There has been a significant development in South Carolina domestic violence law, and one that is not good for the accused.
On March 9, 2017, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office issued a formal opinion to the governor’s office finding that domestic violence should be considered a crime of moral turpitude.
When a crime is determined to also qualify as one of moral turptitude it can have drastic collateral effects, specifically in the area of employment screening, professional licensing, and background checks generally. Other crimes of moral turpitude include offenses such as armed robbery, or forgery.
The Attorney General’s opinion specifically discussed this issue with regard to domestic violence 2nd degree, but as that is already classified as a misdemeanor, it stands to reason that this opinion would apply to all domestic violence charges, including CDVHAN, DV 1st degree, DV 2nd degree, and DV 3rd degree.
Currently under South Carolina law most employees can already be terminated simply for being arrested for domestic violence. If this opinion is applied, this means that anyone charged with domestic violence might face lifetime employment related consequences.
What this means for you or your family if you are facing a domestic violence charge is that it is now more important than ever for you to take the necessary steps to avoid a conviction- that means being successful with the defense strategy and achieving a dismissal or other favorable resolution.