Criminal Domestic Violence Laws Overhauled in South Carolina

//Criminal Domestic Violence Laws Overhauled in South Carolina
  • Criminal Domestic Violence Lawyer

Criminal Domestic Violence Laws Undergo Major Changes with the Passing of the Domestic Violence Reform Act

On June 4, 2015, Governor Nikki Haley signed the Domestic Violence Reform Act into law which overhauls criminal domestic violence offenses and penalties in South Carolina. This new law creates degrees of criminal domestic violence (CDV) which incorporate the previously used system of graduated penalties based on prior convictions. (To review discussion of the previous law click here) The Domestic Violence Reform Act went into effect immediately upon being signed into law. If you have been charged with criminal domestic violence contact a criminal domestic violence lawyer at Pisarik Law Firm to discuss your domestic violence defense. 803-415-2733

Domestic Violence Reform Act Creates New Degrees of Criminal Domestic Violence

SC Code Section 16-25-20(A) remains unchanged in the Domestic Violence Reform Act and defines criminal domestic violence as: 1.) cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member; OR 2.) offer or attempt to cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member with apparent present ability under circumstances reasonably creating fear of imminent peril.” However, the Domestic Violence Reform Act does create three new degrees of criminal domestic violence based on certain aggravating factors and redefines the charge of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.

Criminal Domestic Violence in the First Degree

To be charged with criminal domestic violence in the first degree the following must be present:
1.) A violation of 16-25-20(A); AND
2.) One of the following aggravating factors:
a.) great bodily injury occurs;
b.) great bodily injury is likely to occur;
c.) person violates a protection order in the process of committing criminal domestic violence in the second degree;
d.) person has two or more prior convictions of CDV in the past ten years;
e.) person uses a firearm in any manner;
f.) in the process of committing criminal domestic violence in the 2nd degree one of the following results:
i.) the offense is committed in the presence of or while being perceived by a minor;
ii.) the offense is committed against a person known, or who reasonably should have been known by the offender to be pregnant;
iii.) the offense is committed during the commission of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft;
iv.) the offense is committed by impeding the victim’s breathing or air flow;
v.) the offense is committed using physical force or threatened use of force to block the use of that person’s cell phone or other electronic device to obstruct that person from making a report to law enforcement or requesting medical assistance.

Criminal Domestic Violence in the Second Degree

To be charged with criminal domestic violence in the second degree the following must be present:
1.) A violation of 16-25-20(A); AND
2.) One of the following aggravating factors:
a.) moderate bodily injury occurs;
b.) moderate bodily injury is likely to occur;
c.) person violates a protection order in the process of committing criminal domestic violence in the third degree;
d.) person has one prior conviction of CDV in the past ten years;
e.) in the process of committing criminal domestic violence in the 3rd degree one of the following results:
i.) the offense is committed in the presence of or while being perceived by a minor;
ii.) the offense is committed against a person known, or who reasonably should have been known by the offender to be pregnant;
iii.) the offense is committed during the commission of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft;
iv.) the offense is committed by impeding the victim’s breathing or air flow;
v.) the offense is committed using physical force or threatened use of force to block the use of that person’s cell phone or other electronic device to obstruct that person from making a report to law enforcement or requesting medical assistance.

Criminal Domestic Violence in the Third Degree

To be charged with criminal domestic violence in the third degree the following must be present:
1.) A violation of 16-25-20(A)

Domestic Violence Reform Act Changes Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated

In addition to creating new degrees of criminal domestic violence, the Domestic Violence Reform Act changes the previous charge of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.

Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature

To be charged with domestic violence of a high and aggravate nature the following must be present:
1.) A violation of 16-25-20(A); AND
2.) One of the following aggravating factors:
a.) person commits the offense under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life and great bodily injury results;
b.) person commits the offense with or without an accompanying battery under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, and would reasonably cause a person to fear great bodily injury or death;
c.) person violates a protection order, and in the process of violating the order, commits domestic violence in the first degree.

Domestic Violence Reform Act Establishes New Penalties for CDV Crimes

The Domestic Violence Reform Act establishes the following penalties for criminal domestic violence crimes:
Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature: imprisonment 0-20 years
Criminal Domestic Violence 1st Degree: imprisonment 0-10 years
Criminal Domestic Violence 2nd Degree: imprisonment 0-3 years AND/OR fine $2500-$5000
Criminal Domestic Violence 3rd Degree: imprisonment 0-90 days AND/OR fine $1000-$2500

The Domestic Violence Reform Act also classifies domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and criminal domestic violence in the 1st degree as violent offenses.

Domestic Violence Reform Act Strips Gun Rights from People Convicted of Criminal Domestic Violence

In addition to the increased penalties for the various degrees of criminal domestic violence, the Domestic Violence Reform Act makes it unlawful for a person to ship, transport, receive, or possess a firearm or ammunition for certain criminal domestic violence convictions. For a conviction of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature or criminal domestic violence first degree a person loses their firearm and ammunition rights. For certain convictions of criminal domestic violence second degree and third degree a person may also lose their firearm and ammunition rights. Contact a criminal domestic violence lawyer at Pisarik Law Firm to discuss how a criminal domestic violence charge will affect your gun rights. 803-415-2733.

Contact a Criminal Domestic Violence Lawyer at Pisarik Law Firm

If you have been charged with criminal domestic violence, contact a criminal domestic violence lawyer at Pisarik Law Firm to discuss your criminal domestic violence defense. Just because you have been charged with CDV does not mean that you are guilty. 803-415-2733

2017-07-25T17:15:13+00:00