General Sessions Court Information

South Carolina Circuit Courts are divided into two divisions:

  1. General Sessions (Criminal Court – Rule 40)
  2. Common Pleas (Civil Court – Rule 79)

General Sessions is the criminal division of South Carolina’s Circuit Courts. General Sessions is sometimes referred to as the “high” court for criminal offenses because all felony criminal charges and most misdemeanor criminal charges that carry more than 30 days and/or a fine of more than $100 are heard in General Sessions.

The Magistrate and Municipal Courts, meanwhile, typically handle misdemeanors where the maximum penalty does not exceed 30 days and/or a $100 fine. There are exceptions to this general rule, however, and some misdemeanor offenses can be heard in either General Sessions or the Magistrate/Municipal courts.

We are the 16th Judicial Circuit of South Carolina (York and Union Counties). We handle General Session cases in the circuit and assist in some magistrate-level cases. On the right of this page, you will see a list of links that will take you to information about our circuit.

Rule 40 is substantially a compendium of present Circuit Court Rules governing the preparation of trial rosters, setting the order of cases for trial, and granting postponement or continuance.  The Federal rule simply directs that the District Courts shall provide local rules on these matters.  

For more information on General Sessions Court in South Carolina, please review Rule 40 – SC Judicial Branch or call (803) 628-3020.


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16th Circuit Solicitor's Office
16th Circuit Solicitor's Office7 days ago

Yesterday, Derrick Cook was sentenced to eighteen years for breaking into a York County man’s house in the middle of the night and duct-taping and assaulting him.

Cook was scheduled for trial but pleaded guilty to a range of fifteen years...