Domestic Violence Lawyers in Rock Hill, South Carolina
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our domestic violence lawyers in Rock Hill, South Carolina work tirelessly to ensure our clients are afforded the defense they deserve from an experienced attorney, so these allegations and charges are addressed swiftly and accurately from a legal standpoint.
Our criminal defense attorney Fort Mill understands that domestic violence charges can damage our client’s personal and professional reputations and can lead to public scrutiny before our client can tell their side of the story.
We focus on the evidence necessary to support your innocence and focus on either having your charges dismissed when there is no proof of your accuser’s claim or negotiating the best outcome available for your unique circumstances.
Domestic violence convictions will negatively impact our clients’ lives going forward, and it is our Rock Hill criminal defense attorney’s commitment to our clients to pursue positive solutions that will help them get their lives back.
What are the Most Common Domestic Violence Arrests in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
Domestic violence, unlike assault and battery, must involve an altercation with a family member or contact with an individual with a close connection, which would be considered family to the accuser.
Those relationships include:
- Cohabitating couples, or those who used to live together
- Individuals who share children
- Spouses or ex-spouses
The second component of domestic violence is that it must have caused physical harm, attempted to cause physical harm, or caused the fear of imminent danger.
It is important for those who are charged with domestic violence to understand that our South Carolina County Solicitors’ Offices will prosecute these claims to the fullest extent of the law, even if the alleged victim requests that the charges be dismissed.
That is why it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rock Hill by your side before you attend your first court appearance, so you are not overwhelmed by the Solicitor’s aggressive approach to holding you accountable for these alleged actions.
This is especially true if you have previously been accused or convicted of domestic violence charges in the past. We will fully assess your case, and outline the best defense for your unique circumstances, so we can pursue the best outcome available for your domestic violence charges.
Will I Go to Jail if This is My First Domestic Violence Offense in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
All domestic violence cases are unique and must be evaluated based on the circumstances of the arrest, whether there was a weapon involved, and if our client has previous domestic violence charges on their criminal record.
If the police were called and you were arrested for one or more domestic violence charges, chances are, you have already spent the night in jail.
Whether you are convicted or not is what will dictate your chances of being given a jail sentence as punishment for your specific domestic violence crimes. Keep in mind, in the State of South Carolina, even a first domestic violence offense may carry up to 90 days in jail.
That is why it is important to partner with a skilled domestic violence lawyer in Greenville, so you can pursue the best outcome for your unique case, and start working on getting your life back.
Are Restraining Orders Mandatory After a Domestic Violence Arrest in Rock Hill?
Restraining orders, Orders of Protection, or “No Contact” Orders prohibit the accused abuser from contacting the victim for an established period.
They are not mandatory after a domestic violence arrest in Rock Hill, but they are often pursued as an additional measure to keep the alleged abuser away from the victim. The State can still pursue a restraining order or “No Contact” order even when the victim does not want such an order.
If a protective order is put in place, and the individual violates the restraining order, he or she can be arrested as a result, which could lead to additional penalties of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
What are the Domestic Violence Conviction Penalties in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
In Rock Hill and throughout South Carolina, domestic violence is charged as first, second, and third-degree crimes, or as Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature.
From the least penalties to the highest, Rock Hill domestic violence charges include:
- Domestic Violence in the 3rd Degree: Misdemeanor
Domestic violence in the third degree may include penalties of up to 90 days in jail or fines between $2,500-$5,000 resulting from an assault that has no aggravating factors.
These charges will automatically upgrade to 2nd Degree domestic violence charges if any of the following occurred:
- The alleged abuse caused or was likely to cause moderate bodily injury to the victim;
- There was a protection order in place at the time the alleged assault took place;
- The accused has a prior conviction for domestic violence within the last ten years;
- The accuser is a pregnant woman;
- The abuse allegedly took place in front of a child;
- The alleged abuse occurred during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft;
- The accuser claims the abuse impeded her breathing or airflow; or
- The alleged assault or threats caused the accuser’s access to a telephone or electronic communication device to be blocked or interfered with for reporting the incident or calling for help.
- Domestic Violence in the 2nd Degree: Misdemeanor
Our South Carolina laws describe an assault that results in moderate bodily injury as domestic violence in the second degree.
These charges will also apply when the alleged abuser has a previous conviction for domestic violence.
The penalties for second-degree domestic violence conviction include a prison term of up to three years, fines between $2,500-$5,000, or both.
- Domestic Violence in the 1stDegree: Felony
First-degree domestic violence charges are felonies and may be the result of one or more circumstances that can lead to serious penalties, including up to ten years in prison.
Domestic Violence, First Degree includes abuse that results in great bodily injury to the victim, involves the use of a firearm, violates an existing protective order while also causing domestic violence 2nd degree, or when the accused has two or more prior convictions for domestic violence within ten years.
A DV 1st Degree can also be charged when a domestic violence 2nd degree either occurs in the presence of a minor, is committed against someone who is pregnant, occurs during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft, impedes the accuser’s airflow, or prevents the accuser from accessing a telephone or electronic communication to report the incident or call for help.
- Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature: Felony
Domestic Violence of a High or Aggravated Nature charges, also called DVHAN charges, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and requires a showing that the alleged incident occurred under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life and resulted in great bodily injury to the victim or would reasonably have caused someone to fear imminent great bodily injury or death. DVHAN can also be charged when an accuser violated Domestic Violence, 1st Degree while under a protective order.
How Can I Have a Domestic Violence Charge Removed from My Record in South Carolina?
Domestic violence convictions can only be removed from your criminal record — or expunged — in cases where specific criteria are met.
First, the individual who is seeking to have their domestic violence charges expunged must have no other convictions since their domestic violence charge.
He or she must have been convicted of a third-degree domestic charge only, and not one more severe. Other severe domestic violence charges, including first, second, or DVHAN convictions are not eligible for expungement.
Finally, five years must pass from the date of the domestic violence conviction before an expungement can be pursued.
Contact Our Rock Hill 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 Rock Hill criminal defense attorneys at the David W. Martin Law Group today by calling (803) 985-9200 to review your case with our experienced lawyers who are here to help you pursue positive results.