Domestic Violence

Let a Domestic Violence Lawyer Evaluate Your Case

If you are charged with a domestic violence offense in the Upstate of South Carolina, you need to be aware of the very serious consequences you face. You could be fined. You could lose your right to carry a firearm. You could be evicted from your apartment or home. Ultimately, you could be jailed.

The domestic violence lawyers of KD Trial Lawyers can help you. We will protect your rights and seek a possible resolution of your case.

Our firm features lawyers with a wide range of experience, including family law, who can contribute to your defense. We take a team approach to all of our cases.

Types of Domestic Violence Crimes in South Carolina

You may have been charged with one or more of the four types of offenses that are considered domestic violence crimes in South Carolina. These crimes (and their potential punishments) are: 

  1. Domestic violence – Under state law, it is unlawful to:
  • Great Bodily Injury: Bodily injury that causes substantial risk of death or serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment.
  • Moderate Bodily Injury: Physical injury that either involves prolonged loss of consciousness, causes temporary/moderate disfigurement, causes temporary loss of function of a bodily member or organ, results in the need for medical treatment requiring use of regional or general anesthesia, results in fracture or dislocation. Does NOT include one time treatment and subsequent observation of scratches, cuts, bruises, burns, or other minor injuries not requiring extensive medical care.
  • Household member: Spouse, former spouse, persons who have a child in common, or people who are living together in an intimate partner relationship. A child in common may include people who are pregnant. The law applies equally to same sex relationships.
  • Prior Conviction for Domestic Violence: Includes conviction of any crime, in any state, containing among its elements those in, or substantially similar to the South Carolina Domestic Violence statutes within 10 years prior to the incident date of the current offense. Prior South Carolina convictions for CDV and CDVHAN also still count as a prior conviction for Domestic Violence.
  • Protective Order: includes order of protection, restraining order, condition of bond, or any similar order issued in South Carolina or another state to protect a household member.

Degrees of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence, Third Degree:

  • Defendant caused physical harm or injury to a household member or offered or attempted to cause physical harm or injury to a household member with apparent present ability under circumstances reasonably creating fear of imminent peril.
  • Penalties: up to 90 days incarceration and or a fine between $1000 – $2500. Misdemeanor.

Domestic Violence, Second Degree: Defendant committed DV 3 and either:

  • Inflicted moderate bodily injury or actions were accomplished by means likely to result in moderate bodily injury or
  • Has 1 prior domestic violence conviction in the past 10 years or
  • Was in the process of violating a protection order or
  • Knew or should have known the victim was pregnant or
  • The offense was committed in the presence of or while being perceived by a minor or
  • The offense was committed during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft or
  • The offense was committed by impeding the victim’s breathing or air flow or
  • The offense was committed using physical force or the threatened use of force against another to block that person’s access to any cell phone, telephone, or electronic communication device with the purpose of preventing, obstructing, or interfering with a report to law enforcement or request for assistance from emergency medical providers.
  • Penalties: up to 3 years incarceration and/or a fine of $2500 – $5000. Misdemeanor.

Domestic Violence, First Degree: Defendant committed DV 3 and either:

  • Inflicted great bodily injury or actions were accomplished by means likely to result in great bodily injury or
  • Has 2 or more prior domestic violence conviction in the past 10 years or
  • A firearm was used in any manner while committing the offense or
  • While in the process of committing Domestic Violence, Second Degree one of the following also results:
  • Was in the process of violating a protection order or
  • Knew or should have known the victim was pregnant or
  • The offense was committed in the presence of or while being perceived by a minor or
  • The offense was committed during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft or
  • The offense was committed by impeding the victim’s breathing or air flow or
  • The offense was committed using physical force or the threatened use of force against another to block that person’s access to any cell phone, telephone, or electronic communication device with the purpose of preventing, obstructing, or interfering with a report to law enforcement or request for assistance from emergency medical providers.
  • Penalties: Up to 10 years incarceration. Felony.
  • Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature: Defendant committed DV 3 under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life and great bodily injury results or
  • Inflicted great bodily injury or actions were accomplished by means likely to result in great bodily injury or
  • Committed DV 3 with or without the accompanying battery, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, and would reasonably cause a person to fear great bodily injury or death or
  • Was in the process of violating a protection order and, in the process of violating the order, committed DV 1.
  • Circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life include but are not limited to:
  • The use of a deadly weapon or
  • Knew or should have known the victim was pregnant or
  • The offense was committed in the presence of or while being perceived by a minor or
  • The offense was committed during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft or
  • The offense was committed by impeding the victim’s breathing or air flow or
  • The offense was committed using physical force or the threatened use of force against another to block that person’s access to any cell phone, telephone, or electronic communication device with the purpose of preventing, obstructing, or interfering with a report to law enforcement or request for assistance from emergency medical providers.

Other Consequences of Domestic Violence Conviction

In addition to direct criminal punishment, you could also face costly collateral consequences if you are convicted of a domestic violence crime in South Carolina. You could:

  • Be convicted under state and/or federal law for carrying a firearm.
  • Be evicted from your home.
  • Lose custody of your child or the right of visitation.This is why you must take a domestic violence charge seriously. You need to get legal help from a domestic violence lawyer immediately.

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