Like all states in America, South Carolina has laws that are designed to protect people from abuse inflicted by a member of their own household. It’s important to be aware of the details of these laws, not only so you can know your legal rights in the event that you’re a victim of domestic violence, but also so you’re aware of your legal rights in the event that you’re accused of perpetrating the crime of domestic violence. At De Bruin Law Firm, we believe that it’s important for all individuals to be considered innocent until proven guilty, and our criminal defense attorneys will fight hard to defend the rights of any individual who feels wrongly accused in these cases.
South Carolina’s Domestic Violence Charges
The Palmetto State employs what are known as a gradated domestic violence charges. This means they’re considered to be varying levels and types of domestic violence, each with their own specific definitions and potential penalties.
First Degree Domestic Violence
A person can be charged with first degree domestic violence if law enforcement officers determine they have caused or attempted to cause great bodily harm to a person in their household. First degree domestic violence charges also apply to someone who has violated a protective order, has two or more prior convictions for domestic violence within 10 years, commits domestic violence against a pregnant women, and a number of other situations.
Second Degree Domestic Violence
A person can be charged with second degree domestic violence if law enforcement officers determine they have caused or attempted to cause moderate bodily harm to a person in their household. This charge can also apply to a number of additional acts.
Third Degree Domestic Violence
A person can be charged with second degree domestic violence if law enforcement officers determine they have caused or attempted to cause any harm to someone in their household.
In addition to these gradated domestic violence charges, South Carolina lawmakers have set aside a fourth distinct category of charges. This category refers to domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, or DVHAN. A person can be charged with DVHAN if law enforcement officers determine that assault or battery has been committed with a deadly weapon, or in such a way that the victim feared serious injury and/or death.
De Bruin Law Firm understand that no case of domestic violence is black and white. Our criminal attorneys have years of experience with these type of cases, and are always available to discuss your particular circumstances.