In South Carolina, a person can face domestic violence charges without physically touching someone. For example, domestic violence charges can result from inflicting physical harm or threatening to cause bodily harm if the other party is in reasonable fear for their safety.

A skilled legal professional could help you obtain a positive case outcome if you face a domestic violence conviction. Call a Georgetown domestic violence lawyer to schedule a meeting and begin building your defense.

Domestic Violence Charges Vary in Severity

The state can charge a person with domestic violence in the third, second, or first degree. However, many components determine which degree of domestic violence the individual will face, including their criminal background, the circumstances of their arrest, and the seriousness of the other party’s injuries.

Third-Degree Domestic Violence Charges

A person who inflicts intentional harm or causes another person in their household to sustain injuries can face third-degree domestic violence charges. The state may also file these charges when someone causes another household member to be in fear of imminent danger, meaning an injury does not even have to occur.  The threat of injury or harm is enough for an arrest.

Second-Degree Domestic Violence Charges

If police officers arrest an individual for domestic violence and they cause the other party to suffer from moderate injuries, they could face second-degree charges. People may also face these charges if other circumstances are present during the act, including if:

  • A minor was present in the home during the incident
  • A person was previously charged with domestic violence
  • The household member is pregnant during the violence
  • The alleged defendant used force to stop the victim from seeking help

The above is not a complete list. A knowledgeable attorney in Georgetown could answer questions and provide more detail about these domestic abuse charges during a consultation.

First-Degree Domestic Violence Charges

A first-degree domestic violence conviction is the most serious and could lead to severe penalties and adverse consequences. For example, according to the South Carolina Code of Laws Annotated § 16-25-20, a person facing charges with two prior domestic-related convictions in ten years will face severe penalties for first-degree domestic violence. Likewise, using a gun or causing severe bodily injury to a household member could also lead to a first-degree domestic abuse conviction.

Potential Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction in Georgetown

The potential penalties for a domestic violence conviction will depend on the severity of the act and under which degree the case falls. Jail time could range from 90 days to 20 years behind bars.

A convicted person will also receive a misdemeanor or felony conviction on their permanent criminal record, depending on the severity of the case.  In some instances, a first-offense Domestic Violence, Third Degree charge conviction can be expunged after a five-year period with no additional convictions.  A local lawyer could defend an individual’s rights and advocate on their behalf inside and outside the courtroom to try and prevent a conviction.

Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney in Georgetown

Domestic violence is a serious issue countrywide. Although courts take these crimes seriously, there are also many cases where a simple misunderstanding gets out of hand, and innocent people face severe charges for something they did not do.

Sadly, a domestic abuse conviction could change every aspect of your life and impact your future. Therefore, you must take these charges seriously. Schedule a meeting with a hard-working Georgetown domestic violence lawyer for assistance. A legal team member could fight to get you the results you deserve.