Cayce Domestic Violence Lawyer

Because the penalties in Cayce domestic violence cases can be quite serious, it is vital to make sure that all the facts are thoroughly investigated and that they are presented to the court in the proper light. If you have been accused of a domestic violence crime, do not hesitate to consult with an experienced Cayce domestic violence lawyer to avoid mistakes which could jeopardize your case.

A skilled defense attorney can begin working to collect and preserve important evidence to build a professional defense strategy on your behalf. Read on to learn more about how a dedicated Cayce domestic violence lawyer could make a difference in your case today.

Domestic Violence Laws and Penalties in South Carolina

Criminal domestic violence offenses are divided into three separate degrees under §16-25-20 of the South Carolina Code. This statute prohibits someone from either causing injury to a member of their own household or threatening to cause such injury in a way that would cause a reasonable individual to fear they were in imminent danger. The most serious domestic violence offense is Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN), which is a felony and is punishable by up to twenty years in prison. The second most serious of these crimes is domestic violence in the first-degree. This felony offense is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Misdemeanor Penalties

While second-degree domestic violence is referred to in §16-25-20(C) as a misdemeanor, the penalties include a minimum fine of $2,500 up to a maximum of $5,000 as well as a potential prison sentence of up to three years. Domestic violence in the third-degree is also a misdemeanor with a minimum fine. Those convicted of third-degree domestic violence will be fined an amount between $1,000 and $2,500 and may also be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail.

What Factors Impact the Severity of a Crime?

Many different circumstances will determine whether a domestic violence offense is considered to be in the first, second or third-degree. The factors that distinguish a first-degree domestic violence crime from others include great bodily injury or the potential for great bodily injury resulting from the act, the use of a firearm, or the existence of two or more prior convictions.

Aggravating Factors

If the circumstances are less extreme, the crime may be treated as domestic violence in the second-degree. Examples include the causation of a moderate injury instead of a great injury or the existence of one prior conviction instead of two. In addition, certain factors could escalate a second-degree domestic violence crime to first-degree, or escalate a third-degree offense to that of second-degree. These factors include:

  • The presence of a minor
  • The violation of a protective order
  • An offense committed against someone who is known to be pregnant
  • An offense committed during commission of a robbery or kidnapping
  • Use of strangulation
  • Harm is used as a threat to prevent reporting of a crime to authorities

Because these aggravating factors can prove to have serious consequences, it is important to retain the services of a weathered Cayce domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible for legal representation.

How a Cayce Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help

If you are facing domestic violence charges, it can be reassuring to know that a seasoned Cayce domestic violence lawyer will be able to explain those charges and how courts have ruled in similar circumstances to help you evaluate your options and pursue the right defensive strategy for you. Reach out to a qualified Cayce domestic violence lawyer today to schedule your initial consultation.