(A) Evidence that the actor was suffering from the battered spouse syndrome is admissible in a criminal action on the issue of whether the actor lawfully acted in self-defense, defense of another, defense of necessity, or defense of duress. This section does not preclude the admission of testimony on battered spouse syndrome in other criminal actions. This testimony is not admissible when offered against a criminal defendant to prove the occurrence of the act or acts of abuse which form the basis of the criminal charge.

(B) Expert opinion testimony on the battered spouse syndrome shall not be considered a new scientific technique the reliability of which is unproven.

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 17-23-170

  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

(C) Lay testimony as to the actions of the batterer and how those actions contributed to the facts underlying the basis of the criminal charge shall not be precluded as irrelevant or immaterial if it is used to establish the foundation for evidence on the battered spouse syndrome.

(D) The foundation shall be sufficient for the admission of testimony on the battered spouse syndrome if the proponent of the evidence establishes its relevancy and the proper qualifications of the witness.

(E) A defendant who proposes to offer evidence of the battered spouse syndrome shall file written notice with the court before trial.