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South Carolina Supreme Court Opinion Published on CDV Sentencing

South Carolina Supreme Court Opinion Published on CDV Sentencing

On November 22, 2010, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding CDV sentencing. The case is Kelvin Nelson vs. Jonathan E. Ozmint in his official capacity as Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Opinion No.: 26894,

In this case the petitioner had plead guilty to CDV 3rd and received a sentence of 15 months imprisonment. He received credit for 162 days of pre-trial detention. Upon arrival at the Department of Corrections his release date was calculated at one year after he was originally incarcerated. The defendant challenged this calculation, arguing that he should be eligible for good time and work credits as are made available to other defendants.

The Court analyzed the language contained in S.C. Code § 16-25-20(B)(3) which states: for a third offense [of CDV], the person is guilty of a felony and must be imprisoned not less than a mandatory minimum of year year but not more than five years. The Court compared this language to the sentence provisions for CDV 2nd which specifically provided for good time credits. Because the statute specified good time credits for CDV 2nd but not for 3rd the Court held that the intent of the legislature was to require those convicted of CDV 3rd to serve a minimum of one year "day for day."


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