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  • Frequently Asked Questions
 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. General Information and Questions

  2. Appeals and Requests for Reconsideration

  3. Court Appearances

  4. Criminal Domestic Violence Program

  5. Driver's License Issues

  6. Financial: Fines and Fees

  7. Jail

  8. Records and Warrants

  9. Restraining Orders, Orders of Protection, Harassment








General Information and Questions


What is the telephone number for the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles?

Please dial 1-800-442-1368 or (803) 896-5000 for all driver's license questions.


How do I get an attorney?

You have the right to hire your own attorney. If you cannot afford one, you may apply for a court-appointed attorney. The judge will consider the request, and based on criteria established by state law, determine whether you are eligible for court-appointed counsel.


What attorney should I call to handle my case?

Court employees are not allowed to recommend specific attorneys or law firms. You should contact the South Carolina Bar Association's free attorney referral service at (800) 868-2284. You can also check phone listings or ask your friends for recommendations.


What will be my sentence?

All cases in Greer Municipal Court are heard and evaluated on their individual merits. Each element is considered when a judge makes a decision. No one, other than the judge, can say what [s]he would do in your particular case.


Why did I receive this charge?

You will need to contact the officer or his/her supervisor at (864) 848-2151 (you may need to leave a message).


What happens at the arraignment?

You are advised of your rights and charges, and of the consequences of convictions and for not appearing in court. Bail/bond is determined during this process.


What victim services are available?

Victim services for Municipal Court cases are available through the Greer Police Department and Victim Advocacy Officer Megan Weibel at (864) 877-7985.  The victim advocate can explain the judicial system, act as a link between the prosecutor and the victim, give current case status information, assist in obtaining orders of protection, make referrals for counseling, food, shelter, etc. and escort victims while they testify or appear at hearings.


What sentence will I get if I plead guilty?

The judge imposes sentences. Court staff members cannot guess, as different facts and laws may apply to each case. However, certain offenses have mandatory sentences, meaning a judge cannot order a lesser sentence than is required. Other offenses allow a judge to use discretion. If a charge has a mandatory sentence, the judge will inform you at time of sentencing.


What number should I call if I have a Civil Case?

Judge Robert F. Simms is located in the Municipal Court Complex located at 100 South Main Street in Greer.  He may be reached by telephone at (864) 877-7464.


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Appeals and Requests for Reconsideration


How long do I have to file an appeal?

You have 10 calendar days from the date the judge made his/her decision (calendar days include Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). If the 10th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, you may file the next business day. You must file at Greer Municipal Court, located at 100 South Main Street, Greer, SC 29650, by the 10th day for it to be timely.


How long do I have to file a Request for Reconsideration?

You have 10 calendar days from the date the judge made his/her decision (calendar days include Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). If the 5th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, you may file the next business day. You must file at Greer Municipal Court, located at 100 South Main Street, Greer, SC 29650, by the 5th day for it to be timely.


Will I get another court date if I appeal?

Only if the Court of Common Pleas overturns the Municipal Court's decision.


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Court Appearances


Do I have to be in court today?

If you were given a court date and time, you will need to either: (1) appear and plea or ask for a continuance/jury trial, or (2) pay the ticket (if applicable) prior to court. If you do not appear, you are subject to having your driver's license suspended (in the case of traffic charges) or having a warrant issued for your arrest (in the case of criminal charges).


Can I represent myself?

According to state statute, you may represent yourself. You have the right to introduce evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, make closing arguments and otherwise present a defense to the charges.


My child (age 17 or older) received a ticket for possession of tobacco, underage drinking, etc. Does [s]he need to go to court?

Yes.


My child (age 16 or older) received a traffic ticket. Does (s)he need to appear in court?

In most cases, the ticket may be paid without an appearance; however, there are traffic charges that do require an appearance for traffic violations, regardless of age. If you have any questions regarding required appearances for traffic charges, call (864) 848-5374.


What is the procedure for entering a plea to a criminal charge?

There are 3 possible pleas to a criminal charge: (1) Not Guilty - you deny guilt and the City must prove the criminal charge against you; (2) Guilty - you admit you committed the act(s) charged, that the acts are prohibited by law and that you have no legal defense for such acts; or (3) No Contest (or nolo contendere) - you neither admit guilt nor deny it.


Can I plead by phone?

No. You either need to appear or pay the fine prior to your court date.


Can I get a "prayer for judgment"?

While a prayer for judgment is used in North Carolina, it is not available in South Carolina.


Can I appear earlier than my trial date and time and speak with the judge?

You must appear on your designated court date and time. Judges do not talk about pending cases without all parties present.


Can I pay my ticket and still appear to plead "not guilty?"

Payment indicates a guilty plea and forfeiture of fine monies. Appearing on your court date gives you a chance to ask for a reduction in fines or plead "not guilty."



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Criminal Domestic Violence Program


How long is the CDV program?

The program is 26 weeks long by state statute.


What happens if I do/did not show up on assigned date?

The agency will notify the court that you did not show and terminate you. You will also be subject to a Failure to Comply charge, which carries a fine of $500 and/or 30 days in jail.


What happens if I do/did not complete the CDV program?

The agency will notify the court that you did not complete your program and terminate you. You will also be subject to a Failure to Comply charge, which carries a fine of $500 and/or 30 days in jail.


