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What is a "no drop" policy?

What exactly does the "no drop" policy with regard to CDV arrests mean? In South Carolina when the police make a CDV arrest (frequently based on a "zero tolerance") basis, the case is not subject to be dismissed automatically later at the request of the alleged victim.

In criminal law the technical victim of any criminal act is the State. This is why criminal cases, domestic violence charges included, are always captioned State of South Carolina vs. Name of Defendant.

In most criminal cases if the real victim wants to have charges dropped they can do so. There is a thought that victims of domestic violence however may have their judgment clouded due to the close relationship they share with the defendant. Under this theory prosecution should continue, even over the victim's objections. This keeps the victim from dropping the charges based on feelings or because of pressure from the defendant.

For this reason CDV charges are not ordinarily dismissed or dropped by the police or prosecutor. If they were summarily dismissed the South Carolina Attorney General's office can and may pick the charge back up and continue with the prosecution. 

The "no drop" policy does not mean that cases cannot ultimately be resolved short of a trial, or through other means. It does make CDV cases more complicated than most other crimes, and is another reason that anyone facing a CDV prosecution should ensure that they hire a CDV defense attorney.

Categories: Domestic Violence


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James R. Snell, Jr. - Lexington Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
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