Solicitor Magistrate Court
The Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office has a Magistrate Court Division in Horry and Georgetown counties where Assistant Solicitors handle various cases involving first-offense driving under the influence (DUI) and domestic violence (DV).
In Horry County, the Magistrate Court Division Assistant Solicitors handle DUI cases from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and Horry County Police where the defendant has requested a Jury Trial. If a defendant has not requested a Jury Trial, the case will be handled through Traffic Court.
In Georgetown County, Solicitors in the Magistrate Court Division handle DUI cases from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office when a defendant has requested a Jury Trial.
For DUI cases, if the defendant is convicted they are required to get SR22 Insurance.
Refusal to submit to the breathalyzer test is a 6-month suspension of a defendant’s driver’s license; a breathalyzer test result of .08 to .14 will not result in a driver’s license suspension; a test result of .15 and above will result in the defendant’s license being suspended for thirty (30) days.
Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP)
Refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, a .15 or higher test result or a conviction, a defendant must enroll within thirty (30) days of the conviction and there is a $500 fee.
The Magistrate Court Division Assistant Solicitors in Horry County also handle all third-degree DV cases, while in Georgetown County they handle third-degree assault and battery cases from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, where a defendant has requested a Jury Trial and all third-degree DV cases from the Sheriff’s Office.
In Horry and Georgetown counties, when someone is arrested on a third-degree DV charge by Horry County Police or deputies with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, the defendant is given a court date on their ticket or with their bond information. Victims will be sent a letter with a court date and will also receive a call from a 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office victim advocate.
Domestic Violence Court is held once a month.
If a victim requests a dismissal he or she must go to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office where the charge is being handled and submit an affidavit requesting dismissal.
The form must be submitted by the victim, who has to bring the form and identification for verification with them to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office when they submit the request.
Filling out this affidavit does not guarantee the charge will be dismissed. The Assistant Solicitor will take it into consideration and the victim will still be required to attend all court appearances unless he or she is notified otherwise from our office.
In Magistrate Court Division, if you are making a discovery request, it must be made in writing and include the specific information being requested as well as a mailing address. Allow for at least two weeks for discovery requests.
When a defendant requests a Jury Trial, the case is transferred to Central Jury Court and then assigned to an Assistant Solicitor in the Magistrate Court Division. When the Assistant Solicitor receives the case, he or she requests any reports and videos from the arresting agency. If the case involves a DUI charge, a certified driving record and any blood or urine results will also be requested by the Assistant Solicitor. This process can take some time. Once the Assistant Solicitor receives that information, discovery will be sent out to the defense attorney in the case and victims are sent a Victim Impact Statement. After the Assistant Solicitor has reviewed the case, he or she will send out a plea offer to the defense attorney.
This entire process can take from six months to a year.