What if I can't do the CDV program?

You need to contact Greer Municipal Court for re-sentencing.



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Driver's License Issues


What do I do if my driver's license is suspended for failing to pay a traffic ticket?

You will need to pay the amount(s) outstanding with that particular agency. Each agency will give you a form you will need at the South Carolina Highway Department, which will require you to pay reinstatement fee(s) to reinstate your license.


What is this letter you sent me saying if I don't pay my ticket my license will be suspended?

You received a Non-Resident Violator's Compact Notice for not appearing on your court date. If you choose not to pay the amount(s), we will notify the South Carolina Highway Department on the 16th day following your court date.



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Financial: Fines and Fees


What type of payments do you accept?

If you are paying in person, Greer Municipal Court accepts cash, cashier checks, money orders, debit cards, and credit cards.  If you are mailing your payment, Greer Municipal Court accepts only cashier checks and money orders (do not mail cash).  No personal checks are accepted for payment of fines.

Cashier checks and money orders may be mailed (include the ticket number and/or a copy of the ticket) to:

                 Greer Municipal Court
                 100 South Main Street
                 Greer, SC  29650


When do I have to have my fine?

All fines and restitution are due on the day of sentencing.


Can I have more time to pay?

Traffic charges (excluding DUI, DUS and Uninsured Vehicle) require full payment within 15 days of the date the case was heard. Criminal charges (including DUI, DUS and Uninsured Vehicle) are subject to extensive review and approval for time to pay.


What will happen if I don't pay my fine by the due date?

If you have a traffic charge and do not pay, your driver's license will be suspended until you do. If you have a criminal charge and do not pay, a warrant will be issued for Contempt of Court.


Can I pay my fine over the phone?

No.


When will I get my bond money back?

Bonds are only released upon order by a judge, dismissal of the charge or a finding of not guilty. The bond is returned only to the party posting it. Bond refunds follow the City of Greer's refund process and may take up to 60 days.


When will I get my money back?

Refunds follow the City of Greer's refund process and may take up to 60 days.


Who gets the money on a refund?

The person who paid the money will receive the refund.


What are court costs?

Court costs are fees and assessments assigned by state statute created by the South Carolina legislature. They are subject to change annually.


Why do I have to pay court costs when I didn't go to court?

Court costs/fees/assessments are established by the South Carolina legislature and are subject to change annually. These changes are updated in Greer Municipal Court's case management system under the complete control of the South Carolina Judicial Department. Court costs are assigned to the particular charge you were given -- not according to your court appearance.


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Jail


Can I get out of jail if served with a bench warrant?

If the bench warrant has a fine and/or restitution amount, the full amount can be paid in cash.  Personal checks are not accepted. Once the amount has been paid in full, you can be released from jail. If it does not have an amount, you will be brought before a municipal judge at the courthouse.


What is a surety bond?

A surety bond can come from a bondsman, a property with clear title, and/or friends or relatives who will make sure you will appear for court.


What is a recognizance bond?

You sign a bond form saying you will appear for court and follow any and all conditions until your court date.


What if I am in jail and have a court date?

It is your responsibility to contact Greer Municipal Court so you can be transported. If not, you will be tried in your absence and subject to contempt of court.


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Records and Warrants


How can I get a warrant off my record?

If you were found not guilty or the case was dismissed or nolle prossed, the court date was on or after June 2, 2010 and it was in Greer Municipal Court, we will automatically expunge it according to state statute. If you were found not guilty or the case was dismissed or nolle prossed, the court date was on or before June 1, 2010 and it was in Greer Municipal Court, you will need to submit a request. If you were found guilty, but have not had any further convictions for three years, you can get more information from the State Solicitor's Office.


Can I see my expunged file?

Once a record is expunged, all information about that record is destroyed (in the case of physical records) or deleted (in the case of digital records).


This isn't supposed to be on my criminal record. Why is it showing up?

Greer Municipal Court employees can only review daily business processes for any irregularities. You should direct questions about identity theft or a known person using your personal information to law enforcement or you should seek advice and assistance from legal counsel.


This isn't supposed to be on my driving record. Why is it showing up?

Greer Municipal Court employees can only review daily business processes for any irregularities. You should direct questions about identity theft or a known person using your personal information to law enforcement or you should seek advice and assistance from legal counsel.


Can I get my record expunged?

If you are found not guilty or the case is dismissed or nolle prossed (the prosecutor chose not to prosecute the case), you can have your record expunged. If you are found guilty, but do not have any further convictions for three years, you can apply to have your record expunged through the Greenville County Solicitor's office.


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Restraining Orders, Orders of Protection, Harassment


What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is an injunction for harassment.


Where can I get a restraining order?

You will need to see a magistrate for a restraining order.


What is an order of protection?

An order used for protection when there is a "family" relationship between the defendant and the victim. The victim must state how an act of domestic violence was threatened or committed against the victim.


Where can I get an order of protection?

You will need to see Family Court in the county in which you live for an order of protection.


What is harassment?

Harassment must involve a series of acts that can spread over a long or short period of time, usually within the last year. The acts must show a continuity of purpose directed at a specific person, seriously alarming, annoying, or harassing the victim without serving a legitimate purpose, which would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.


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