How Is Domestic Violence Defined In South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the Domestic Violence law states that it is unlawful to:
(1) Cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member; or
(2) Offer or attempt to cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member with apparent present ability under circumstances reasonably creating fear of imminent peril.
How Serious Are Allegations Of Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence charges in South Carolina are very serious and need to be taken very seriously. Within 24 hours of being arrested and charged, you will have a bond hearing to determine if you should be let out of jail and if so, how much bond you will have to post before being released. If you are ultimately convicted, the repercussions can be devastating and can include jail time, large fines, and loss of certain rights, including gun ownership. It is very important that you seek out and retain the best possible lawyer you can to represent you on your Domestic Violence charge.
Is An Order Of Protection Automatically Placed Once Domestic Violence Charges Are Filed?
An order of protection or restraining order will not automatically be put in place if charges are filed. However, very often, the bond judge will put a “no contact” provision in place at your bond bearing. If the Defendant then attempts to contact the alleged victim during the case, they can be charged with a separate crime.
How Is A Domestic Violence Charge Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?
Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature and Domestic Violence – 1st Degree are both felonies. Domestic Violence – 2nd Degree and Domestic Violence – 3rd Degree are both misdemeanors.
What Are The Penalties For A Domestic Violence Conviction In South Carolina?
Domestic violence of High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN) is a felony offense. You could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.
Domestic violence of the first degree is a felony offense. You could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
Domestic Violence – 2nd Degree: You could be sentenced to up to three years in prison and/or be fined between $2,500 and $5,000, if convicted.
Domestic Violence – 3rd Degree: You could be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail and/or be fined between $1,000 and $2,500, if convicted.
What Part Do Evidence And Witnesses Play In A Domestic Violence Case?
The evidence that will be presented in court always plays a large part in all criminal cases, including Domestic Violence charges. Which witnesses will come to court and what they will testify to can mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. In addition, how the evidence is presented and argued to a jury and judge will be very important. It is vital that you have a skilled courtroom litigator if and when your case goes to trial.
What Should I Do And NOT Do Once Domestic Violence Charges Are Filed Against Me?
First of all, you should exercise your right to remain silent and not give any statements without your attorney present. The very next thing you should do is research and hire the best Domestic Violence attorney you can. You will want to hire a criminal defense attorney with prior experience on both sides of criminal law, i.e. both the prosecution and the defense. You will also want to make sure your attorney is top-rated in his field and has a proven track record of achieving the results you are seeking.
What Defense Strategies Can Be Used In Domestic Violence Cases?
There are many strategies that a skilled Domestic Violence defense lawyer can deploy in these types of cases. The evidence will determine which defense to use. Often when then the evidence is there, self-defense is the proper strategy and defense to employ to defend these types of cases. Another powerful defense is simply that the events did not happen like the complainant alleged. In other types of cases, mitigating factors can be presented to the prosecutor outside of court or the judge or jury during court to minimize penalties or go for an outright dismissal of the charges.
For more information on Domestic Violence In South Carolina, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (843) 856-2222 today.