You have the right to request a preliminary hearing and have an attorney present to protect your rights.
If you are arrested and charged with a General Sessions Court offense in South Carolina, you have the right to challenge the probable cause for your arrest. However, you must act quickly as you only have 10 days from the date on which you are arrested to request a preliminary hearing.
What Happens in a Preliminary Hearing?
A preliminary hearing is a hearing held before a Magistrate or Municipal Court Judge who will determine whether or not there is sufficient probable cause for your criminal charges.
If your case is bound over by the Judge, your case will be sent to the Grand Jury for indictment prior to trial.
If your criminal charges are dismissed by the Judge in your preliminary hearing, your charges will either remain dismissed or the criminal Prosecutor will have the opportunity to directly present your case to a Grand Jury for indictment.
If at the time of your preliminary hearing your case has already been indicted, you are not entitled to a preliminary hearing per the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, as probable cause has already been established by the Grand Jury’s return of a “true billed” indictment.
Contact our criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case and to hear how we can help.