A domestic violence charge can be terrifying and serious. Whether it is a first offense or repeat charge, the legal process you will face can be overwhelming. Ensuring that your legal rights are protected and that you have quality representation throughout the duration of this crisis is imperative. You will want a Greenville domestic violence lawyer who is experienced in handling such a charge, who knows the local courts, and who is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible case result.
When faced with a domestic violence charge, we strongly advise you to contact Christopher L. Jones, Attorney at Law, where you will find capable legal counsel and support. Chris has prosecuted everything from DUIs and forgeries to murder and armed robbery. That experience as a prosecutor has given him a unique ability and insight into how the other side operates leading to better and more effective defense strategies.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence consists of causing some type of harm or injury to a family or household member. It can also occur through threatening the person with harm and putting him or her in fear of imminent danger. These crimes can be committed against spouses, ex-spouses, individuals who have a child together, and unmarried people who live together or who have lived together in the past.
These crimes can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances as follows:
- 3rd degree is charged as a misdemeanor, carrying penalties of up to 90 days in jail
and fines of $1,000 to $2,500.
- 2nd degree is also a misdemeanor punishable up to three years in jail and fines of
$2,000 to $5,000.
- 1st degree is charged as a felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
- DV high and aggravated, is a domestic crime involving the use of a deadly weapon or that causes serious bodily injury. It is charged as a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Courts can also order you to complete a batterers’ program or a substance abuse program. These programs may be ordered and completed in lieu of jail time at the court’s discretion. A skilled attorney in Greenville could work to mitigate the negative consequences of a domestic violence charge.
Here at Christopher L. Jones, Attorney at Law, we have the knowledge as attorneys to properly cross-examine witnesses in a Greenville domestic violence case. We do the following:
- Was your accuser the primary aggressor?
- Did the witness give law enforcement different statements and were they conflicting?
- Did law enforcement persuade the witness to say a certain statement?
- Did the accuser try to gain from a divorce or child custody case?
- Does the police or law enforcement have different accounts?
Can a Domestic Violence Charge Be Dropped in Greenville?
A domestic violence case can be dropped, but not by the victim. The state charges the accused. The victim does not. Even if the victim doesn’t want to cooperate with the police or prosecutor, the prosecutor can still bring forth charges. An unwilling victim makes the prosecutor’s job of proving the case more difficult, but there are situations when a prosecutor will push forward with the case. The victim can ask for the charges to be dropped, but the victim does not have the power to drop them. This can be confusing since the arresting officer asks the victim to complete a form about whether or not to prosecute the case. A Greenville attorney could explain the intricacies of dropping a domestic violence case in more detail.
Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Claims
While domestic violence charges may seem overwhelming and daunting, there are defenses available depending on the specific facts of a case. An experienced Greenville lawyer could assess your case and build a robust defense that makes sense for your unique situation. Possible defenses include:
- Lack of Evidence: A lack of sufficient evidence is one of the greatest defenses. You can’t be convicted if there is not enough evidence to prove that you committed it.
- Self Defense: This can be an effective way to fight a domestic violence claim. Your defense attorney will have to prove that there was an imminent threat of harm and you had no choice but to fight back.
- Falsely Accused: Proving the domestic violence claim was false. In divorce or child custody battles, it is common to claim domestic violence charges out of anger. A great defense attorney will find inconsistencies in the accuser’s claim.
- It was an Accident: Rarely proven successful. Your attorney will have to prove that the act was not malicious or intentional, but was an accident.
- Violence was Minor: Your attorney might try to prove that the harm was very minor and should not be considered a criminal act.
It is critical to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after being accused of domestic violence. Evidence can disappear and memories fade over time, so speaking with an attorney early on gives you the best chance at a strong case.
Contact a Greenville Domestic Violence Attorney Today
A domestic violence charge can spin your life out of control and have long-lasting consequences, leaving you with a permanent criminal record. Our firm is here to provide the support you need at this critical time and help you avoid or minimize the consequences. Schedule your free consultation with our Greenville domestic violence lawyer today.