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Why Domestic Violence Charges are Also Becoming Kidnapping Charges in South Carolina

At the David W. Martin Law Group, our Rock Hill criminal defense attorneys have witnessed a disturbing trend in how South Carolina law enforcement is responding to domestic violence calls, and the significant steps they are taking to add kidnapping charges to arrests.

In these situations, the police are delivering alleged abusers to the solicitor’s office with additional charges of kidnapping, so the state can pursue the most drastic consequences during negotiations with the accused or during the trial. By adding kidnapping to domestic violence charges, law enforcement is attempting to give a legal advantage to the state.

While we understand the importance of protecting victims of domestic violence, the low legal threshold for kidnapping charges in our state has led to an alarming increase in the number of individuals facing severe consequences for actions that fall far short of what most people would consider or understand as kidnapping, leaving South Carolina residents in serious legal trouble. We want to help our clients set the record straight.

What is Considered Kidnapping in South Carolina?

Under South Carolina law, kidnapping is defined to include the unlawful “seizing,” or “confining” of any person, by any means whatsoever against that person’s will. This means kidnapping charges do not require someone to carry another person, move them from place to place, or hold them for a prolonged period. Technically, law enforcement can charge someone with kidnapping for grabbing and holding someone in place for just a few seconds or even for blocking an exit.

The reason it is easy for law enforcement to add the charge of kidnapping to domestic violence arrests is that the latter often involves accusations of some form of detainment, whether it is a claim of being held down or a blocked attempt to exit a room. Whether it is an attempt to keep a person from calling for help or leaving, categorizing these acts as kidnapping is becoming increasingly common.

This trend is concerning because a kidnapping charge carries serious penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and the possibility of being classified as a violent offender. It can also result in a lifetime criminal record that can impact a person’s ability to find employment, obtain housing, and even affect custody and visitation rights for any children they may have.

Our South Carolina criminal defense attorneys have a deep understanding of the criminal justice system in South Carolina and know being arrested for domestic violence can change our clients’ lives going forward. Adding kidnapping to an already serious charge can lead to lengthy prison sentences for committing a violent offense or potentially lifetime registration as a sex offender. At the David W Martin Law Group, we are dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of our clients.

If your South Carolina domestic violence case also includes a kidnapping charge, contact our skilled Rock Hill criminal defense attorneys right away by calling 803-548-2468 or contact us online to discuss your important case before you speak with the solicitor’s office.

You have rights, and we want to help protect them. Call us now to learn more.


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David W. Martin Law Group

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Fort Mill, SC 29715-1722
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