Defending Domestic Violence Charges in Columbia

When someone is charged with domestic violence, it is essential they contact a seasoned domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. A domestic violence offense is a serious crime that could have long-lasting consequences on a person’s career, reputation, and freedom. The wide range of penalties and the public perception of domestic violence cases are incredibly negative, despite the fact that people do not always know the facts and circumstances surrounding each individual case. An accomplished lawyer could fight these charges and properly investigate the case.

If you have been arrested for domestic violence, contact a well-trained lawyer who is experienced defending domestic violence charges in Columbia.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

The penalties associated with domestic violence depend on the level of the offense. A third-degree domestic violence charge is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail. When someone has been convicted of second-degree charged, they are facing up to three years imprisonment. A fight-degree domestic violence charge is a felony, and the individual is looking at up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature is also a felony, however, the penalty is much more severe as they are looking at up to 20 years in prison.

Long-term Consequences of a Conviction

The long-term consequences of a domestic violence conviction are the immediate effect on a person’s occupation. They could lose their job and also have trouble finding gainful employment in the future.

A person with a domestic violence conviction also faces the loss of scholarships and financial aid for college. Many consequences could be triggered depending on the type of domestic violence charge (misdemeanor vs. felony). The collateral consequences of a felony conviction are not being able to own a gun, as well as losing government assistance and government housing.

Evidence in a Domestic Violence Case

One of the reasons it is so important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible following an arrest is so that the attorney is able to gather the evidence. There are several pieces of evidence that could be used when defending domestic violence charges in Columbia. Common evidence in domestic violence cases include:

  • Statements, including witness statements
  • Photographs
  • Medical Records


The most common defense in a domestic violence case is self-defense. The facts may not give the prosecution a good case for them to move forward and the case is difficult to prosecute.

Self-defense has a specific test. Some of the issues in a self-defense case is whether the person created the difficulty, whether the person had the opportunity to retreat, or whether the need for self-defense had ended. A defendant who argues that their actions were in self-defense as a response to a physical altercation, must have perceived an imminent threat of harm and responded. However, although the person has a right to defend themselves during an attack, they do not have a right to inflict harm on the other party. Their response should be in proportion to the immediate threat.

Defense of Others

In the realm of domestic violence, defense of others is when one person protects a third party with reasonable force from abuse inflicted by another individual. The third party could be someone being abused by their spouse or former spouse, somebody they live with or used to live with, or a child they have in common. In a defense of others situation, the defendant did not start the fight, they witnessed the abusive conduct and stepped in to defend the third party.

Benefits of a Columbia Domestic Violence Attorney

Obtaining a local domestic violence lawyer is imperative because local lawyers may know the prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officers. An attorney understands what they need to do when defending domestic violence charges in Columbia. Due to the lawyer having a relationship with the prosecutors, judges, and police, the attorney knows how they may allow a reduced charge to something reasonable.