Can I Get A Domestic Violence Charge Dropped in SC?
If you have no prior record and you are charged with CDV 1st, you may be eligible for the Pre Trial Intervention (PTI) program.
The PTI program is a program that’s run by the State for first time offenders of non-violent crimes. If you successfully complete PTI, your CDV charge will be dismissed and expunged (deleted) from your criminal record.
Is PTI pleading guilty to CDV?
No, PTI comes before a trial (hence the name Pre-Trial). PTI doesn’t require you to enter a guilty plea; you’re not admitting to any wrong doing.
You are eligible for PTI if:
- You have never been through PTI (PTI is a one-time deal)
- You are 17 years old or older
- You are not a convicted felon
- You have no significant prior arrests or criminal history
How do I get into PTI?
1.) You’d go to your court date that’s written on your court papers and when your name is called, ask to get into the program. Going in front of a Judge can be an intimidating process, but if you have an experienced lawyer, he/she can walk you through the PTI process and help you feel more at ease.
2.) You will fill out a PTI application at your court date and give it to the Clerk at the Court. The Clerk will give you information on when and where you go next to fill out your application for PTI. This will usually be a week or so later.
3.) The PTI program is run by the Solicitor’s Office so you will be going there to fill out your PTI application. You must comply exactly with the directions given to you. Keep the papers you get from the Court in a safe place, like a folder and bring these papers with you to your PTI appointment.
Entry into this program is a privilege, not a right. These people’s opinion count when finding out if you can get into the program:
- The alleged victim of CDV
- The law enforcement officer
- The prosecutor/ solicitor (if there is one in your case)
- The Judge
What do I do to complete PTI for my CDV?
- Fill out the PTI application
- Pay the PTI fees ($100 application fee, plus $250 participation fee) - certified check or money order only made out the Solicitor’s Office
- If you are required to go to counseling, you are responsible for paying your own counseling fees
- Bring a photo ID and your social security card to your first PTI appointment at the Solicitor’s Office
- Complete PTI orientation on your second PTI appointment
- Complete Community Service Hours
- Keep all appointments and be on time for them
- Stay in the PTI program at least 90 days
- If you owe the alleged victim any money, pay it back
- Promise you won’t get rearrested while in the PTI program
- Stay in SC unless you get permission from PTI and your bondsman (if you have one)
- Agree to take (and pass) random drug tests
What if I live in a different state or county where the crime was allegedly committed?
You can still get into the PTI program. PTI is transferrable to other locations. You must go to your first meeting in the county where your case is pending. The application fee will be $150 instead of $100 if you want to have your PTI transferred to another location. You’ll need to get permission to move your PTI case to a different county from the Solicitor’s Office.
What if I don’t complete PTI?
You’ll get a court date from the PTI office to go back to Court. When you go back to court, you will either plead “guilty” or “not guilty” to CDV. If you believe you are not guilty, you should consider exercising your constitutional right to a jury trial.
Who can I talk to about PTI?
If you're not eligible for PTI, speak with an attorney who's handled CDV cases. They may be able to present you with some other options.
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