In South Carolina, a post-conviction relief proceeding is a collateral attack on a criminal conviction. At this stage, the convicted person seeks to prove that his original trial lawyer was incompetent in handling his case or that there were other errors that prove his trial was unfair. New counsel may be appointed by the court and an attorney from the Attorney General's Office will represent the State. A hearing may be held before a judge in the county or circuit where the original trial occurred. The judge is required to issue a written order so the ruling will be by written order.