Any allegation that involves committing violence against another person is a serious matter. However, a separate criminal charge exists to punish those who commit these acts against members of their household. These charges are referred to as domestic violence and can come with severe consequences. Not only could you face criminal punishments based on the core accusations, but domestic violence charges can come with their own separate penalties. In addition, the mere filing of charges can result in strict restraining orders that can force a person out of a home or end contact with their children.
A Columbia domestic violence lawyer could help you if you are facing allegations involving violence against a household member. The work of a sensible defense attorney can include defending you against the core criminal charges and fighting back against the imposition of restraining orders.
Domestic violence is listed as a separate criminal act from assault under state law. According to South Carolina Code § 16-25-20, it is against the law to cause physical harm to a member of a person’s own household. In addition, it is illegal to attempt to cause any physical harm to a household member in a way that would cause fear of harm. The key component is which individuals are considered a household member. S.C. Code § 16-25-10 defines household members as:
A Columbia household violence lawyer could provide more information about the legal concept of domestic violence and potentially push back against the idea that an act of violence occurred against a household member.
Unlike in many other places, domestic violence is its own criminal charge in South Carolina. This means that individuals facing domestic violence charges may be looking at simultaneous allegations involving assault, stalking, or sexual abuse. The combined penalties for convictions under these laws could require the payment of thousands of dollars in fines and serving multiple years in prison.
However, criminal penalties are not the only potential punishments that can accompany a domestic violence case. Courts also have the discretion to issue temporary restraining orders against the defendant. These can go into effect during the arraignment and last until the end of the case. A conviction could see these orders go into permanent effect. A Columbia domestic violence attorney could contest the necessity of these orders from the onset of a case. This could allow a person to remain in their family home or to keep in contact with their children.
If you are facing charges that involve domestic violence, you need to act swiftly to set up a proper defense. These are separate criminal charges that often involve allegations of assaults, stalking, or other abuse. Convictions can bring severe criminal penalties that impact every part of your life. In addition, courts have broad powers to implement restraining orders. These can make it difficult or even impossible to remain in your home, go to work, or care for your children. If a conviction for domestic violence occurs, these orders may become permanent.
A Columbia domestic violence lawyer is available to help. They can take the lead to explain your rights, investigate the matter, evaluate the State’s evidence, and promote a powerful defense inside and outside of court. Place a call today to discuss the details of your case.