Charleston County Domestic Violence Court to resume
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) — Ninth Circuit Attorney Scarlett Wilson said Charleston County Domestic Violence Court operations will resume citing the backlog of criminal cases from general sessions.
In a statement, Wilson says the following:
We have tried for several years to centralize domestic violence cases in the magistrates’ courts. Eventually, we moved away from centralization in the magistrates’ court when a 2015 change in law allowed us to pursue DV cases in the third degree in General Sessions Court. At the time, the use of general sessions, as opposed to remote magistrates’ court, helped to streamline geographically and conserve resources for public defenders and prosecutors. The county courthouse complex also provided greater security for all parties. Recently, the county council provided new courtrooms and magistrates’ chambers within the court complex where prosecutors and public defenders are located. We can now pursue third-degree cases there without having to send most lawyers on the road. In addition, the role of general sessions has swelled and the Circuit Court cannot effectively handle domestic violence cases where an immediate response is essential. The Centralized Domestic Violence Court will relieve some of the backlog pressure on the General Sessions Court.
The Domestic Violence Court will sit every Monday morning at 101 Meeting St.
All third-degree domestic violence cases in Charleston County will be handled there. Defendants in court can request a jury trial, bench trial, or plead guilty.
Municipalities will continue to manage their own cases.
Read Wilson’s full statement below.
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