803-628-3225
Clover Municipal Court
Address: 110 Bethel Street, PO Box 1060, Clover, SC 29710
Phone: 803-222-4084 Fax: 803-222-4081
Fort Mill Municipal Court
Address: 112 Confederate Street, Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: 803-547-3940 Ext. 326
Rock Hill Municipal Court
Address: 120 East Black Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730
Phone: 803-329-5695 Fax: 803-326-3818
Tega Cay Municipal Court
Address: 15077 Molokai Drive, PO Box 232, Tega Cay, SC 29716
Phone: 803-548-4133 Fax: 803-548-7256
York Municipal Court
Address: 10 North Roosevelt Street, York, SC 29745