Domestic Violence 3rd Degree

Domestic Violence 3rd Degree in South Carolina

Did you know that you can be charged with domestic violence 3rd degree even if you never physically touched anyone?  Today we’ll discuss this law in South Carolina and how it works. Hi, my name is Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, SC. Today we’re talking domestic violence 3rd degree and how the law has developed recently.

Sadly, South Carolina consistently ranks as one of the top three states in the nation for domestic violence cases.  In responding to that problem, our laws and punishments have become harsher and prosecutors are now specially assigned to deal with these types of cases.

What is Domestic Violence 3rd Degree

To establish domestic violence 3rd the prosecutor must show:

  • That you caused physical harm or injury to a household member; or
  • You attempted to cause physical harm or injury w/the ability to do so creating fear of imminent peril.
  • Penalty 0-90 days fine $1,000 – $2,500

Domestic violence 3rd degree is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty up to 90 days if convicted.

That means you can be convicted for domestic violence even if you never physically touched a household member.  The reason for this is that the law addresses the problem of not just the physical assault associated with domestic violence but also the threat to physically abuse another.  The problems in prosecuting and defending this type of crime is proving the offense.  When there’s no physical evidence of an injury it comes down to a he said she said credibility contest unless there’s video or audio recordings of the incident.

Folks accused of DV can be frustrated even further when the victim tells police or prosecutors that they do not want to prosecute but the case is not dropped.  Because of the focus on these cases, prosecutors aggressively pursue them when they can prove it.

Domestic Violence Defenses

If that victim refuses to cooperate and without their testimony the state has no other evidence to support the charge it can make it very difficult to go forward.  That doesn’t mean the state has no tools to deal with this.  They have subpoena power and can compel victims to court.

There are also diversionary programs available that means you do not go through a formal prosecution of the case.  However, the state will require you to go through counseling for 26 weeks and if you successfully complete all the counseling the case will be dismissed.

So often I see issues of alcohol and substance abuse at the core of the problems that led to police being called.  If that is an issue in your relationship, good defense attorneys know that addressing those problems can have a huge impact on the outcome of your case.

Charleston Criminal Defense Attorney

If have been charged with DV 3rd and want to discuss your options, please call me at (843) 530-7813.  I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.

Scroll to Top