South Carolina Domestic Violence Overview

South Carolina has enacted a tough law on Criminal Domestic Violence. It creates misdemeanor as well as felony level charges. Even first time offenders may have high fines and mandatory prison time.

Under S.C. § 16-25-10, et seq., you may be arrested and charged with domestic violence if you:

  • Cause physical harm or injury to a person's own household member; or
  • 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.

Additionally pursuant to S.C. § 16-25-65, the charge may be an automatic felony if the allegations include:

  • An assault and battery which involves the use of a deadly weapon or results in serious bodily injury to the victim; or
  • An assault, with or without an accompanying battery, which would reasonably cause a person to fear imminent serious bodily injury or death.

You can also review a complete copy of the CDV law along with our office's commentary.

Those arrested for CDV or CDVHAN must abide by restrictions placed upon them at their original Bond Court proceeding in order to be released, and remain released, pending trial or final resolution. These restrictions may include "no contact" provisions that prevent someone from having contact with their spouse or returning to their own home.

Many times individuals may make allegations of domestic violence, or try to have law enforcement make a CDV arrest out of an exaggerated situation caused by alcohol or drug use. Other times allegations of domestic abuse are made to gain a prospective advantage in a planned or pending divorce or Family Court case.

As a Criminal Defense Attorney, James Snell represents clients who are charged with CDV or CDVHAN. All of his clients will receive individual and personalized attention including:

  • Meetings with his clients and notification of updates in the case;
  • Representation at all Court proceedings;
  • A comprehensive review of the State's evidence;
  • A full discussion of the charges, available defenses and planned strategy to be used;
  • The willingness to represent them in a contested jury trial fully challenging the charges.

As a litigation and trial attorney James Snell does not pressure his clients into guilty pleas. He believes that however the case can be resolved, be it through PTI, a probationary sentence, guilty plea or trial, should be his client's decision and not made by the police, prosecutor or anyone else.

Domestic Violence charges present special challenges not found in other cases. These are because unlike other crimes the alleged victim and offender frequently enjoyed a close personal relationship and may be married or have children together. Many cases also involve victims who are either seeking to have the charges unsuccessfully dismissed due to the State's "no drop" policy. The opposite may also be true where the alleged victim may seek to base CDV or CDVHAN charges through exaggerated or false allegations.

If you or a loved one is facing a South Carolina domestic violence or other criminal charge you may contact our office today for a free and confidential consultation. Please call (888) 302-5840 today. Appointments are held in our office at 123 Harmon Street in downtown Lexington, South Carolina.

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