1

What is a Criminal Domestic Violence charge?

In South Carolina, an arrest for CDV can be based on the following involving a "household member", meaning a spouse, former spouse, person with whom you have a child in common or someone of the opposite sex with whom you lived or lived with in the past: 1. An incident of physical harm inflicted on a household member; or 2. An attempt to cause physical harm to a household member; or 3. A threat to cause physical harm to a household member. A CDV is a "relationship crime".

2

Procedure for Prosecution of Criminal Domestic Violence Charges

If you are arrested and charged with criminal domestic violence charges, make sure that you retain a lawyer before your bond hearing. It is imperative that you protect your rights throughout the entire process.

3

Penalties for Conviction

1st Offense: A fine of over $5,000.00 and/or up to thirty days in county jail. 2nd Offense: Mandatory Minimum of thirty days and up to one year in county jail. 3rd Offense: Mandatory Minimum of one year and up to five years in county jail. 4th Offense: Mandatory 1 year minimum up to five years in South Carolina Department of Corrections. If the allegations involve the use of a deadly weapon or serious bodily injury, you can be charged with Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (CDVHAN), which is a felony and carries a mandatory 1 year minimum up to ten years in prison. A second conviction will remain on your record for life.

4

Impact on your Divorce and Child Custody Case

Unfortunately when couples are in process of separating or contemplating separation and/or divorce, one party will bring criminal domestic violence charges against the other as a larger part of their plan to gain a stronger position in the upcoming domestic proceeding. Not minimize the serious nature of CDV charges, both men and women have brought charges against their partner in order to gain the upper hand as it relates to child custody, support and/or visitation. It is important to always keep a clear head as these charges can have serious implications as it relates to your case and have a lifelong impact.

5

Common Myth about Criminal Domestic Violence Charges

Common Myth: Most Criminal Domestic Violence Charges are brought against men. Truth: Women are also charged with Criminal Domestic Violence charges, even if they are significantly smaller in stature and weight than the man.