A bench trial is what Municipal Court refers to as “a regularly scheduled court session” falls on every Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. (excluding holidays). The initiating/arresting officer prosecutes the case and the presiding judge determines guilt or innocence and imposes sentencing, if applicable, after hearing from all parties involved.
Please consult your Uniform Traffic Ticket or Bond Hearing form for date and time of your trial. Continuances can only be granted by the arresting officer. Please refer to your ticket or warrant for the name of your officer. You may contact him or her at the Police Department’s number, (864) 624-2000.
Criminal and traffic cases are heard during these sessions and are scheduled by the initiating/arresting officer according to his/her assigned court dates.
General Bench Trial Proceeding
Any individual with a case in Municipal Court has the right to be tried by a jury (S.C. Code Annotated §14-25-125). A jury panel in this court consists of six (6) people residing within the city limits of Clemson, South Carolina. Their names are provided electronically by the South Carolina Election Commission.
Requests should be made in person or in writing prior to the date and time of the scheduled Bench Trial. Once a person has signed up for a Jury Trial, they are not required to attend the original Bench Trial court date set by the officer. A Pre-Trial conference will be scheduled with the City Attorney. If the case cannot be resolved during this conference, you will be assigned the first available date for a Jury Trial. Questions relating to Jury Trials should be directed to Gail Fox, Clerk of Court, (864) 653-2042.
In a jury trial, the jury determines guilt or innocence. In Municipal Court the City Attorney prosecutes the case on behalf of initiating/arresting officer. Generally, defense attorneys represent the accused; however, defendants may elect to defend themselves as pro se. The presiding judge determines sentencing, if applicable.