Domestic Violence

Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm

Domestic Violence In South Carolina<br />

Domestic Violence Overview

When it comes to navigating the intricacies of Domestic Violence cases in South Carolina, Thompson & Hiller stand as the legal opinion you can trust implicitly. With a rich history of knowledge in South Carolina’s domestic violence laws, we provide unparalleled legal representation that covers the full spectrum of domestic violence issues, from protective orders to criminal charges. Our committed team is dedicated to crafting personalized legal strategies uniquely designed to address the specific circumstances and needs of each client. Opt for Thompson & Hiller for your domestic violence legal needs in South Carolina, and secure the invaluable advantage of seasoned professionals committed to tipping the scales of justice to your favor.

Initial Consultation

Attorney meets with the client to discuss the details of the case

Investigation & Evidence Gathering

Collecting all relevant evidence, talking to witnesses, and reviewing police reports and other documents

Pre-Trial & Negotiations

Defense can negotiate with the prosecution for plea deals or even get some charges dropped

Trial & Beyond

Defense attorney represents the client in court, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and making closing arguments

Assault and Battery
Scales of Justice

1st Degree

2nd Degree

3rd Degree

Violation of Protection Orders

Firearms & Ammunitions Prohibition

Presence of Minors

Presence of Pregnant Person(s)

South Carolina Intervention Programs

Sistercare of Columbia

USC School of Law Domestic Violence Clinic

State v. W.V., July 2021: W.V. was charged with domestic violence in the 2nd degree. The case was dismissed after negotiations with the prosecutor

State v. G.M., August 2020: G.M. was charged with domestic violence in 1st degree and the judge denied G.M.’s bond. Defense attorney secured a reasonable bond for G.M.. Then after extensive negotiations with the prosecutor secured a dismissal of the charge

State v. L.W., October 2019: L.W. was charged with domestic violence 3rd degree. The charge was dismissed the morning of trial after turning over our pre-trial motion to the prosecutor

State v. L.H., September 2019: L.H. was charged with domestic violence 2nd degree. The charge was dismissed before trial

State v. R.W., January 2017: R.W. was charged with domestic violence in the 1st degree in Myrtle Beach. The charge was dismissed before trial

State v. J.B, March 2016: J.B. was charged with criminal domestice violence in the 2nd degree in Myrtle Beach. The charge was dismissed before trial

What Are the Different Types of Domestic Violence Charges in South Carolina?

How Can Thompson & Hiller Help Me Fight Domestic Violence Allegations?

What Are the Legal Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction in South Carolina?

How Do Protective Orders Work in South Carolina Domestic Violence Cases?

Can Domestic Violence Charges Affect Child Custody in South Carolina?

Navigating Domestic Violence Laws in South Carolina: Why Thompson & Hiller Are Your Best Allies

If you’re facing domestic violence charges in South Carolina, the stakes are high and the laws are complex. Thompson & Hiller, leading female attorneys in domestic violence cases, are here to guide you through this challenging time. With their experience, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the intricacies of South Carolina’s ever-changing domestic violence laws.

Understanding Domestic Violence in South Carolina

Domestic violence is a highly sensitive and politically charged issue in South Carolina. The state has been under scrutiny for not doing enough to protect victims, leading to frequent changes in domestic violence laws, usually making penalties more severe.

The state’s approach to domestic violence is influenced by a variety of factors, including public opinion, political agendas, and advocacy work. This makes it crucial to have an attorney who not only understands the legal landscape but also the political and societal nuances that come into play. Thompson & Hiller are deeply familiar with these dynamics, making them your most reliable advocates.

Types of Domestic Violence Charges in South Carolina

In South Carolina, domestic violence charges range from first, second, and third-degree charges to Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN). The severity of these charges depends on various factors, including:

  • The extent of physical harm caused

  • Prior convictions for domestic violence

  • Presence of a minor during the incident

  • Violation of a protection order

Domestic Violence First Degree

This is a felony charge with penalties that can go up to ten years in prison. It is applied in cases involving great bodily injury, multiple prior convictions, or the use of a firearm during the incident. Additional aggravating factors can include the victim being pregnant or the offense occurring in the presence of a minor.

Domestic Violence Second Degree

This charge is more severe and can result in up to three years in prison. It is applied when there is moderate bodily injury, violation of a protection order, or a prior conviction within the last 10 years. Additional factors like the presence of a minor or the victim being pregnant can also influence the severity of this charge.

