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  1. #1
    djworza is offline Member
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    CDV in South Carolina

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? South Carolina. A couple of months ago, my wife and I had our first argument in 7 years. It was after a night of sipping wine and we were both a bit tipsy. I told the wife I was tired and was going to bed. She went downstairs first and when I came down, she had locked the bedroom door. I didn't even knock but simply went to the guest room and crawled into bed there just wanting sleep. I had a glass of wine on the night stand. A few minutes later wifey came in to continue the discussion. Not sure what was said that set her off but she threw the glass of wine in my face and eyes. I got up to wash out my eyes and wipe the wine off and wifey blocked the door. I asked her to move so I could get a towel and she refused. I pushed her aside and left for the bathroom. When I came back, she was on the floor crying. We decided to go to bed together and talk in the morning. About 30 minutes later the police arrive and I answer the door. They said they had a 911 call hang up from our location. You can imagine the rest. Wifey refused to give a statement and told the police that she made a mistake in dialing 911 and that she was upset and emotional, I was taken to a detention center and the State filed charges against me. That is the background. My wife then wrote a statement to the Solicitors office stating what I have outlined above saying she wanted the charges dismissed as nothing really happened and that she fell down that night because she had too much to drink she also pointed out that she told the police that the 911 call was a mistake. Court date on Oct. 4 and when it was our turn they offered me a PTI (Pre Trial Intervention) which would have dropped the charges if I agreed to a large list of things to do including 26 weeks of anger management, 60 hours of community service, 1 day of lifestyle training, random drug testing and a few other things. After proving there was never a restraining order issued, my wife and I went out in the hall to discuss options. We decided to do the trial right then in front of the Magistrate figuring that once he heard our story he would dismiss the charges. Well, after telling the story just as it happend as outlined above, it took him about 1/2 second to find me guilty of criminal domestic violence! I asked if I coud appeal and he said I could and gave me 14 days to file the appeal or to pay a $2,500 fine and this will then be on my record. What do you experts recommend I do? Can I ask for a jury trial at this point? They had told me originally that I had to ask for a jury trial BEFORE the trial with the Magistrate, this seems unfair. Wifey is extremely upset that no one listened to her.
    Last edited by djworza; 10-05-2010 at 03:57 PM.
  2. #2
    Hot Topic is offline Senior Member
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    It's up to the DA to decide whether or not to drop the charges. Wives (and husbands) regularly claim that nothing "really" happened, or if it did, they don't want action taken against the spouse because he/she was upset about losing h/h job, drank "a little" too much, "flies" off the handle every once in awhile, etc. Nothing "serious."

    Lose the "wifey." Doesn't sound like you take your wife seriously, but I think you're about to.
  3. #3
    djworza is offline Member
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    I take her very seriously, it is a pet name...she refers to me as hubby. But, that seems to be what we are up against. Everyone in the system thinks there is so much we are hiding, but we are not. It was a simple error that we BOTH made and we want it to go away.
  4. #4
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Well... 911 isn't a number to call lightly. Guess both you and your wife are learning a hard lesson.

    And no, you don't get a do-over because you made the wrong decision waiving a jury trial. GO ahead and appeal, but it's unlikely you'll prevail.
  5. #5
    djworza is offline Member
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    No doubt we learned a hard lesson. My wife feels terrible about the whole mess and knows she should have never called 911.

    But, why is it that just because I let a Magistrate hear the case and make his ruling am I then denied the right to appeal it to a jury? I also am amazed at how I am guilty until I prove my innocence....seems to go against the "innocent until proven guilty" that our laws say is the case.

    Anyway, I am meeting with a criminal law attorney on Monday to see what can be done at this point.
  6. #6
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by djworza View Post
    No doubt we learned a hard lesson. My wife feels terrible about the whole mess and knows she should have never called 911.

    But, why is it that just because I let a Magistrate hear the case and make his ruling am I then denied the right to appeal it to a jury? I also am amazed at how I am guilty until I prove my innocence....seems to go against the "innocent until proven guilty" that our laws say is the case.

    Anyway, I am meeting with a criminal law attorney on Monday to see what can be done at this point.
    Because you apparently opted against being represented and chose against a jury trial. So you WERE found guilty. You don't get to decide you chose poorly and go back for another round. You ARE a competent adult, right? So live with your decisions.
  7. #7
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by djworza View Post
    ...I pushed her aside ...
    I'm sorry, but what was your defense?

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