You might face spousal abuse charges if you are accused of harming your wife, husband, spouse, domestic partner, or other similar individual. These claims are treated as domestic violence charges, and they are vigorously pursued by a prosecutor. You could face steep financial penalties, jail time, and the loss of constitutional rights because of these allegations. Therefore, it is important to challenge these accusations and ensure your constitutional rights are protected throughout the criminal case process.

Accomplish this by working with our skilled domestic violence attorneys. A Charleston spousal abuse lawyer could work to ensure that you receive the criminal defense representation you deserve.

Domestic Violence and Spousal Abuse in Charleston

Instead of existing within its own criminal code, almost all allegations of spousal abuse are categorized as domestic violence. A person could be charged with spousal violence after committing some form of intentional harm against this individual.

It is important to understand that intentional harm could refer to either a physical injury or the threat of imminent injury. The threat, however, must be large enough that a reasonable person feels they are in danger.

It is also key to remember that being charged with spousal abuse or harm does not mean that one is guilty. A charge is only that and nothing more. A prosecutor must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction. Many accusations of spousal violence later turn out to be false or over exaggerated. A knowledgeable Charleston attorney could work to analyze the charge from the beginning and fight at all stages to minimize the impact of a spousal abuse case.

What Are the Penalties Associated with Spousal Abuse?

There are a few different ways that spousal abuse charges get classified, revolving around the severity of the alleged offense. Third degree domestic violence, which might apply if a defendant inflicts harm or threatens to inflict harm against a spouse, can result in a 90-day jail penalty or a fine between $1,000 and $2,500.

Second degree domestic violence charges, which might happen when a prosecutor argues that a defendant inflicted or attempted to inflict moderate bodily injury on a spouse, could require three years in prison or fines between $2,500 and $5,000.

First-degree charges apply when someone causes great bodily injury against a spouse and could result in a ten-year prison sentence. Finally, domestic violence of a “high and aggravated nature” would become relevant if someone severely injured their spouse after demonstrating a clear disregard for human life. A conviction for domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature carries up to 20 years in prison.

Regardless of the severity of a charge, a dedicated Charleston lawyer could assemble a comprehensive and compelling defense against spousal abuse allegations. Common strategies include disputing whether an alleged victim falls under the category of a household member, fighting back against the idea that an incident of violence occurred in the first place, or challenging application of one of the many aggravating circumstances the government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, including a minor being present or perceiving the alleged domestic violence event.

Contact a Charleston Spousal Abuse Attorney about Your Rights

If you are accused of abusing or committing an act of violence against your spouse, you need to remember the severe impact that these charges could have on your life. If convicted, you could face steep fines or lengthy prison time. A conviction could also impact visitation or custody of your children, if applicable.  Your case deserves representation and your rights deserve protection.

Thankfully, our dedicated team members in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Hanahan, North Charleston, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, and Summerville could offer guidance at all stages of your case. A Charleston spousal abuse lawyer could explain your first steps, answer questions, and fight to protect your integrity. Reach out to us today to schedule your initial consultation.