Domestic Violence is a real and serious issue.  Unfortunately, in divorce actions both parties use the claim of domestic violence as leverage in getting a divorce and obtaining custody of children.  There has been a rise of abusers using the domestic violence laws against their abused spouse by turning the laws upside down.  These abusers will use domestic violence laws to arrest, prosecute and sentence their partner as an abuser so that they gain control. Check out HANGING ON BY MY FINGERNAILS: SURVIVING THE NEW DIVORCE GAMESMANSHIP, AND HOW A SCRATCH CAN LAND YOU IN JAIL by Janie McQueen.

In South Carolina, Criminal Domestic Violence is when you

“(1) cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member; or

(2) offer or attempt to cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member with apparent present ability under circumstances reasonably creating fear of imminent peril.”

S.C. Code Ann. §16-25-20 (A)(1)-(2).

Actual injury is not a requirement to be convicted of CDV, and an attempt is enough. Once a person is arrested, it is up to the State, not a victim, as to whether or not to prosecute or drop the charges.

Allegations of Criminal Domestic Violence are serious and can have far reaching consequences. It is not unheard of one spouse calling the police on the other spouse to allege criminal domestic violence in order to get an upper hand in divorce litigation.  It is important that you protect yourself while going through a divorce.