Devoted to representing the legal interests of York, Lancaster, and Chester County clients
Domestic violence in South Carolina has been at the top of prosecutors' lists for years, and cracking down on these crimes is important for positioning their long-term career goals. While domestic violence is a serious crime, arrests don't always match up with the allegations. When your freedom is on the line, nothing short of an aggressive, thorough defense will do.
As a former prosecutor in the very circuit I serve, I have unique insight into how the state will investigate your case, the evidence prosecutors are looking for to strengthen their case against you, and the amount of flexibility they're willing to offer in negotiating plea deals. You need a criminal defense attorney with in-depth knowledge of both sides of the criminal justice system to gain every advantage when you're facing domestic violence charges. Call Holland Law in Fort Mill or Rock Hill today.
Being charged with CDV can mean doing serious time
Criminal domestic violence can be charged against someone whose victim is a household member. Household members include spouses, children, roommates, or any other people who share, or have shared, a physical household, including non-married and same-sex couples.
Crimes and possible sentences can include:
- Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature: incarceration for up to 20 years
- Domestic violence in the first degree: incarceration for up to 10 year.
- Domestic violence in the second degree: fines between $2,500 and 5,000 and/or incarceration up to 3 years
- Domestic violence in the third degree: fines between $1,000 and $2,500 and/or incarceration up to 90 days
There are lesser included offenses to be aware of that you could face based on the specific circumstances and facts of your case, such as whether pretrial intervention, probation, or a treatment program might be an available option to you. We can discuss your charges and potential defenses during your consultation.
A good criminal defense lawyer can be the difference between jail and freedom
For various reasons, domestic violence victims sometimes change their minds about testifying. Without a witness, the state's case against you is hindered. This can create an opportunity to plead the charges down to a lesser crime, if the state doesn't outright dismiss them. Should the state refuse to dismiss, it may be possible to negotiate a plea that will have a minimal effect on your future if you have a viable defense.
Some defenses that may aid in a plea or at trial are:
- Evidence being obtained without a valid search warrant or arrest warrant
- Failure to mirandize you after placing you under arrest
- Proving that false allegations were made against you resulting in your arrest
- Proving the victim was the primary aggressor
Having a knowledgeable Rock Hill and Fort Mill criminal defense attorney will give you the best chance of receiving bond after an arrest, and obtaining the most successful outcome possible based on your case.
Rules about domestic violence shelters and safe havens
Whether you are trying to explain your actions, make amends, or set the record straight, do not go to a shelter to speak with the person who has accused you of domestic violence. You could violate a restraining order, which will create additional problems for you. Additionally, domestic violence shelters are protected by South Carolina law.
If you have been charged with or are convicted of domestic violence and are under a restraining order or order of protection, S.C. Code Section 16-3-1770 makes it illegal to enter the shelter where the person you're restrained from seeing resides.
Upon conviction of the misdemeanor charge you could face a fine of up to $3,000 and/or incarceration for up to 3 years. If you possess a dangerous weapon at the time, upon a felony conviction you could face a fine of $5,000 and/or incarceration for up to 5 years.
You may have two potential defenses to being charged with trespassing on the grounds of a domestic violence shelter under S.C. Code Section 16-3-2080:
- The shelter is required to post visible signage on its grounds that states "NO TRESPASSING-VIOLATORS WILL BE SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PENALTIES.”
- You have legitimate business, authorization, license, or invitation to be at the shelter or on its grounds.
Even if you believe you have a legitimate reason to be at the shelter, it's always wise to check with your attorney first rather than risking an arrest, and subsequent fines and/or time in prison.
Why Holland Law is the smart choice for your defense
Domestic violence charges often include separate charges of assault, or enhancement for weapons charges. They may also include charges of criminal sexual conduct. You can face charges for domestic violence even if you didn't physically touch anyone.
Having a seasoned attorney with experience in both the criminal justice and divorce and family law arenas will give you a higher probability of your charges being resolved. I'm experienced in the complex dynamic that ties these two areas of law together, which aids me in providing you with creative, personalized defense strategies.
Furthermore, my experience as a prosecutor allows me to anticipate and diffuse potential problems in your defense before they even arise. I know exactly how the state will pursue a case against you, so I can create counters to those arguments from the start.
Accused of domestic abuse in Rock Hill or Fort Mill? Call today
Being accused of committing domestic violence can ruin your life. As your attorney, my job is to stand up for you. By crafting the best defense available based on the facts and evidence available, you maximize the possible outcomes, including the potential of being found innocent. To schedule a consultation with me in either my Fort Mill office on Gold Hill Road, or in my Rock Hill office on Oakland Avenue, please call Holland Law at 803-590-6665, or reach out to me through my contact page.