Experiencing domestic violence or being confronted with such accusations can be deeply stressful and often overwhelming. If you’re dealing with either of these circumstances in York County, SC, it’s vital to reach out to a York County domestic violence attorney.
Our dedicated family law attorneys can help whether you’re looking for help with custody, divorce, or domestic violence in York County, South Carolina. Contact Minor Law Divorce Lawyers to schedule a free consultation at (803) 504-0971 with a York County domestic violence lawyer.
How Minor Law Divorce Lawyers Can Help You With a Domestic Violence Case
Dealing with domestic violence in York County, SC, can turn your world upside down in countless ways. Having our team by your side during such times can provide the courage and expertise you need to navigate these challenging situations. Here’s how our York County family law attorneys can help:
Legal Advice and Representation
Understanding all the aspects of domestic violence law is no small task. Our domestic violence attorneys are equipped with knowledge on this issue and work tirelessly to guide our clients every step of the way, offering legal guidance based on your situation.
In a domestic violence case, presenting solid and substantial evidence is crucial. Our attorneys can assist you in gathering pertinent documentation such as text messages, emails, photos, or video footage to show abuse or to dispute allegations against you.
Representation in Court
If your situation escalates to the point where court intervention becomes necessary, our team will represent you and safeguard your rights.
Referrals to Other Services
Understanding that domestic violence has far-reaching effects on one’s psychological, emotional, and physical well-being, we connect our clients with other professionals as needed. These may include counselors or social workers who can assist in navigating this journey.
Whether you are surviving domestic abuse or defending yourself against allegations in York County, South Carolina, in family court, our dedicated team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a York County domestic violence lawyer.
Overview of Domestic Violence in South Carolina
Domestic violence under South Carolina law is characterized by harm or intent to cause harm against a ‘household member.’ This person could be a current or past spouse, individuals sharing children, as well as people currently living together, or those who once cohabitated.
There are several different classifications for domestic charges in South Carolina, including the following:
Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN)
Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature is considered the most severe criminal offense related to domestic violence under South Carolina law. This charge is typically handed out when there’s physical harm or an explicit threat to cause harm directed towards a household member that expresses extreme disregard for human life.
Additionally, a person can be charged with this if the alleged abuse falls under a first-degree domestic violence charge and they are violating an existing protection from abuse order when this occurs.
First-Degree Domestic Violence
Various circumstances can prompt a first-degree domestic violence charge; examples include if great bodily harm has been inflicted or if there have been two prior convictions within the last 10 years.
There are other factors that can lead to a felony domestic violence charge: if the victim was pregnant at the time, acts of domestic violence were committed in the presence of a minor, or the defendant allegedly prevented the victim from calling for help. Finally, domestic violence can be classified as first-degree if a firearm was used during the incident.
Second-Degree Domestic Violence
As a mid-level charge, second-degree domestic violence in South Carolina occurs when an individual causes moderate bodily injury or acts in a way that is likely to cause moderate bodily injury. It could also apply if the offense took place during a breaking and entering.
Domestic violence can also be charged as second-degree if a defendant has a prior domestic violence conviction in the last 10 years.
Third-Degree Domestic Violence
Finally, South Carolina law identifies third-degree domestic violence as the least severe among these charges. These incidents typically involve physical harm or injury to a household member. It can also occur if a person threatens harm or injury and creates fear of imminent danger for the affected household member.
If You’re a Victim of Domestic Violence in South Carolina
Experiencing domestic violence can be immensely disruptive and traumatizing. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, remember you are not alone, and help is available. Domestic violence is viewed with profound seriousness in South Carolina, and you have legal protections.
Obtaining a Restraining Order
Key among these protective measures is the availability of restraining orders, often called protection orders. These are issued by a court to deter your alleged abuser from making contact with you or causing any additional harm.
To secure one in South Carolina, you will need to visit the Magistrates Court and fill out a form titled ‘Complaint and Motion for Restraining Order’ (form SCCA 749).’
After filing your complaint and motion for a restraining order, the clerk of court will arrange to have the Sheriff’s Department serve your complaint to the defendant.
A Hearing Is Scheduled
The next step is a hearing before a Judge. This should typically be scheduled within 15 days from when you file your initial complaint but must occur at least five days after delivering the complaint to the defendant.
Emergency Protection Is Available
If you find yourself in imminent danger, it’s important to know that immediate protective measures can be taken. In South Carolina, you can ask the court to hold an emergency hearing so you can obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO).
Once you file the appropriate paperwork, a hearing can be held within 24 hours for your TRO.
TROs are relatively uncommon as they don’t offer the defendant an opportunity to object. For the TRO to be granted, you will need to show good cause.
Good cause exists when there’s a clear risk of physical harm or bodily injury. You also need to provide evidence showing that the abuser is harassing or stalking you.
Navigating the aftermath of domestic violence can be overwhelming; it’s a time when you most need support, reassurance, and expert legal advice. If you’re dealing with domestic violence and need help with a restraining order or anything else, the best thing you can do is to reach out to an experienced lawyer.
If You’re Being Accused of Domestic Violence in South Carolina
Being accused of domestic violence is a serious legal matter, carrying significant and far-reaching implications, both legally and personally. In South Carolina, accusations like these can dramatically impact different areas of your life, including family dynamics and court cases. It’s essential to understand what steps to take if you’re accused of domestic violence and how a lawyer can help you.
If you find yourself facing accusations of domestic violence, it’s critical to take the following steps to protect your rights and safeguard your future:
Avoid Contact With the Accuser
Refrain from any contact with the person who has accused you. Any further interaction, no matter how justified or innocent it may seem to you, could escalate matters and cause more problems for you.
Secure Legal Counsel
The moment an accusation is made against you for domestic violence is the exact moment you should seek legal representation. Having a skilled attorney by your side can greatly affect how these situations unfold, ensuring that evidence is correctly interpreted, pertinent laws are accurately applied, and fair treatment occurs throughout the process.
If you’re going through a child custody battle or divorce proceedings, it’s important to work with an attorney to ensure that all aspects of your situation are handled appropriately.
Collect and Preserve Evidence
If possible, gather text messages, emails, video footage, or any other kind of documentation that could potentially discredit false claims against you. For example, timestamped interactions with the accuser may demonstrate inconsistencies in their accusations.
People who have witnessed events leading up to or following alleged instances of abuse can be extremely helpful in these cases. This could include friends, family members, or even healthcare professionals. Gather their information so your lawyer can speak with them and subpoena them to testify if necessary.
Working with a family law attorney experienced specifically in South Carolina domestic violence law can offer the support and advice you need during this time. It’s advised that you also speak with a criminal defense lawyer who can help you if you’re facing criminal charges.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our York County Domestic Violence Lawyer
Dealing with a situation involving domestic violence, whether you’re facing accusations or seeking protection from harm, can seem like an insurmountable task. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this challenge alone. For help with a domestic violence case in York County, South Carolina, our law office can help. Contact Minor Law Divorce Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a York County domestic violence lawyer.