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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criminal defense attorneyA world without skilled criminal defense attorneys to protect our rights would be a very scary place indeed. When you need a good South Carolina criminal defense attorney, you’re making one of the biggest decisions of your life, and you need to know what to expect from your lawyer.

Experience and expertise

An arrest can haunt you for the rest of your life, so you need an attorney who can successfully challenge criminal accusations. Especially if you are facing severe penalties, high fines, or jail time, you want a Charleston criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience in the type of crime you have been accused of. He or she will be an expert in case law, precedent, and how to best defend you against the charges.

When you meet with a prospective lawyer, ask how many cases like yours he or she has handled and how many were successful. If you sense hesitation, or the attorney has not handled as many cases as you feel comfortable with, look for a different attorney. However, if money is an issue and your prospective attorney is part of a firm with plenty of experience, he or she will have the firm’s expertise backing him or her. Often, less-experienced lawyers are more affordable than their firm’s partners are.

Full spectrum of representation

You want an attorney who is just as skilled at bond reduction as he or she is at a jury trial. Your law firm should be able to successfully handle your case from arrest through expungement.

Excellent investigative skills

Your attorney should have investigators who are highly trained in collecting evidence in your defense. If a prospective attorney doesn’t mention investigation on your behalf, look elsewhere.

Aggressive defense attitude

You want your criminal defense lawyer to fight for you as if he or she were the defendant. If you meet with a prospective attorney and don’t feel a sense of urgency and aggressive protection of your rights, he or she is not for you.

Available 24/7

Not everything in life happens during business hours. Your South Carolina criminal defense attorney should be willing and able to meet with you when you need him or her, and let you know that when you retain him or her.

We know that justice can be elusive for those accused of a crime, guilty or not. We do not tolerate abuses of power, and we will not hesitate to act aggressively defending your rights. Whether you have been accused of criminal domestic violence, criminal sexual conduct, shoplifting, or DUI / DWI, we will aggressively defend you. No matter where you live in the Charleston area, whether it’s Isle of Palms, Summerville, or Folly Beach, we uphold your rights and ensure the law treats you fairly.

Have questions about criminal defense? Contact us today.

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