Domestic Violence Third Degree

This is often considered the ‘entry-level’ domestic violence charge. It carries a maximum jail sentence of 90 days and is usually applied when physical harm is caused or attempted against a household member. First-time offenders may qualify for Pretrial Intervention (PTI), a program that, upon successful completion, leads to the dismissal and expungement of the charge.

Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN)

This is the most severe form of domestic violence charge in South Carolina. It carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and is applied when the offense occurs under extreme circumstances, such as using a deadly weapon or causing great bodily injury.

The Consequences of Firearm Possession in Domestic Violence Cases

In South Carolina, the implications of firearm possession during a domestic violence incident are severe and can dramatically escalate the legal consequences you face. Thompson & Hiller, leading female attorneys in South Carolina in domestic violence cases, are your go-to for navigating the complexities of firearm-related charges.

The Legal Ramifications of Firearm Possession in Domestic Violence Cases

In South Carolina, the presence of a firearm during a domestic violence incident can significantly impact the charges and penalties. Here’s how:

Elevated Charges: If you are found to have used a firearm during a domestic violence incident, a charge that might have otherwise been classified as Domestic Violence Second Degree could escalate to Domestic Violence First Degree, a felony with a maximum sentence of up to ten years.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences: The use of a firearm can trigger mandatory minimum sentences, reducing the judge’s discretion in sentencing and often leading to harsher penalties.

Federal Implications: Beyond state laws, federal laws also prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses from owning or possessing firearms. This means that a domestic violence conviction can result in a lifetime ban on firearm ownership, affecting not just your freedom but also your Second Amendment rights.

The Social and Personal Impact

The presence of a firearm in a domestic violence case doesn’t just affect the legal outcome; it also has social and personal ramifications. The societal view of domestic violence is already stigmatized, and the inclusion of a firearm can exacerbate this, affecting your reputation, employment, and even child custody arrangements.

Common Defenses in Domestic Violence Cases

Facing a domestic violence charge can be an overwhelming experience, filled with uncertainty and fear about the future. However, it’s crucial to remember that a charge is not a conviction. At Thompson & Hiller, we specialize in defending clients against domestic violence charges in South Carolina. With our extensive experience and dedication, we craft the strongest possible defense strategies tailored to your unique situation. Here are some common defenses we often employ to protect your rights and freedom.


One of the most frequently used defenses in domestic violence cases is self-defense. If you were protecting yourself from imminent harm, this could be a valid defense. Thompson & Hiller will meticulously gather evidence, such as medical records and eyewitness accounts, to substantiate your claim of self-defense.

False Accusations

Unfortunately, false accusations of domestic violence are not uncommon, often stemming from emotional turmoil, custody battles, or relationship issues. We conduct thorough investigations to expose inconsistencies in the accuser’s story, thereby casting doubt on their credibility.

Lack of Intent

Domestic violence charges often hinge on the intent to cause harm. If the incident was an accident, it could be a strong point in your defense. We work diligently to demonstrate that you had no intention of causing harm, using evidence such as text messages, emails, or other forms of communication that can shed light on your state of mind.

Insufficient Evidence

The burden of proof lies with the prosecution. If they cannot provide enough evidence to support the charges against you, the case may be dismissed. Thompson & Hiller will scrutinize every piece of evidence, challenging its validity and relevance to weaken the prosecution’s case.

Violation of Constitutional Rights

Any evidence obtained through illegal means, such as unlawful search and seizure, cannot be used against you in court. We are vigilant in ensuring that your constitutional rights are upheld throughout the legal process.

Expert Testimonies

In some cases, expert testimonies can be invaluable in providing a nuanced understanding of the situation. Whether it’s a psychologist attesting to your mental state or a medical expert confirming the nature of injuries, Thompson & Hiller have a network of reputable experts to strengthen your defense.

Why Choose Thompson & Hiller?

Personalized Attention: Every case is unique, and we treat it as such. We take the time to understand the specifics of your situation to build a robust defense strategy.

Extensive Experience: With years of experience in handling domestic violence cases in South Carolina, we know the ins and outs of the legal system.

Client-Centric Approach: Your well-being is our top priority. We maintain open communication throughout the legal process, keeping you informed and involved.

