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Domestic Violence Cases - South Carolina

February 12, 2018

 

Domestic violence is a major problem in South Carolina and across the United States.  South Carolina consistently ranks in the bottom 5 in national statistics on domestic violence.

 

What exactly is domestic violence? Section 16-25-20 of the South Carolina Code of Laws makes it unlawful to 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.  

 

There are four different levels of domestic violence with elevating potential punishments:  

  1. Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN)

    1. Evidence shows defendant committed offense under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life and great bodily injury results; OR,

    2. Committed the offense 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,

    3. Defendant violated a Protection Order and, in the process, committed DV 1st degree.

    4. Classified as a Felony, Violent Crime, and Serious Offense with jurisdiction in General Sessions Court and potential punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment.

  2. Domestic Violence 1st Degree

    1. Base element of 16-25-20 AND

      1. 2 or more prior DVs within 10 years; OR,

      2. Inflicted great bodily injury or actions by means likely to cause great bodily injury; OR,

      3. Used firearm; OR,

      4. Committed 2nd degree DV AND

        1. Violated Protective Order; OR,

        2. Victim pregnant; OR,

        3. Minor person present or perceived the event; OR,

        4. Offense during robbery, burglary or kidnapping; OR,

        5. Offense committed by impeding victim's breathing; OR,

        6. Offense committed with physical force to block access to communication device preventing report to law enforcement.

    2. Classified as a Felony, Violent Crime, and Serious Offense with jurisdiction in General Sessions Court and potential punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment.

  3. Domestic Violence 2nd Degree

    1. Base element of 16-25-20 AND

      1. Inflicted moderate bodily injury or actions by means likely to cause moderate bodily injury; OR,

      2. 1 prior DV within 10 years; OR,

      3. Committed 2nd degree DV AND

        1. (same aggravating factors listed above)

    2. Classified as a Misdemeanor (by SC) with jurisdiction in General Sessions Court and potential punishment of up to 3 years imprisonment and/or $2500 - $5000 fine.

  4. Domestic Violence 3rd Degree

    1. Base element of 16-25-20

    2. Classified as a Misdemeanor with jurisdiction in Magistrate/Municipal Court OR General Sessions Court and potential punishment of up to 90 days imprisonment and/or $1000-$2500 fine.

As you see, the law of Domestic Violence in South Carolina can become complicated.  There are multiple other issues that arise in these cases to include Restraining Orders and prohibitions from possession of firearms and/or ammunition.

 

If you or a loved one has been involved in a domestic violence dispute, the Skipper Law Firm is here to help. Contact Chris at Skipper Law Firm LLC by phone at (843) 723-7177 or email at chris@skipperlawfirm.com for assistance.

 

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