Frequently Asked Questions About SC Criminal Court (Part 3)

criminal defense lawyer, circuit court, criminal court, bondWhen is my trial date?

Circuit Solicitors keep the trial schedule, which is called a “roster” or “docket”. There are 16 circuits in South Carolina. Your criminal defense lawyer can keep you informed of this information or you can find it by contacting your Circuit Solicitors.

How do I find out if there is a bench warrant on me?
Judges issue bench warrants when a defendant fails to show up for a court appearance. Therefor, if you failed to show up for a court appearance then there is probably a bench warrant on you. Your criminal defense lawyer can assist your with dealing with the bench warrant. After your first appearance, you must show up every time there is a General Sessions term of court in your county. The Judicial Department calendar lists terms of court. Your criminal defense lawyer can check to see if a judge issued a bench or arrest warrant against you.

Where can I get a copy of my police report?

Your criminal defense lawyer will contact the arresting agency and procure a copy of your police report prior to your first court date. This information is also given to you or your lawyer at your first appearance through a process called discovery.

How do I get a transcript of my hearing?

You or your criminal defense lawyer may request a copy of your transcript by writing a letter to the court reporter. You cannot subpoena (demand through legal process) your transcript. The letter must include the date of the proceeding, the name of the judge, the name of the county where the hearing was held, and the name of the case. To find out this information, follow the following steps:

To find out the date of your proceeding, start with the Judicial Department calendar. It covers every court term starting in January 2002. Use this map to access the calendar for the county and circuit where you had your proceeding.

Once you find the correct term and judge, click on the blue link. The link will provide you with the name and mailing address of the court reporter.

The court reporter will typically reply in writing within two weeks. The reply will tell you how much it costs to get the transcript

Send your payment to the court reporter. Send either a money order or a certified bank check. Court reporters do not take personal checks or cash

Once the court reporter gets your payment, he or she has 60 days to deliver the transcript to you. Court Administration may grant more time to the court reporter, but if it does, the court reporter will let you know.

Because your criminal defense lawyer is familiar with this process, it may be to your advantage to have he or she get the transcript for you.

Can I get a copy of my record?
Criminal records are available from SLED, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. There is a fee to get either an electronic or paper copy of your record.

What if I receive a SLED background check and the information provided is incorrect?
SLED has a process for challenging the accuracy of an arrest, charge, or conviction that appears on a criminal record:

1) Contact SLED to request a challenge packet;

2) Complete the application, provide a picture ID, and submit a $25 money order or a copy of the criminal record in question to SLED

3) Go to a law enforcement agency for fingerprinting. SLED will check your fingerprints with those in the record to find out if the record matches the correct individual.

NOTE: This process applies only to challenges of SLED records. It does not apply to records maintained by third-party background check companies.

Can I get a copy of my whole criminal file?

The Clerk of Court keeps files from all of the General Sessions cases heard in that county. You can get a copy of your file by asking the Clerk of Court’s office for it and paying for the copies. It helps if you have your case number.

Where can I get my warrant number?

You first get this information at the bond hearing. You get it again as part of the discovery process at your first appearance. The Clerk of Court also has this information.

By |2015-03-13T16:00:22+00:00March 13th, 2015|Legal Blog|Comments Off on Frequently Asked Questions About SC Criminal Court (Part 3)