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Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch


(a) Notice of Right. Any defendant charged with a crime not triable by a magistrate shall be brought before a magistrate and shall be given notice of his right to a preliminary hearing solely to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to warrant the defendant's detention and trial. In the case of bailable offenses, the notice shall be given at the bond hearing. In the case of non-bailable offenses, the notice shall be given no later than would be required if the offense were bailable. Notice shall be given orally and also by means of a simple form providing the defendant an opportunity to request a preliminary hearing by signing the form and returning it to the advising magistrate. In all cases, the request for a preliminary hearing shall be made within ten days after the notice.

(b) Time for Hearing. If the defendant requests a preliminary hearing, the hearing shall be held within ten days following the request. The hearing shall not be held, however, if the defendant is indicted by a grand jury or waives indictment before the preliminary hearing is held. The defendant may appear by counsel or in person or both.

(c) Probable Cause. If probable cause be found by the magistrate, the defendant shall be bound over to the Court of General Sessions. If there be a lack of probable cause, the defendant shall be discharged; but his discharge shall not prevent the State from instituting another prosecution for the same offense.

(d) Conclusion of Hearing. After concluding the hearing the magistrate shall transmit forthwith to the Clerk of the Court his findings together with all papers in the hearing.

(e) Delays. Any delay in the holding of a preliminary hearing shall not be grounds for a delay in the prosecution of the case in the Court of General Sessions.


Rule 2 is the language of Criminal Practice Rule 9.