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Susan Williams

"NEW" SC LAW on Domestic Violence (CDV)



If you were arrested before June 4, 2015, the new law does not apply. This means the old SC CDV laws would apply.

If you were arrested on or after June 4, 2015, the new Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV) laws will be applied. Below is a summary of the new CDV law in SC:

  DV 1st Degree DV 2nd Degree DV 3rd Degree DV of a
High & Aggravated Nature
Classification Felony Misdemeanor Misdemeanor Felony
Possible jail time 0-10 years 0-3 years 0-90 days 0-20 years
Possible fine   $2,500-$5,000 $1,000-$2,500  
Court General Sessions General Sessions Magistrate, Municipal or General Sessions General Sessions

Definitions: Degrees of Domestic Violence
For arrests after June 4, 2015

It’s important to note the difference between “degrees” and “offenses.” You can be arrested for SC Domestic Violence Second Degree, but it may be your first Domestic Violence offense.

 

SC Domestic Violence First Degree

  • Victim and Accused are male and female and either:
    • Married;
    • Used to be married;
    • Live together;
    • Used to live together; or
    • Have a child in common
  • Accused physically harmed the Victim; OR
  • Accused threatened to physically harm the Victim AND
    • A reasonable person in the “Victim’s shoes” would fear immediate harm. (Note: One can be arrested for Domestic Violence without even physically harming the Victim; i.e. threats) AND
    • Accused has the ability, at that particular moment, to physically harm the Victim
  • Accused has two or more Domestic Violence (CDV or CDVHAN) convictions within the past 10 years; OR
  • Accused caused some serious injury on the Victim’s body; OR
  • Accused’s actions could have caused some serious injury to the Victim’s body. (Note: Actual injury does not have to happen)
  • Accused used a gun
  • Accused violated a Restraining Order/ Protective Order
  • Accused knew or should have known the Victim was pregnant
  • A minor child saw or heard the event
  • Accused broke into a place where the Victim was without permission. This could mean that the Accused was in the process of committing a robbery, burglary, theft or kidnapping, for example. (Note: Kidnapping does not necessarily include “kids.” Kidnapping can mean the adult Victim was not able to leave.)
  • Accused chokes, smothers or causes the Victim to not be able to breath
  • Accused blocks Victim’s access to cell phone, landline phone or other electronic communication device so that Victim can’t call 911, EMS or get help.

 

SC Domestic Violence Second Degree

  • Victim and Accused are male and female and are either:
    • Married;
    • Used to be married;
    • Live together;
    • Used to live together;
    • Have a child in common
  • Accused physically harmed the Victim; OR
  • Accused threatened to physically harm the Victim AND
    • A reasonable person in the “Victim’s shoes” would fear immediate harm. (Note: One can be arrested for Domestic Violence without even physically harming the Victim; i.e. threats) AND
    • Accused has the ability, at that particular moment, to physically harm the Victim
  • Accused caused the Victim’s injuries
    • Victim was unconscious;
    • Victim’s disfigured (temporarily or moderately);
    • Victim temporarily can’t use arms, legs, toes, feet, fingers, etc. ;
    • Victim’s organs temporarily aren’t working;
    • Victim has to get general or local anesthesia because of injuries;
    • Victim’s bones are fractured;
    • Victim’s bones are dislocated;
    • Victim has to have medical treatment more than one time; or
    • Victim has more than scratches, bruises, cuts, burns or other minor injuries that don’t require a lot of medical care
  • Accused has one domestic violence (CDV or CDVHAN) conviction on criminal record within the past 10 years; AND
  • Accused violated a restraining order/ protective order
  • Accused knew or should have known the Victim was pregnant
  • A minor child saw or heard the event
  • Accused broke into a place where the Victim was without permission. This could mean that the Accused was in the process of committing a robbery, burglary, theft or kidnapping, for example. (Note: Kidnapping does not necessarily include “kids.” Kidnapping can mean the adult Victim was not able to leave.)
  • Accused chokes, smothers or causes the Victim to not be able to breath
  • Accused blocks Victim’s access to cell phone, landline phone or other electronic communication device so that Victim can’t call 911, EMS or get help.

 

SC Domestic Violence Third Degree

  • Victim and Accused are male and female and are either:
    • Married;
    • Used to be married;
    • Live together;
    • Used to live together; or
    • Have a child in common
  • Accused physically harmed the Victim; OR
  • Accused threatened to physically harm the Victim AND
    • A reasonable person in the “Victim’s shoes” would fear immediate harm. (Note: One can be arrested for Domestic Violence without even physically harming the Victim; i.e. threats) AND
    • Accused has the ability at that particular moment to physically harm the Victim
  • Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature
  • Victim and Accused are male and female and are either:
    • Married;
    • Used to be married;
    • Live together;
    • Used to live together;
    • Have a child in common
  • Accused physically harmed the Victim; OR
  • Accused threatened to physically harm the Victim AND
    • A reasonable person in the “Victim’s shoes” would fear immediate harm. (Note: One can be arrested for Domestic Violence without even physically harming the Victim; i.e. threats) AND
    • Accused has the ability at that particular moment to physically harm the Victim
  • Victim at risk of death, serious or permanent disfigurement
  • Use of deadly weapon. (Note: This doesn’t have to actually be a weapon—like a gun or knife—it can be anything that can be used as a deadly weapon, like a pipe, a car, a hammer, etc.)
  • Accused knew or should have known the Victim was pregnant
  • A minor child saw or heard the event
  • Accused broke into a place where the Victim was without permission. This could mean that the Accused was in the process of committing a robbery, burglary, theft or kidnapping, for example. (Note: Kidnapping does not necessarily include “kids”-- kidnapping can mean the adult Victim was not able to leave.)
  • Accused chokes, smothers or causes the Victim to not be able to breath
  • Accused blocks Victim’s access to cell phone, landline phone or other electronic communication device so that Victim can’t call 911, EMS or get help.

If you’re in Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek or surrounding areas, use this form or call 843-607-9800 to speak with an attorney who’s handled domestic violence charges in South Carolina.

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Copyright 2019 Susan E. Williams, Summerville, SC, All Rights Reserved.