COURT DATES AND WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN
If a person is arrested and charged with a DUI or other criminal offense in magistrate or municipal court (except in a few cases, where the sentence carries a potential penalty of 30 days or less in jail), that person will receive an initial court date on their paperwork. This is a "bench trial" date. A bench trial simply is when a case is tried in front of a judge. The State, usually just a police officer, testifies as to what he/she witnessed regarding the allegations of criminal conduct. The accused would then be given the chance to present a "defense" and the judge would then render a verdict. More times than not, I would not advise this course of action. Generally speaking, if I am hired, I go about protecting the client's initial court appearance and request a jury trial. This allows more time to prepare the defense of the case and avoids the client having to attend court.
If a person is charged with a "General Sessions" offense (a crime carrying a potential sentence of more than 30 days), that person is usually given "roll call" and "bond return" dates. These dates are required court appearances where the client will need to attend. Depending on the prosecuting circuit, I try to have my clients relieved from these court appearances as well.
My goal is for my client to be protected and to never have to attend court. Many times this is not a realistic goal based on the severity of the charges. However, the ultimate goal is always for the client to be as close to where they were before they were arrested as possible.
If you have been charged with a DUI, traffic ticket, criminal offense, or a probation violation, feel free to contact me to discuss your options. I also handle driver's license issues, parole cases, and other matters. At my office, you will receive a free interview in criminal cases. If retained, I will go about protecting your initial court appearance, if possible, and begin investigating the case. If you have questions about a criminal or DUI case or questions about this article, feel free to contact me at (843) 761-0610. If you would like to read more about South Carolina's DUI and criminal laws, copy/paste this link into your search heading http://www.vannoylawoffice.com/blog/
If you have questions regarding a DUI or criminal case in Berkeley, Charleston, or Dorchester County, please contact my office today at (843) 761-0610 or through the contact page on this website.
Brady Vannoy is a criminal defense lawyer in Berkeley County, South Carolina. He carries a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating. According to the rating system, "AV Preeminent(r) is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence."
Brady Vannoy is a member of The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers in South Carolina. You can find his profile at www.thenationaltriallawyers.org.
Brady Vannoy's office is located in downtown Moncks Corner. He regularly takes cases in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. Brady is a member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100. Brady defends DUI and all types of criminal cases in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties along with other areas of the South Carolina low country. He can be reached at (843) 761-0610, email@example.com, or through the contact page on this website.