SECTION 22-3-550. Jurisdiction over minor offenses; restitution; contempt; maximum consecutive sentences.
(A) Magistrates have jurisdiction of all offenses which may be subject to the penalties of a fine or forfeiture not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both. In addition, a magistrate may order restitution in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars. In determining the amount of restitution, the judge shall determine and itemize the actual amount of damage or loss in the order. In addition, the judge may set an appropriate payment schedule.
A magistrate may hold a party in contempt for failure to pay the restitution ordered if the judge finds the party has the ability to pay.
(B) However, a magistrate shall not have the power to sentence any person to consecutive terms of imprisonment totaling more than ninety days except for convictions resulting from violations of Chapter 11 of Title 34, pertaining to fraudulent checks, or violations of Section 16-13-110(B)(1), relating to shoplifting. Further, a magistrate must specify an amount of restitution in damages at the time of sentencing as an alternative to any imprisonment of more than ninety days which is lawfully imposed. The provisions of this subsection do not affect the transfer of criminal matters from the general sessions court made pursuant to Section 22-3-545.