City of Columbia Municipal Court


ADVISEMENT OF RIGHTS


You have a right and an obligation to be present at the City of Columbia Municipal Court located at 811 Washington Street, Columbia, SC for a bench trial on your court date and at any other time when summoned by the Municipal Court to appear before a judge.  

You have a right to a trial by a jury. If you want your trial to take place by jury, you must request a jury trial in writing prior to your bench trial beginning. Entering a plea before a judge in a bench trial constitutes a waiver of your right to a trial by a jury.   

You have a right to an attorney at your trial and at any other time when summoned by the Municipal Court to appear for motion hearings, rules to show cause hearings or other court appearances. If you are indigent according to the federal poverty guidelines, the court can appoint a public defender to represent you. The Public Defender’s Office has the right to charge you $40.00 for their services.   

If you are not present on your court date, you can be tried without a jury and sentenced by a municipal court judge. Failure to appear in court as required will result in the loss of any posted bond. Failure to appear in court for trial or at other times when summoned by the Municipal Court to appear will result in a waiver of your right to a public defender or a private defense attorney.  

If you are indigent according to federal poverty guidelines or have circumstances that would merit special consideration, the presiding judge has the option of considering community service in lieu of a fine or a jail sentence. The judge may also consider a scheduled time payment plan for payment of any fine imposed. You must be present on your court date to be considered for community service or a scheduled time payment plan. Failure to complete community service hours imposed by a Municipal Court judge or comply with a scheduled time payment plan may result in the suspension of your driving privileges by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles as well as the issuance of a bench warrant by this court.   

If the charges that have been brought against you are discharged, dismissed, or nolle prossed or if you are found not guilty, you may have your record expunged.