hannahan criminal domestic violence attorneyAccording to the South Carolina Attorney General’s office, more than 36,000 domestic violence incidents are reported every year, and at least 30 women are killed every year by their partners.

South Carolina law defines criminal domestic violence as offering, attempting to cause, or causing “physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member with apparent present ability under circumstances reasonably creating fear of imminent peril.” Household members are defined as “a spouse, a former spouse, persons who have a child in common, or a male and female who are cohabiting or formerly have cohabited.”

In addition, South Carolina elevates criminal domestic violence to the crime of “criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature” if a deadly weapon is involved, the incident results in serious bodily injury, or the incident “reasonably causes a person to fear serious bodily injury or death.”

If convicted of criminal domestic violence, the first and second offenses are misdemeanors and result in fines of $1,000 up to $5,000 and jail time ranging from 30 days to one year. If the offender completes a domestic-violence treatment program, these penalties may be reduced or suspended—except for the mandatory minimum thirty-day jail sentence on a second offense.

A third conviction of criminal domestic violence is a felony, and the offender must be jailed for a minimum of one year. Any conviction in another state of a crime similar to criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature within the preceding 10 years counts as a prior offense in South Carolina. If you have previous domestic violence conviction, you need a South Carolina criminal defense lawyer to assist you in reducing the impact of that offense.

Any conviction in South Carolina of criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature is a felony punishable by a minimum of one year in jail.

Law enforcement officers have the right to execute a warrantless search and arrest if they have probable cause to believe the person is committing or has just committed criminal domestic violence. Violating the terms of an order of protection related to domestic violence, including an order issued in another state, is a misdemeanor and will result in jail time and a fine.

Statutes governing criminal domestic violence can be found at SCStateHouse.gov.

Whether you live in Hanahan, Summerville, or North Charleston, if you have been accused of criminal domestic violence and need legal representation by an experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorney, contact us today.

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