Criminal Domestic Violence Defense
Defendants charged with domestic violence offenses face significant consequences. Our experienced attorney Ronald F. Johnson understands the threat to your liberty of these charges.
From the loss of your right to possess a firearm and fines to jail or prison time, these charges can have far-reaching effects on your life. He can help you deal with these charges and work aggressively to minimize the long-term effects of allegations of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Offenses In South Carolina
There are four categories of criminal domestic violence offenses in South Carolina. The first of these is domestic violence. Domestic violence refers to the infliction of physical harm or injury to a member of your household or attempting to cause physical harm or injury to a member of your household with an actual threat of violence that causes the person to fear that danger of harm is imminent.
The law considers the following individuals to be household members: current and former spouses, parents of your children, and present or former partners who you either live with presently or have lived with in the past.
The second type of offense is domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, which consists of either assault and battery that is committed with a deadly weapon, or which results in serious bodily injury or assault which would cause a person to have a reasonable fear that serious bodily injury or death was imminent.
Violating a domestic violence protective order (restraining order) is the third type of criminal domestic violence offense. The fourth type of criminal domestic violence offense in South Carolina is trespassing on the grounds of a domestic violence shelter where a household member resides after being charged with or convicted of a domestic violence-related crime.
Potential Consequences Of A Domestic Violence Conviction
If convicted, first-time domestic violence offenders charged with a misdemeanor are typically fined between $1,000 and $2,000. Second offenses are also charged as misdemeanors, but with a larger monetary fine and 30 days to one year of imprisonment. Third and subsequent offenses constitute felonies, with sentences of one to five years in prison. Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature is also a felony, punishable by one to 10 years in prison.
Mr. Johnson works to prevent the most serious consequences of a conviction such as obtaining treatment, negotiating a lesser plea, working to minimize your sentence, or obtaining a suspension of your fine or sentence. He will analyze your situation, discuss potential defense strategies and work to lessen the long-term ramifications of these charges.
Protective Order Violations
Violation of a protective order is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail. Charges of criminal contempt often accompany charges for violating a protective order, which can mean an additional fine and up to one more year in jail if you are convicted. Trespassing on the grounds of a domestic violence shelter is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and up to three years in jail. If the offender was armed with a “dangerous weapon” at the time of the trespass, the offense is charged as a felony, with an even higher fine and up to five years in jail.
There are other consequences that people who are convicted of domestic violence offenses often face. For example, you could be evicted from your home. You may lose custody of your children, or your visitation with them may be reduced or denied. You could also lose your right to possess firearms. People who have been convicted often find it difficult to find employment, seek educational opportunities, and obtain professional licenses.
Contact The Firm Today
For a professional assessment of your case and your rights, call RF Johnson Jr. Law Offices today at 803-794-0140 to arrange for a free, initial consultation. Mr. Johnson serves English- and Spanish-speaking clients in South Carolina. His office is located in West Columbia.