Victims' Rights

CLA is able to provide FREE legal services to crime victims thanks to a partnership with the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network. We can assist with civil matters like protective orders, privacy protection, financial abuse, property disputes, sexual harassment complaints, and more.

Please note that CLA does not take criminal cases, and we do not have any control over the criminal prosecution of crimes. Please contact the police department if you need to report a crime committed against you, and the public defender's office if you have been accused of a crime.  If you'd like to speak with an attorney over the phone or in person, just give us a call at (843) 640-5980, or click the button below to submit a contact form.

 
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Protective orders

South Carolina has three types of protective orders. Temporary restraining orders are issued by county magistrate court judges and require two police reports prior to filing. Temporary protective orders are issued by family court judges and are specifically for situations where you are restraining someone in your household (i.e. a family member or romantic partner, whether you are married or not). Both of these orders are intended to be relatively easy for someone to obtain without a lawyer, and the necessary paperwork is available here for protective orders and here for restraining orders (Items 51-57). In addition, SC Legal Services has produced an excellent self-help guide for protective orders, which is available here. We can do a free consultation to help walk you through the process of obtaining a restraining order, or we can provide an attorney to represent you.

The third type of restraining order is a permanent restraining order. These are only available to witnesses and victims of crime after the perpetrator has been convicted, and they can be issued by family, circuit, or magistrate's court. For more information please click here.

 
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privacy and other legal needs 

Being the victim of a crime can cause a wide range of difficulties. Whether you are looking for assistance with a civil suit against the perpetrator, assistance dividing property and finances from a former domestic partner and protecting yourself from financial abuse, or you are concerned about protecting your privacy rights during a criminal proceeding, particularly as the victim of sexual assault, we can assist in protecting your rights and minimizing the impact of a crime on your life.