FIVE FACTS ABOUT THE BERKELEY-CHARLESTON CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
1. We have three types of courts that hear criminal cases, (1) municipal, (2) magistrate, and (3) general sessions. Generally, municipal court and magistrate court hear offenses that carry up to thirty days in jail such as speeding tickets, simple possession of marijuana, and DUI.
2. If you are charged with a general sessions offense, in the 9th Circuit (which is made up of Charleston and Berkeley Counties), you will be given "roll call" and "bond return" dates. These are mandatory court dates that are listed on the bond paperwork one receives after being released from the jail.
3. You have an absolute right to a jury trial for all criminal offenses in South Carolina. If charged with a general sessions level offense, no specific request for a jury trial is needed. However, in magistrate and municipal court, one is required to submit a jury trial request in writing.
4. People are eligible to request preliminary hearings in general sessions criminal cases. At a preliminary hearing, the State will present evidence to attempt to establish probable cause for the alleged crime. There is no jury at this hearing. A magistrate judge will decide whether or not probable cause exists to support the charge. If probable cause is found to exist, the case will be "bound over". If no probable cause exists, the case will be "dismissed without prejudice".
5. If a charge is dismissed or a person is found not guilty, they are entitlted to have their criminal record expunged without a fee being charged by the State.
If you have been charged with a probation violation, traffic ticket, criminal offense, or a DUI, feel free to contact me to discuss your options. 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 or through the contact page on this website.