South carolina criminal procedure and law

This page lists the most applicable state crimes addressing stalking. However, depending on the facts of the case, a stalker might also be charged with other crimes, such as trespassing, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, etc.

South Carolina Could Abolish Civil Forfeiture

Check your state code or consult with your local prosecutor about other charges that might apply in a particular case. Analyzing Stalking Laws. Harassment in the second degree may include, but is not limited to, verbal, written, or electronic contact that is initiated, maintained, or repeated. All Rights Reserved. Box , Arlington, VA p.

The Criminal Law of South Carolina, Sixth Edition

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South Carolina Criminal Justice Schools

In some cases, you may be able to pay the court up to 10 percent of your bond in order to secure your release. You can also hire a bail bondsman who can pay the full bond in exchange for a fee, which can range anywhere from 10 percent to the full amount. In some matters, you may be able to post a property bond, which allows the court to place a lien on your real property, like your primary residence, if you own it.

Criminal charges set forth against a defendant fall under two categories: misdemeanor or felony. In Soth Carolina, misdemeanors are defined by statute and include all magistrate and municipal court offenses, all offense punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of three years, and certain common law non-statutory offenses punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of ten years.

Felonies are more serious offenses and include everything from property crimes punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of five years to crimes like murder punishable by life in prison or death.

Your Information

In South Carolina, if you are convicted of a crime carrying a potential sentence of more than one year, then you cannot serve on a jury and you will be prohibited from voting while incarcerated. South Carolina criminal matters are heard in several different courts, based on different circumstances. General Sessions Court judges preside over both misdemeanor and felony cases. Magistrate and Municipal Court judges only hear misdemeanor cases with potential penalties of 30 days or less and some 90 day offenses specifically enumerated by statute,.

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General Sessions Court judges are licensed attorneys, whereas Magistrate and Municipal Court judges are not required to have an active law license or to have gone to law school. After your bond hearing, your next court appearance may be your preliminary hearing. If you are charged with a case in General Sessions Court, you have the right to a preliminary hearing, which allows you to challenge whether there was probable cause for your arrest.

However, you must request a preliminary hearing within 10 days of your arraignment. Your next appearance is typically within days, and this is typically where you may be offered a plea bargain. If you are released on bond and fail to show for either the first or second appearance, the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.


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During trial, the prosecution and your defense attorney will each present their cases, which can include having supporting witnesses testify. If you are found guilty by trial, the judge will then determine your sentence.

They can use several factors in helping to determine your sentence, which can include s your criminal history, the nature of your case, specific circumstances either mitigating or aggravating the facts of your case, and any other information that aids the court in determining an appropriate sentence within the sentencing range specified by statute. Your attorney has 10 days after the sentence is handed down to file the notice of appeal. Without an attorney, you are at a disadvantage and may be vulnerable to the most severe consequences in a criminal case.

By hiring a knowledgeable attorney, you have the best chance of fighting a conviction or reaching a plea bargain that is fair and equitable, which helps minimize the damage a criminal conviction can cause you down the line.

South Carolina Could Abolish Civil Forfeiture

Please contact the lawyers at David R. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years.


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