The law prohibits Summerville Municipal Court employees (other than the Municipal Judge or Associate Municipal Judge) from explaining or interpreting the law. As a result, court employees must refrain from answering many questions asked of them because to do so would constitute legal advice, which court personnel may not provide. Instead, they must refer you to competent legal counsel.
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You will need to contact the officer or his/her supervisor at 843-875-1650. You may have to leave a message. Summerville Municipal Court employees are not authorized to speak for officers or about an officer's actions.
You have the right to hire your own attorney. If you cannot afford one, you may apply for a court-appointed attorney. You can apply for a court-appointed attorney at the Public Defender’s Office located at:107 W 6th N Street Summerville, SC 29483
They accept applications Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and require a $40 application fee.
Court employees are not allowed to recommend specific attorneys or law firms. You should contact the South Carolina Bar Association's free attorney referral service at 800-868-2284. You can also check phone listings or ask your friends for recommendations.
While Summerville Municipal Court is a part of South Carolina's unified court system. The court is subject to all laws, regulations, and directives from the South Carolina Judicial Department, South Carolina Court Administration, and State Codes of Law. These laws provide parameters and guidelines. Individual courts (municipal and magistrate) have the ability to design court-specific business processes.
You can file a Motion to Reopen (PDF) within 5 calendar days of being found guilty or you can file a Notice of Appeal within 10 calendar days of being found guilty. Calendar days include Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. If the 5th or 10th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, you may file on the next business day.
All cases in Summerville Municipal Court are heard and evaluated on their individual merits. Each element is considered when a judge makes a decision. No one, other than the judge, can say what he/she would do in your particular case.
All cases in Summerville Municipal Court are heard and evaluated on their individual merits. Each element is considered when a judge makes a decision. No one, other than the judge, can say what she/he would do in your particular case.
According to state statute, you may represent yourself. You have the right to introduce evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, make closing arguments, and otherwise present a defense to the charges. You will be held to the same standards as an attorney.
Depending on the alleged offense(s), you are entitled to a trial by jury. You are entitled to hear all testimony against you. You have a right to cross-examine any witness who testifies against you, to testify on your own behalf and a Constitutional right not to testify.
If you choose not to testify, a refusal cannot and will not be used against you in determining guilt or innocence. However, if you choose to testify, the Town will have the right to cross-examine you. You may call witnesses to testify on your behalf and have the right to have the court issue subpoenas for witnesses to ensure appearance at trial.
You are advised of your rights and charges, and of the consequences of convictions and for not appearing in court. Bail/bond is determined during this process.
No, you either need to appear or pay the fine prior to your court date.
If the relative has an attorney, you may contact him or her. Court staff members may provide public information, such as upcoming court dates and how to post bond.
Victim services for Municipal Court cases are available through the Summerville Police Department by calling 843-873-1262 or 843-871-2463. You may also call the First Circuit Solicitor's Office at 843-871-2460 for state level cases that occurred in Dorchester County. You may also call the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office at 843-719-4529 or 843-958-1900 for state level cases that occurred in Berkeley or Charleston County.
The victim advocate can explain the judicial system, act as a link between the prosecutor and the victim, give current case status information, assist in obtaining orders of protection, make referrals (counseling, food, shelter, etc.), and escort victims while they testify or appear at hearings.
For more information about these services, visit the Summerville Police Department, First or Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office website.
Court staff members may show you the public record file if it is not confidential or you can look it up online at the First or Ninth Judicial Circuit website.
The judge imposes sentences. Court staff members cannot guess as different facts and laws may apply to each case. However, certain offenses have mandatory sentences meaning a judge cannot order a lesser sentence than is required. Other offenses allow a judge to use discretion. If a charge has a mandatory sentence, the judge will inform you at the time of sentencing.