When someone is arrested for CDV in South Carolina they are usually given a date to appear on their ticket. Many people have an expectation that there first Court appearance will be for a preliminary hearing or an arraignment. This is not the process in South Carolina.
In a preliminary hearing a judge would hold a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to allow a case to actually be prosecuted. If the judge isn't satisfied there is enough evidence the case would be dismissed.
At an arraignment the formal charges are read to the defendant, usually along with an explanation of the potential penalties if convicted. The defendant is then given an opportunity to plead "guilty" or "not guilty".
In almost all cases the first date provided to a CDV defendant is a bench trial date. This is where a judge can take a defendant's guilty plea or provide them a bench trial (no jury). There is no preliminary hearing or formal arraignment conducted prior to the beginning of a bench trial. It is important for those charged with CDV to make arrangements to investigate or challenge their cases before arriving at the CDV Court.