Columbia Spousal Abuse Lawyer

In South Carolina, spousal abuse and domestic violence are under the same statue. Therefore, there is no separate law for spousal abuse and domestic violence. There are four different levels of charges someone could face if they are accused of spousal abuse. All four can include imprisonment and expensive fines. If you have been arrested for spousal abuse, contact an experienced defense attorney today. A Columbia spousal abuse lawyer can advocate on your behalf and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Defining Spousal Abuse

South Carolina Code § 16-25-10 defines a household member for domestic violence as people who live together, previously lived together, are spouses or former spouses, or have a child in common.

The general definition of domestic violence is when a person is accused of inflicting physical harm or injury to a household member. In this case, it is inflicting physical harm or injury to a spouse or former spouse. This also includes the individuals attempt to cause such physical harm or injury, and under the circumstances, created an imminent fear of harm to the threatened party. In other words, the threatened individual believed that their life was in danger.

Potential Penalties

The consequences for someone accused of spousal abuse depend on whether they are charged with third, second, or first-degree domestic violence or domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature. Third-degree spousal abuse is the lowest charge and is a misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail. Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature is a felony with the penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment. Prosecutors take spousal abuse cases seriously, which is why someone facing charges should obtain a spousal abuse attorney in Columbia immediately.

Events Following an Arrest

When there is a report of spousal abuse, the police will come to investigate both sides of the story and take statements from the witnesses. Law enforcement may also take pictures to detail incident reports. The officer should conduct a full investigation to determine whether there is probable cause to arrest someone.

When the police believe there is enough evidence to establish probable cause for arrest, the accused is arrested and taken to county jail. That individual is booked and has a bond hearing within 24 hours of their arrest. The arrested person should hire a lawyer to make sure they have legal counsel before the bond hearing. If they are not able to hire a Columbia spousal abuse lawyer before the bond hearing, they need to as soon as possible so the attorney can start building an appropriate defense.

The best defense begins on day one. Any delay makes it more difficult for the attorney to prepare the case. It is important to understand that witnesses’ memories are more accurate right after the incident in question, therefore, the defendant’s lawyer needs to talk to them immediately. The lawyer can also check if there are any surveillance videos available.

Benefits of a Columbia Spousal Abuse Attorney

A person accused of spousal abuse should consult with a Columbia spousal abuse lawyer because their freedom is at stake. They might be charged with domestic violence, arrested, and sent to jail.

A conviction for spousal abuse will go on that person’s permanent record and could harm that person’s reputation and ability to find employment. Spousal abuse offenses are rigorously pursued by prosecutors. Many judges are not sympathetic and may be somewhat hostile towards the defendant.

A person needs an experienced domestic violence attorney to fight for them and start building their case as soon as possible. If someone waits and does not have an attorney, they are putting themselves in a poor position by not doing everything they can to fight the charge. If you are facing spousal abuse charges, you need a lawyer who knows what they are doing, has the experience in the courtroom defending these types of cases and has dealt with domestic violence prosecutors before.