A charge of spousal violence is incredibly serious. Any allegation that you have harmed your husband, wife, partner, or other spouse will be pursued vigorously by the state prosecutor. These allegations are charged as domestic violence offenses and as a result, they can be harmful to your freedom as well as your reputation. You might endure long prison sentences, fines, and even lose constitutional rights like the right to own a gun.
These allegations require a strong legal defense created by a domestic violence attorney. Speak with an experienced Charleston spousal abuse lawyer to get the protection you need.
Defining Spouse Abuse and Domestic Violence
The term “spousal abuse” is not a named charge in state criminal laws. Instead, spouse abuse falls under the purview of the domestic violence statute. Domestic violence against a spouse occurs when the accused individual commits an intentional harm or injury to a household member. This injury may be physical, or the threat of a physical injury. For threats, the language of the threat must be sufficient that the person receiving it believes it may be imminently used against them.
Just because a person is accused of spousal abuse does not mean they are guilty. Many domestic situations are simply heated arguments that get out of hand. The police get called and accusations get made, even if they are untrue. A strong defense may help show that the accuser is untruthful or the allegations are more serious than what actually occurred.
A Charleston attorney could further explain how someone might get charged, or falsely charged, with spousal violence.
Spouses as Household Members
For a domestic violence charge to occur, the physical injury or threat must occur against a household member. This term is defined by South Carolina Code § 16-25-10. These members include:
- A spouse
- Any former spouse
- Individuals that share a child in common with one another
- Individuals who cohabitate currently or did so at an earlier time
Only these individuals are subject to a domestic violence charge. Allegations of spousal abuse will very likely fall within this definition and these charges might apply, as a Charleston attorney could further explain. Ultimately, the facts of the individual situation determine the potential charges as well as any defenses that are available.
Penalties for Spousal Abuse in Charleston
Domestic violence and spouse abuse charges can lead to serious penalties, including:
- Third Degree: A sentence of up to ninety days in jail and a potential fine of between $1,000 and $2,500
- Second Degree: A sentence of up to three years in prison and a potential fine between $2,500 and $5,000
- First Degree: A sentence of up to ten years in prison
- Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature: A prison sentence of up to twenty years
These severe penalties mean that a strong defense is necessary to protect the accused person’s rights. A proper defense is best created with the assistance of qualified legal counsel. A spousal violence defense attorney may help you investigate your Charleston case to create a customized legal defense.
Call a Spousal Abuse Attorney in Charleston Now
If you hire a spousal violence attorney, you can begin to defend yourself against domestic violence charges. The penalties are very serious and could affect every aspect of your life. You should not simply give in to the prosecutor’s accusations.
Let an experienced Charleston spousal abuse lawyer get to work for you now. Contact our office today to learn more about your options.