CDV – Criminal Domestic Violence

Attorney general Alan Wilson has named criminal domestic violence (CDV) as the number one crime problem in South Carolina. The attorney general's website now states that there are 36,000 domestic violence incidents reported each year, and that in the past 13 years, an average of 33 women have been killed each year as a result of domestic violence in South Carolina.

As a result of increased publicity by the attorney general's office and other organizations, CDV in South Carolina has become a politically charged issue. On June 4, 2015, the new CDV laws went into effect and is measured by the severity of the offense as well as whether a person has prior CDV convictions. CDV in the third degree is a misdemeanor in magistrate or municipal court. CDV in the second degree is a misdemeanor in General Sessions Court. CDV in the first degree and CDV of a High and Aggravated Nature are both felonies in General Sessions court. Local law enforcement has received increased funding to assist in prosecuting CDV offenses, and in Horry County and many other counties around the state special CDV courts have been created.

On a regular basis I help people who feel that they have been victimized by the politics of CDV prosecutions. Officers arrive at a residence and arrest everyone in the house, or they tell people once they have been called they must arrest someone. Under South Carolina's domestic violence statute, officers are required to make a determination as to who the primary aggressor is and only arrest that person. But if they find evidence that no crime has been committed, they are not required to take someone to jail.

Alleged victims of CDV often believe that they can go to court and have their case dropped, and do not understand at first that it is not up to the victim. Only the prosecutor can dismiss a CDV case; and often they are under strict instructions not to dismiss. If you have been charged with CDV, or if you feel that your spouse or loved one has been wrongfully accused of CDV, call our Myrtle Beach office at 843-444-6122 or contact us online to see if we can help.