My question involves criminal law for the state of: South Carolina
I was called to come pick up my boyfriend at a bar. He was so drunk, he had fallen asleep at the bar. I was already in a bad mood b/c we had been bickering earlier that day, but went to pick him up anyway. When I got there, I told him it was time to leave, and he refused. We started arguing. I had finally had enough and tried to walk past him to get to my car, and he nudged my upper arm to block me. At this point, a bar patron, someone whom we did not know, tackled him, yelling “You don’t hit a woman!” My boyfriend, who was so drunk he could not defend himself, was punched several times in the face, resulting in being taken via ambulance to the ER for facial lacerations (4 stitches) and a facial fracture. His right eye was almost swollen completely shut. His attacker was not even ticketed, but my boyfriend was arrested for CDV.
My boyfriend has never hit me. We argue, as all couples do, but it has never gotten violent. The bartender was worried about my boyfriend’s attacker being arrested, and kept telling me I better tell the cops what really happened. A policeman finally found me in the bar (my boyfriend was outside being examined by the EMT’s) and asked what I wanted to happen. I told him I did not want my boyfriend going to jail. The bartender (ironically, a “friend” of my boyfriend) told the policeman that my boyfriend punched me in my arm, before I could even begin to tell my side of the story. I told the police it felt more like an open-handed touch, but the bartender insisted that he punched me. The cops and EMT’s checked my arm, and there were no marks. They did not even take pictures of my arm. I told the cops that my boyfriend has never hit me, we have a great relationship, he’s just going through a lot of emotional issues and got way too drunk, and just needed to go home and sleep it off. I even offered to go sleep at my parents’ house so he could rest without anymore confrontation. The cops explained to me that, b/c there were accusations of him hitting me, and I did admit to him touching me, they had to arrest him on CDV. I was very upset, shaking, crying, knowing this was being blown way out of proportion. I had everyone in the bar telling me my boyfriend is a bad guy and I needed to leave him. At this point, the police asked me to give a written statement on what happened. Our roommate walked up and told the cops it looked like my boyfriend had hit me in my face, and he was two steps behind the guy who hit him, about to beat him up. I was not upset at all when my boyfriend supposedly hit me. I did not lose my footing, did not cry out in pain, did not cry. I rolled my eyes at him and tried again to walk past him, and that’s when he was assaulted.
What worries me is the statement that I gave the police. I had been drinking earlier that day, and was extremely emotional. I was sick to my stomach, and kept telling the police, this was b.s. and he did not hit me. I told them I knew how to handle him when he got this drunk. The police seemed to empathize with me, but explained that they were required by state law to arrest him. In my written statement, I said that we had been arguing and he was very drunk, and that he either punched or open-handedly hit me in my arm, and that he was attacked and punched several times.
When I attended the bond hearing, the judge asked me if I wanted an Order of Protection, which I refused. He asked me if I was okay with my boyfriend being released that day, and I said yes, absolutely. He posted bond and was out a few hours later. His court date is 12/1/11 and he is in the process of getting a public defender. I have tried calling the victim advocate¸ but they will not return my call. The prosecutor/solicitor has not contacted me.
I want the CDV charge dropped, but I know it is not actually up to me at this point. I am also worried that I will be prosecuted if I change my statement. As far as I know, him putting his hand on my arm to keep me from walking away is not abuse, especially since there were no marks on me. The State is also using his attacker as a witness. Is there any hope of getting this dismissed? What do I do in the meantime, as the victim? Should I prepare a statement? I’m pretty sure his lawyer will request a continuance on 12/1. In addition, my boyfriend wants to press charges against the guy who broke his face, for future medical bills. He may have to have surgery to remove a piece of bone floating around in his cheek.