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6 Important Steps in a South Carolina Criminal Trial

When you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you will next enter into the criminal trial process which will play out in a manner which determines your guilt or innocence with regard to the crime you’ve been charged with, as well as what penalties you will face if you are found guilty.
Most people are unfamiliar with exactly how this process will play out, and it can help to familiarize you with your options and allow you to face your trial with confidence if you know what to expect. Below we’ve detailed six important steps in a South Carolina criminal trial. Keep in mind that each person’s case and circumstances may dictate how a case proceeds, and things like a grand jury investigation could impact and change the order in which the various steps in your case will play out.
1) Bond hearing
After you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you will have a bond hearing to determine whether or not you can be released from police custody. If the judge deems you are not a danger to society or a flight-risk, he or she will set an amount and conditions for you to be released on bail. Depending on your case, a strong lawyer may be able to get you released of your own recognisance, which means you will be released without having to pay bail.
2) Preliminary hearing
This brief hearing is generally to confirm that you have a lawyer to represent you. If you enlist the services of the Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team, we will work to have you excused from this preliminary formality.
3) The “roll call”
You will have another hearing, generally around 90 days after your arrest, that serves as a roll call for the parties involved in the trial. For the defendant, it serves as an opportunity to meet with the DA, look at the discovery on your case, and possibly discuss a plea deal.
4) Negotiations
This step of the criminal trial process can vary a great deal from person to person. Your lawyer will negotiate with the DA, the DA could dismiss the case if they decide they do not have grounds to go to trial, they could call you back in for more discussions, or they could set up an arraignment to inform the judge that they are offering what they believe to be a fair plea bargain to you. If you refuse a plea deal, the judge will set a jury trial schedule.
5) Jury trial
If you do not plead guilty or accept a plea, and the DA believes they have enough evidence to prosecute you for a crime, your case will proceed to a standard trial. This process will include both the DA and your attorney presenting evidence to a jury of your peers in order to prove and disprove your guilt. The jury trial phase can vary drastically in length based on the severity of your alleged crime and other factors. Eventually, the jury will return a decision on your guilt or innocence. If you are found “not guilty,” the trial process will end and you will be free to go. If you are found guilty, your case may move on to appeal.
6) Appeals
If you are found guilty of a crime in a jury trial, you may have recourse to appeal the decision. An appeal could result in you receiving a new trial or having the charges dropped if it can be shown that your case was handled improperly or unfairly in some way.
As we previously mentioned, please keep in mind that the criminal trial process can vary a bit from person to person. If you have been charged with a crime, please contact the Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team and let us guide you step-by-step through the criminal legal process and fight to defend your rights and achieve the best possible outcome to your case.

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