If you or someone you know is facing a Criminal Domestic Violence charge in South Carolina, it is likely wreaking havoc on the family.
Should I just "pay the fine" and get this over with?
If you've been charged with a CDV you understandably want to get this behind you and move on with your life. But did you know that paying a fine is the same as pleaing guilty to CDV? If you pay the fine and plea guilty, the CDV will be on your criminal record.
Can the victim drop the case?
You may have been told "the State will prosecute" regardless of whether the victim wants to. But the burden of proving the Defendant is on the State. If they have a witness that is uncooperative, it can make proving the case and getting a conviction on CDV very problematic.
Can I carry a gun if I am convicted of CDV in SC?
No. Federal laws prohibit anyone convicted of CDV or CDVHAN from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm or ammunition.
Does physical injury have to occur for someone to be found guilty of CDV in SC?
No. The law says that if the alleged victim reasonably thought there was a threat of physical harm, the accused can be found guilty of CDV. The threat must be imminent, which means that it must be possible for the physical harm to occur right then and there. If a reasonable person in the victim's shoes, would fear physical harm, then the accused could be found guilty of CDV.
What can a victim do if he/she voluntarily wants to drop the CDV?
The victim should never be forced or threatened by anyone into dropping a CDV charge. However, if the victim decides on his/her own free will that he/she wants to drop the CDV charge, this could help get your CDV case dismissed. The victim should as soon as possible in writing contact the law enforcement officer or solicitor. Filling out the form during the arrest of the defendant that indicates "I do not wish to prosecute" is not enough. This is a common misunderstanding. The State wants to know what the victim wants to do after the arrest: after the fight is over, after the parties have sobered up, after "the heat of the moment" is gone. That's why it's important for the victim to make contact after the arrest in writing.
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