Frequently Asked Questions
- To be treated with dignity and compassion
- Receive assistance with protection from intimidation and harm
- Be educated concerning the criminal justice process
- Assistance with the preservation of property and employment
- Receive special recognition and attention for those who are very young, elderly, handicapped or have special needs
- Submit Victim Impact Statement in a timely manner.
- Update on your identification information (legal name, address, email, telephone number).
- Provide details of financial loss for restitution.
- Notify appropriate authority of desire to be present for hearings
- Notify appropriate authority of desire to make oral and/or written statements for court appearances.
- Notify appropriate authority of desire to be notified of post –conviction proceedings.
- Provide Victim Impact Statement form and assist in completing it
- Inform of practices and procedures of the court
- Assist with the return personal property
- Inform and assist with compensation and financial resources
- Inform of status and progress of case
- Confer regarding decisions and disposition of case
- Notification of court events
- Assist with creditors, employers, etc.
- Assist with threats and intimidation
- Minimize inconvenience
- Refer to appropriate services and assistance
- Inform of right to legal counsel
- Provide a comfortable waiting area
No. The Solicitors prosecute on behalf of the state, which means they works for you. However, if there are Civil, Family Court, or Probate issues attached to your case, you will be required to find your own attorney.
To receive restitution you must provide proof of financial loss in relation to your court case including copies of receipts, bills, estimates, and other supporting documentation. The amount you actually receive is at the discretion of the court.
The Solicitor’s Office strives to move cases through the system in a timely fashion but there is no definite time limit because there are many factors that influence the pace of case resolution.
- Bond hearing- hearing in front of a judge to determine the amount a defendant is required financially to meet in order to be released pending resolution of the case
- Preliminary hearing– the state must show probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed the offense. The magistrate judge decides whether there is enough evidence to move the case forward. You will be given notice of the Preliminary Hearing by Aiken County Victim Services.
- 1st Appearance– the first time the defendant is required to come to court after he/she is arrested. The defendant must show that an attorney has been obtained. Victims are not involved in this process.
- 2nd Appearance– defendant tells if he/she would like to plead guilty or want a trial; discussion of plea offer and possible court date. A case that is set for trial will generally take longer due to the preparation involved. Victims are not involved in this process
- Motion hearing– a request for a court to do something in a case that is currently open and still in progress. It will usually involve issues such as bond, what kinds of documents the parties must turn over to each other and defendant representation issues.
- Guilty Plea– A guilty plea consists of a defendants admitting having committed the crime(s) charged and a court agreeing to accept that admission and sentencing the defendant.
- Trial-The presentation of the facts of a case in court before a judge (bench trial) or a judge and jury (jury trial), ending with a decision about the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
You are not obligated to attend court proceedings however, the attorney may request your presence under certain circumstances. You will have to participate and may have to testify if your case goes to trial.
- Conservative or business casual attire is appropriate for a court appearance. Flip flops, hats, shorts, and any revealing clothing is inappropriate. Men should have shirts tucked in. Young children are not allowed in court. Arrange for child care for minor children.
- Cell phones and pagers must be turned off before entering the court room.
- All purses, bags, briefcases etc. are subject to search upon entering the courthouse.
- No food or drink are allowed in the courtroom.
- No talking while court is in session, except to authorized personnel.
- The courtroom is a place of serious business which requires attentiveness and respectfulness.
- If you have questions
- If you want to be kept informed
- If you have been threatened or harassed
- If you need community service assistance
- If you need help with medical, funeral or counseling
- If you have fears about your involvement in the case