Greenville Domestic Violence Lawyers
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our domestic violence attorneys in Greenville, South Carolina understand how difficult these charges are on our clients’ day-to-day lives, and how challenging it can be to defend your position without an experienced lawyer by your side.
Often, when someone is arrested for domestic violence, they are presumed guilty in the court of public opinion, before they even see the inside of an actual courtroom, which is more than unfair but potentially damaging to their personal and professional livelihood.
Our Greenville County criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to guiding you through the legal process, so you can tell your side of the story, while we present the evidence necessary to support your innocence, or negotiate the best outcome available for your unique circumstances when the charges cannot be dismissed altogether.
Domestic violence convictions have far-reaching consequences that can negatively impact our clients’ lives going forward. Our criminal defense attorneys are here to pursue positive legal solutions, so each of our clients may face these challenging accusations with confidence.
What is Considered Domestic Violence in Greenville, South Carolina?
Unlike assault and battery charges, domestic violence must meet the familial requirement to be charged as such.
That means one person must have caused physical harm to or attempted to cause physical harm that placed one of the following household members in fear of imminent danger:
- Spouses or ex-spouses
- Cohabitating couples, or those who use to live together
- Individuals who share children
The personal nature of domestic violence crimes is what leads to such severe and swift legal action against the alleged abuser.
Each of our South Carolina County Solicitors’ Offices takes domestic violence allegations very seriously, and may diligently pursue the claim, even if the alleged victim requests that the charges be dismissed.
This is increasingly true where there have been past charges of domestic violence.
Whether this is your first domestic violence charge or arrest — no matter the circumstances in which they occurred or if you have previously been arrested, charged, or convicted, our domestic violence attorneys in Greenville will review your case and provide the legal guidance you need to make informed decisions about your future.
Will I Be Served with a Restraining Order After a Domestic Violence Arrest in Greenville?
Our Greenville domestic violence lawyers provide straightforward legal advice for all clients, including those who are accused of hurting a household member, so they know what to expect as their case moves through the court system.
It is important to understand the severity of these charges, and how they can impact your freedom, which often begins with an Order of Protection, also called a Restraining Order.
These orders prohibit the accused from contacting the victim and require the person to be arrested if there is a violation, which may result in up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Can I Go to Jail for a First Domestic Violence Offense in Greenville, South Carolina?
Domestic violence is a complex area of criminal law that is often fueled by speculation and myths, which are only cleared up when someone is faced with the charges.
The truth is, in the State of South Carolina, even a first domestic violence offense may carry up to 90 days in jail.
What are the Overall Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions in Greenville, South Carolina?
Domestic violence charges are classified as first, second, or third degree, and a greater charge referred to as Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature.
The requirements for each degree and their corresponding penalties are as follows.
- Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature: Felony
Domestic violence of a high or aggravated nature involves intentional disregard for human life and carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
- Domestic Violence in the 1stDegree: Felony
Domestic violence in the first degree is the result of abuse that results in great bodily injury to the victim, occurs in the presence of a minor, involves the use of a firearm, or violates an existing protective order, which carries a potential prison term of up to ten years.
- Domestic Violence in the 2nd Degree: Misdemeanor
Domestic violence in the second degree includes an assault that results in moderate bodily injury, or when the accused has one prior conviction for domestic violence, as outlined by our South Carolina laws, within the past ten years.
The penalties include a prison term of up to three years, fines between $2,500-$5,000, or both.
- Domestic Violence in the 3rd Degree: Misdemeanor
Domestic violence in the third degree is the result of an assault that has no aggravating factors that could upgrade the charge and may include penalties of up to 90 days in jail and fines between $2,500-$5,000.
However, if a third-degree domestic violence charge is committed against a pregnant woman or in front of a child, the charge will automatically increase to a second-degree domestic violence charge.
Can a South Carolina Domestic Violence Charge Be Expunged from My Criminal Record?
Domestic violence charges are not something to take lightly or assume that you can take a plea arrangement from the solicitor’s office to make it go away.
Domestic violence convictions can only be expunged — or removed from your criminal record — when the conviction was for third-degree domestic violence, five years have elapsed since the date of conviction, and the individual has no other criminal history during that time.
All other degrees of domestic violence convictions are ineligible for expungement, with the rare possibility of the defendant being convicted as a youthful offender. Otherwise, they are part of your permanent record going forward.
Contact Our Greenville Domestic Violence Attorneys at the David W. Martin Law Group for a Free Consultation Today
If you have been arrested and charged with domestic violence in South Carolina, contact our Greenville criminal defense attorneys at the David W. Martin Law Group today by calling (803) 590-1958 to review your case with our experienced lawyers who are here to help you pursue positive results.