Criminal Lawyer Myrtle Beach South Carolina

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Myrtle Beach Criminal Lawyer

Greg McCollum
Attorney at Law
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
PH (843) 626-5480


CITY & MAGISTRATE COURT:

In South Carolina, petit crimes (petty crimes) are set in Magistrate or Municipal courts.  These courts generally have jurisdiction over criminal charges where the maximum sentence in jail is thirty days or less.  There are exceptions to the jurisdictional level such as DUI with a BA over .16, where the sentence is thirty to ninety days, but most cases are within a sentencing range which cannot exceed a fine or thirty days in the county jail.

These courts are also known as summary courts, which includes both Municipal courts and Magistrate courts.  Each city or town has a municipal court (city court) and each county has several magistrate courts including a magistrate court at the county jail.  Bond hearings are conducted at each city court for people in that city jail and at the magistrate court at the county jail.  The Myrtle Beach or Horry County Jail is J. Reuben Long Detention Center, located outside of Conway.

Offenses which are tried or handled in summary court, whether city court or magistrate court include:

Traffic tickets

DUI first offense

DUS or driving under suspension

Marijuana possession

Drug paraphernalia

Criminal domestic violence, first offense

Assault and battery, third degree

Public disorderly conduct

Shoplifting

Petit larceny

Making false police reports

Open container of alcohol in a moving vehicle

Minor in possession of alcohol (MIP)

Fake identification (Fake ID)

If you are charged with one of these crimes, you have the right to a defense and the state or city or county has the burden of proof.  Legally, at least in court, you have the right to retain an attorney and you are legally presumed innocent and have the right to a jury trial.  The rules of evidence apply so you cannot be convicted on hearsay evidence.  You have the right to confront your accuser in court and have your lawyer cross examine any witnesses who testify against you, which also means the witnesses must come to court and testify. 

These are all the same rights that exist for much more serious felony charges. Even though you are charged with a petty crime, all the same rights guaranteed by the South Carolina and United States Constitution are in effect.

There are two methods available to the police to charge someone with a summary court offense.  One is to write a ticket or uniform summons and write the court date on the ticket and release the person with an explanation that they have the right to appear in court on the court date on the ticket.  The other method is to arrest the person, serve them with a warrant and hold them in jail until a judge set the bond for the person to post (pay) so they can be released.  Most arrests will result in the person spending a night in jail.

If you have been charged with a petit crime we would advise you to consult an attorney who regularly and seriously practices criminal law.  Whether or not you retain or hire an attorney, you will gain valuable advice and information regarding what you should do.  Any decision to plead guilty or forfeit bond and accept a conviction and a criminal record, should be done knowingly and intelligently, with knowledge of all consequences of a conviction.


The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

Copyright © 2011 M. Gregory McCollum Attorney at Law. All Rights Reserved

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