The first question we are asked by most clients arrested for DV 3rd is how much jail time they are facing. I don't think we have ever encountered a client that was anxious to return back to the detention center for any length of time.
The easy answer to this question is 90 days. But I don't think this information is helpful for the average person charged with DV 3rd, and certainly not for our clients.
While every case technically carries a possible jail sentence, I have never seen a case where I thought someone was truly at risk for the maximum sentence. In fact most people aren't at any practical risk for any time as long as they take the proper measures regarding their case. These include things such as:
- Honoring any "no-contact" bond restriction. This means not having any contact with your partner while the case is pending until you have been given permission to do so by the court.
- Being prepared to cooperate with any court-ordered domestic abuse counseling, or to pay any court costs or fine assessed. Keep in mind that the court can't order these items unless you either plead guilty, no-contest, or are found guilty at trial.
- Maintaining a respectful attitude toward the court. This includes being on time, dressed appropriately, polite to the court staff, and not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.
So while I don't think that many people that can follow these basic rules are at risk of a jail sentence, I do believe that everyone is at risk of the complications of a conviction. This can include the loss of your job, child-custody or divorce implications, inability to pass future employment screenings, loss of ability to own or possess a firearm. This is why we recommend that everyone charged with any South Carolina domestic violence crime consult with a lawyer before going to court.
The attorneys at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, are hired by clients not simply to help avoid a maximum jail sentence, but to do everything legally possible to help them avoid the conviction. If you are facing any South Carolina domestic violence charge contact our office today. We will be happy to provide you with a free copy of the book "Challenging CDV", now in its 2nd edition. You are also welcome to contact us for a
free in-office consultation with a DV 3rd defense attorney.