Dillon County Judicial Center
1033 Old Latta Highway
P O Box 868
Dillon, SC 29536
Hours of Operation:
8:30 am-5:00 pm (Monday-Friday)
Frequently asked questions:
Q: What is a Solicitor?
A: The Solicitor is an elected official responsible for overseeing the prosecution of all General Sessions and Family Court criminal cases. The state is divided into 16 judicial circuits, each consisting of two or three counties. Solicitor Will Rogers is responsible for the 4th Judicial Circuit, an area that includes Dillon and surrounding counties. Solicitor Rogers and his counterparts across the state run for re-election every four years.
Q: What is a bond hearing?
A: A court proceeding where the judge decides an amount of money or property that the defendant or their family must pay or put up to leave jail while they wait for the case to be called for trial. The bond serves as a guarantee the defendant will show up for trial. When setting a bond, the judge looks at the defendant's past criminal history, their ties to the community and the facts of the case and the defendant's prior criminal history. The judge must also consider the question of whether the defendant is a flight risk or a danger to the community.
Q: What can I do to help with my case?
A: Be patient. Keep us informed of any new mailing addresses or telephone numbers that you obtain. Make sure the information you give us about your case is accurate. You also need to make sure you save any expenses related to your case. This will help us prove your case in court.
Q: Why does it take so long for cases to come to court?
A: The Solicitor's Office strives to move cases through the system in a timely fashion but there are factors that influence the pace of movement. There is a limited amount of court time every year. A large number of criminal defendants request jury trials. Complicated cases take more time to prepare. Cases are often delayed while important pieces of evidence are tested by State Law Enforcement Division. SLED lab technicians serve police departments all over the state. They often have a huge backlog of items to be tested.
Q: What kinds of cases are heard in Family Court?
A: Generally, criminal cases where the defendants are 16-years-old or younger. Juveniles who commit felonies that carry 15 years or more are tried in General Sessions Court.
Q: What are my rights as a victim?
A: The right to be treated with respect and understanding, no matter what my criminal history or my lifestyle is. The right to be informed of when the defendant is arrested, released from custody, or has escaped. The right to be notified about court proceedings - bond hearings, preliminary hearings, arraignments, guilty pleas, jury trials, restitution hearings, etc. and given the opportunity to
speak to the judge at the appropriate times. The right to meet with the investigating police officer and the prosecutor before the trial. The right to have restitution ordered for losses incurred by the crime. The right to have assistance understanding the criminal justice system and support from victim advocates through meetings, conversations, and accompaniment to court proceedings. The right to apply for
funds to help with medical bills, funeral bills, counseling and lost wages through the Victim's Compensation Fund.
Q: What is a preliminary hearing?
A: This court procedure is the first step in a criminal case. A preliminary hearing is the right of the person charged with the crime. It is their chance to hear the evidence that the state has against them. A judge also decides if there is enough probable cause to charge defendant with the crime they are accused of committing.
Q: What is the purpose of a grand jury?
A: A grand jury is a panel of 18 citizens, selected each year, whose duty is to determine whether enough evidence exist to believe a crime has been committed. At least 12 of the 18 jurors must agree that the arresting agency or the victim in a self-signed warrant has enough evidence for them to grant an indictment or a true bill. An indictment serves as a charging document that prosecutors must prove
in General Sessions Court. In a case where the Grand Jury is not convinced a crime has been committed, a "no bill," is returned. The case is dismissed.
Q: What is Pre-Trial Diversion?
A: A rehabilitation program for non-violent, first-time offenders. Participants individually meet with counselors to discuss their progress in a demanding program. Participants also have to make restitution to their victims.
Q: What is transfer court?
A: Transfer court is available for defendants who have been charged with any crime that incurs up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $5,000. Defendants who are eligible have their cases presented to a Magistrate Judge. One of the benefits of transfer court is that it takes place twice a month with set court dates. This schedule leads to speedy dispositions for less serious cases.
Q: How long do I have to wait for a fraudulent check conviction to be dropped from my record?
A: You can have a fraudulent check conviction removed from your record one year from the date of your conviction, but only if there has been no further criminal activity.
Q: What is a VIS form?
A: A VIS form is an abbreviation that stands for Victim Impact Statement. This form was designed to protect the rights of crime victims in South Carolina's criminal justice system. Victims use this form to show how crime has affected their lives. The form will become part of the court record and it will follow the defendant through the criminal justice system. The judge will use the form to gain a better understanding about the details of the case and the losses, both financial and emotional. The victim can also indicate on the VIS form whether or not they want to be present for all court proceedings pertaining to their case. VIS forms need to be returned to the office in a timely manner.
Q: How will I get restitution?
A: A person that is ordered to pay restitution to a victim is put on probation. During this probation, they will have to comply with a strict payment plan that is set up by their probation officer. The state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services manages in a manner to insure there is no contact between the victim and the defendant. If you fail to receive a payment, you need to contact
Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
Q: How do I get a charge expunged from my criminal record?
A: Following a first offense conviction in Magistrate's Court or Municipal Court, a defendant may apply three years after the date of conviction to the Circuit court for an order expunging the records of arrest and conviction. This law doesn't apply to traffic offenses or criminal domestic violence. No person may have criminal record expunged more than once. After the expungement, the State Law
Enforcement Division is required to keep a non-public record of the offense and to ensure that nobody takes advantage of this law more than once. Contact the Solicitor's Office to apply.
Q: Can I report a crime to the Solicitor's Office?
A: In most cases, crimes must be reported to the police department that has jurisdiction over the area where the crime occurred. Solicitors prosecute crimes rather than investigate them.