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Solicitor's Office

Contact Information, Office Hours
Functions, Office Responsibilities
FAQ's, Common Terms, History, Interesting Facts
Current Elected Official Biographical Information

Functions

Criminal Court Prosecution
Family Court (Juvenile) Prosecution
Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program
Victim-Witness Assistance Program

The Solicitor, a state constitutional officer, directs the operation of the Office in a designated judicial circuit. The Solicitor ensures prosecutions are processed by organizing an orderly, efficient flow of cases, assigning cases to attorneys, advising attorneys on cases assigned, monitoring status of pending cases and supervising personnel. Charleston and Berkeley counties make up South Carolina's 9th Judicial Circuit. The Solicitor is elected for a four-year term and has offices provided by each county.

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This Office Does

dot Prosecute all criminal cases in the circuit's Court of General Sessions
dot Adjudicate criminal cases in Family Court (Juvenile)
dot Administer the Pre-Trial Intervention Program
dot Administer the Victim-Witness Assistance Program

This Office Does Not

dot Prosecute civil cases
dot Accept child support payments (See Clerk of Court)
dot Handle divorce cases (See Clerk of Court)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If a defendant is unable to afford an attorney, will the court appoint a lawyer?
A: The Public Defender's Office represents defendants charged with a crime and unable to afford an attorney.

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Common Terms

Adjudicate --To hear and settle a case by judicial procedure.

Court of General Sessions-- Also known as Criminal Court, this Court hears criminal cases.

Family Court (Juvenile)-- Has jurisdiction over most minors under the age of 17 who have allegedly violated any state or municipal ordinances. The Solicitor's Office provides prosecution services to this Court.

Pre-Trial Intervention Program-- A diversionary program for first-time offenders of non-violent crimes. The program intervenes before a case comes to court and allows the defendant to be diverted from conviction, enter into community service and make restitution. Successful completion of the program allows expungement of the defendant's record.

Victim-Witness Assistance Program-- Provides assistance to victims and witnesses by making available information concerning their cases; supporting their rights to protection from intimidation; making referrals to medical, social, counseling and compensation services; assisting in preparation for court; and supporting families or survivors of victims.

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History

In response to pressure from settlers in the Upcountry, South Carolina passed its first Circuit Court Act in 1769. In 1791, legislation authorized three Solicitors to assist and carry out the duties of the Attorney General in the districts for which they were elected. The law assigned responsibility for a fourth district, which included Charleston, to the Attorney General.

With adoption of the S.C. Constitution of 1868, the circuit courts were reorganized. Legislation that year created eight judicial districts and mandated elections for a Solicitor in each. The ninth district was created in 1905 and included Charleston, Beaufort and Colleton counties. In 1912, the newly created Jasper County was added to the ninth district. After several other shifts, the 9th Judicial Circuit evolved in 1931 to include Charleston and Berkeley counties and stands as such today.

The Solicitor is elected for a term of four years.

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Interesting Facts

FY09 Charleston County Solicitor's Office:
  • Received 10,712 new General Sessions cases for prosecution

  • Disposed of 12,617 General Sessions cases

  • Received 3,559 new Family Court juvenile cases for prosecution

  • Disposed of 3,696 Family Court juvenile cases

  • Led the State for total number of:

    • Trials

    • Guilty Verdicts at Trial

    • Guilty Pleas

    • Overall Convictions

    • Cases resolved at Preliminary Hearing Court
      (more than double of all but one county)

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Contact Information

Solicitor, 9th Judicial Circuit
O.T. Wallace County Office Building
101 Meeting Street, 4th Floor
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 958-1900
(843) 958-1905 (Fax)
http://www.scsolicitor9.org

Family Court Staff Offices
O.T. Wallace County Office Building
101 Meeting Street, 3rd Floor
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 958-5150
(843) 958-5160 (Fax)

Office Hours

Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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