South carolina criminal domestic violence laws

Nikki Haley created a task force in to raise awareness and advocate policies to protect vulnerable populations. That year, the General Assembly also passed the Domestic Violence Act, which increased penalties for offenders and enforced a lifetime gun ban for domestic violence offenders whose crimes are of high and aggravated nature.

SC Domestic Violence: New Laws, Offenses & Consequences

Since that time, Beaufort Rep. Shannon Erickson said the advisory committee has determined that three key elements require more attention: domestic violence education in schools and communities, funding for research, and legislation to better protect survivors. Erickson said lawmakers recognize the shortcomings in domestic violence legislation and plan to do something about it. Erickson said. The ramifications of leaving that particular definition out is large. Shealy has already introduced legislation in the Senate to expand domestic violence protections and allow protective orders to apply to those currently or formerly dating.

Current law only applies those protections to spousal relationships, divorces, and individuals who share a child or reside together. Shealy said the committee will continue to work but needs more money for research. Citizen, loss of ability to possess a Concealed Weapon Permit, and possible lifetime employment consequences. The law in South Carolina is that an officer must make a domestic violence arrest when they are called to a domestic disturbance and find evidence of actual physical harm along with cause to believe the incident has only recently occurred.

Legal Information: South Carolina

Many times officers may be erroneously trained that they must make an arrest every time they are called to a domestic disturbance. This is not the case - although it creates situations in which individuals are arrested and charged with only minimal, or no evidence that any violation of the law actually occurred.


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The Criminal Domestic Violence law is different from other offenses, such as simple assault, in that it does not require that there was actually any injury or attempt to cause any injury to another. It criminalizes conduct that in all other situations would not be a criminal act. Individuals may be arrested based on a misinterpretation of the statute by the officer, or based solely on unsupported or false allegations.

However those arrested and charged with domestic violence are entitled to all of the protections of the law, and an arrest does not automatically result in a conviction or in any of the penalties. Individuals charged with any level of domestic violence in South Carolina are entitled to be represented by an attorney at every stage of their case.

Being Charged With Domestic Violence

After an individual is arrested they will be transported by the police to the local jail or county detention center. There they will be "booked" or admitted in, which will include a photograph and fingerprinting. Usually within 24 hours they will be taken before a Magistrate for purposes of setting bond. The Magistrate will determine what conditions should be imposed to allow for a release pending trial and whether or not a cash or surety bond will be imposed. Defendants may be represented by an attorney at the Bond Court.

After an individual has been released they will frequently be under an order set by the Bond Court to have no contact with the alleged victim in their case. If this "no contact" order was put into place, and the defendant is found to be in contact even if such was initiated by the alleged victim the defendant can be held in contempt of court and may be sentenced to 30 days or more in jail.

The "no contact" provision may be imposed even in cases where the parties are married, living together and have small children. James Snell is familiar with the steps required to request a "no contact" order be lifted by the Court in appropriate cases. The next step in the process will be a referral to the county's central CDV Court Lexington and Richland and other large counties , the local Magistrate or Municipal Court. This Court date is usually written on the blue ticket, or will be provided at the Bond Court. Snell, Jr.

After we are contacted by or on behalf of an individual who has been charged, or is under investigation, for domestic violence we will schedule an initial consultation with Mr. At this consultation you will have an opportunity to learn about the different options available to you.


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Upon being retained Mr. Snell will file the necessary motions and paperwork with the Court to request that he receives the evidence the police or prosecute has and may be planning to use against you. Once that evidence is made available you will have an opportunity to review it fully with him and agree on an appropriate strategy for your case. Once your charges are formally challenged by our office you will ordinarily not have to appear on your original Court date given on your ticket or at Bond Court and instead any contested trial would not be scheduled until after we have an opportunity to investigate your case and review the evidence intended to be used against you.


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  8. We also regularly make us of advanced defense strategies designed to give our clients the best chance at either an agreed upon resolution with the prosecutor or success in trial. This includes:. After a review of your case, and negotiation with the police or prosecutor, it may be possible that your case will be resolved in one of the following ways:.

    Sometimes when an individual is arrested for domestic violence there are companion criminal charges brought at the same time. These may include not a comprehensive list :. As a criminal defense attorney , James Snell will be able to represent you on any companion or other charges that may be brought and assist in the interplay and complexities that multiple pending charges in different courts may present.

    Snell Strongly believes that no case or situation is hopeless, and he has found that methodical preparation combined with the availability of an aggressive courtroom defense frequently results in outcomes more favorable than first thought possible.