|Serving Aiken, Bamberg, and Barnwell Counties
The Solicitor's Office is the prosecuting agency for criminal matters in Circuit Court, Family Court, and, in some cases, Magistrate's Court. Circuit courts are divided into two sections: Court of Common Pleas, which pertains to civil matters; and Court of General Sessions, which involves matters that are criminal in nature.
Court of General Sessions
Current General Sessions Court Roster
Prosecution of individuals charge with crimes which carry a potential punishment of more than 30 days confinement and/or more than $1,000 in fines.
Family Court (Juvenile)
Prosecution of juveniles (or minors under the age of 17) for criminal offenses is handled through Family Court.
Pre-Trial Intervention Program
Pre-Trial Intervention, also called PTI, is just as the name implies. It is intervening into a case before it comes to Court. This system allows the defendant to be diverted from conviction, enter a program of restitution, counseling and guidance, and return to society without the bad mark of a criminal record.
Only defendants who do not present a threat to society, have no significant prior criminal history, and involve non-violent crimes are allowed this one time "second chance".
In cases where it is appropriate to compensate victims for their losses, restitution is required from the defendant before he or she can complete the diversion program.
PTI is a self-supporting agency under the control and supervision of the Circuit Solicitor's Office, and is supported through cooperation of judicial, law enforcement and community service agencies.
Juvenile Arbitration Program
Allows a first time juvenile offender of a minor crime to clear his or her record by completing a tailor-made outline determined by a hearing.
The reduction of the caseload on the Department of Youth Services (DYS) allows the staff to concentrate on more serious cases.
Permits the community to play an active part in the juvenile justice system.
Victim-Witness Assistance Program (VWAP)
An advocacy program which assists victims and witnesses of crimes throughout the prosecutorial process. VWAP provides assistance with Victim Impact Statements, compensation, referrals, notification of case proceedings, courtroom procedures/accompaniment and employer and/or creditor intervention. VWAP works cooperatively with other advocacy, criminal justice and community agencies to improve services to victims.
Aiken County Juvenile Drug Court
A juvenile justice program for repeat, non-violent offenders between ages 12 and 16 1/2. The program if designed to provide early intervention and treatment for juveniles identified as having alcohol and/or drug problems. Through the use of sanctions and incentives, the Juvenile Drug Court promotes living alcohol- and drug-free lives while assisting participants with their individual needs.
Aiken office: PO Drawer 3368, Aiken, SC 29802, 803/642-1557 voice, 803/642-7530 fax
Barnwell office: PO Box 845, Barnwell, SC 29812, 803/541-1091 voice, 803/541-1112 fax
What is the Worthless Check Unit?
The Worthless Check Unit operates within the Office of Solicitor to provide for the collection and distribution of restitution to the victims of worthless checks.
The Program transfers the collection process from the victim to the Solicitors Office, reducing the victims work and cost associated with collections. The traditional prosecution of worthless checks is still the law.
Participation by a victim in the Worthless Check Program is optional.
The Worthless Check Program is selfsustaining under the control and supervision of Solicitor Thurmonds Office and is supported through cooperation of the judicial, law enforcement, and community service agencies. Operational costs are recovered from the offenders.
The establishment of a Worthless Check Unit within Solicitor Thurmond's Office has been authorized by the Legislature in R.294, H.4800, Proviso 46.6 of Act 310 of 2008 and is in partnership with the county governing body.