Don't Ride Together to CDV Court

Most people who are charged with a South Carolina CDV offense are told in bond court that they can have no contact with their alleged victim. A no contact bond restriction means absolutely no contact, whether by phone, e-mail, text message or in-person.

For whatever reason a great number of people seem to think that no contact means you and the alleged victim should ride to CDV court together. These defendants will not try to hide the fact that they are flagrantly violating the no contact order, and will go so far as to park right outside the front door and walk in together. I've even seen defendants with no contact orders actually walk into the courthouse holding hands with their girlfriend\spouse.

There are enough defendants with no contact orders violating it on the court date that many CDV courts actually have plainclothes officers in the parking lot to see who comes in together. At the courthouse in Lexington there is a second floor window overlooking the parking lot that serves as an informal observation point for officers watching to see who rides in with who to CDV court. Columbia also has a similar procedure.

Defendants are caught violating the no contact order in this manner by the officers, CDV prosecutor and sometimes even the presiding judge. When this happens defendants who think that they are coming for an ordinary bench trial, or who hired a CDV defense attorney and are instead coming for their pre-trial, find themselves instead facing an immediate contempt \ bond revocation hearing.

Defendants who flagrantly violate the no contact orders seem to be treated more harshly than other violators, and routinely face immediate jail sentences in the ten to thirty day range. Once that sentence is served the CDV case remains pending and the defendant could also still face more jail time or a fine if they are convicted.

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