Proven Track Record: Our successful case histories speak volumes about our commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Penalties and Sentencing for Domestic Violence in South Carolina

Understanding the penalties and sentencing for domestic violence in South Carolina is crucial for anyone facing these serious charges. At Thompson & Hiller, we believe that knowledge is power. The more you know about what you’re up against, the better prepared you’ll be to fight for your rights. Here, we break down the complexities of domestic violence penalties and sentencing in South Carolina to give you a clearer picture of what to expect.

Types of Domestic Violence Charges and Their Penalties

Domestic Violence First Degree

Penalty: Up to 10 years in prison

Additional Consequences: Felony charge, increased penalties for using a firearm during the offense or having multiple prior convictions

Domestic Violence Second Degree

Penalty: Up to 3 years in prison

Additional Consequences: Increased penalties for violating protection orders, committing the offense in the presence of a minor, or having prior convictions within the last 10 years

Domestic Violence Third Degree

Penalty: Up to 90 days in jail

Additional Consequences: Eligibility for Pretrial Intervention (PTI) if you have no prior record, mandatory domestic violence intervention program

Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN)

Penalty: Up to 20 years in prison

Additional Consequences: Felony charge, considered an extremely serious offense with severe penalties

Firearm Possession Impact

Conviction for any form of domestic violence in South Carolina will result in the loss of your right to own or possess a firearm under both state and federal law. This is a lifetime ban unless you receive a pardon.

Additional Sentencing Factors

Prior Convictions: A history of domestic violence can significantly increase your sentence.

Violation of Protection Orders: Breaking a protection order while committing domestic violence can result in additional penalties.

Presence of Minors: Committing domestic violence in the presence of minors can escalate the severity of your sentence.

FAQ on Domestic Violence Cases in South Carolina

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence in South Carolina is defined as causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a household member. The charge can vary in severity based on factors like prior convictions and the circumstances of the incident.

What Are the Different Types of Domestic Violence Charges?

In South Carolina, domestic violence charges can be categorized as first, second, or third degree, or as Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN). Each category has its own set of criteria and penalties.

How is the Degree of a Domestic Violence Charge Determined?

The degree is determined by the severity of the offense, whether there are prior convictions for domestic violence, and other specific conditions like the presence of a minor or use of a weapon.

What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in South Carolina?

Penalties can range from up to 90 days in jail for a third-degree charge to up to 20 years in prison for DVHAN. Additional penalties may include fines, mandatory counseling, and loss of firearm rights.

Can a Domestic Violence Charge Affect Child Custody?

Yes, a domestic violence conviction can have a significant impact on child custody arrangements and may result in limited or supervised visitation rights.

What is a “No Contact” Order?

A “No Contact” order is a court mandate prohibiting the accused from contacting the victim. Violating this order can result in additional charges.

Can I Own a Firearm After a Domestic Violence Conviction?

No, you will lose your right to own or possess a firearm under both South Carolina and federal law if convicted of domestic violence.

How Can Thompson & Hiller Help Me?

Knowledge: We are skilled in domestic violence cases in South Carolina.

Client Focus: Your needs are our top priority.

Success Rate: Our track record in reducing or dismissing charges is exceptional.

What is the Role of a Victim’s Advocate?

A victim’s advocate provides support and resources to the victim but does not have a role in the legal proceedings related to the domestic violence charge.

Can Charges Be Dropped if the Victim Doesn’t Want to Press Charges?

It’s possible, but the decision ultimately lies with the prosecutor, not the victim.

 What Should I Do if Falsely Accused?

Immediately contact a skilled domestic violence attorney like Thompson & Hiller to protect your rights and build a strong defense.

 What is Pretrial Intervention (PTI)?

PTI is a program that allows first-time offenders to have their charges dismissed and expunged upon successful completion of specific requirements, such as community service or counseling.

Can a Domestic Violence Charge Be Expunged?

A conviction for domestic violence 3rd degree can be expunged after five years, provided there are no other convictions on your record.

What Should I Do if I’m Arrested?

The first thing you should do is exercise your right to remain silent and request an attorney Anything you say can be used against you. Contact Thompson & Hiller immediately for legal advice.

Want to Speak With an Attorney Today?

Get your free initial consultation set up today by reaching out via phone, email, or text. Have Thompson & Hiller on your side today.

Practice Areas

Driving under the Influence in South Carolina


Thompson & Hiller Defense

Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense

Thompson & Hiller Defense