How Can I Challenge a CDV Charge in Greenville, SC?
Depending on the defendant’s prior history of offenses, criminal domestic violence (or CDV) charges are either a misdemeanor or felony. A CDV charge can follow you for the rest of your life, as CDV charges can make it very difficult to own a house, obtain a job, and retain custody of your children. This is why Greenville CDV attorney is the first person you need to contact if you are facing these charges.
Greenville Criminal Domestic Violence Laws
South Carolina has one of the highest rates of deaths caused by domestic violence in the United States. This led to legislation being passed on June 4, 2015, when new laws were put in place to pursue tougher consequences on those convicted of domestic violence. Legislature in Greenville dictates that it is unlawful to “cause harm or injury to a person’s own household member,” or to “offer or attempt physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member.”
In order to reform the way that judges could hand down sentences for a CDV charge, the new legislation in Greenville, SC changed the way people could be prosecuted. Before the bill, a person’s sentencing mainly depended on prior charges having been laid. However, in order to protect the victims of domestic violence, the new law allowed harsh sentencing for a person’s first misdemeanor if the incident was serious enough.
If you are facing a CDV charge or any domestic violence charge in Greenville SC, it is important to understand how this new law works and how it may affect you. There are four main charges that can be pursued in case of a CDV, and your placement within these categories will have a large impact on your conviction. Conducting thorough research on the matter will be the best way to understand your situation. Also, it is very important to look for legal help and make sure your CDV attorney has the right knowledge and has handled similar cases before.
Domestic Violence of an Aggravated Nature (DVHAN)
This charge is the most serious kind of domestic violence, as you can be charged with a felony offense and sentenced for up to 20 years in prison. A DVHAN may be charged if any of the following apply to your situation:
- The victim died or was permanently disfigured
- You used a deadly weapon
- You knew the victim was pregnant
- You forced entry into the victim’s house
- You prevented the victim from getting to a phone
CDV Charge: 1st Degree
A person commits the offense of domestic violence in the 1st degree if the person causes “great bodily injury to the person’s own household member”. You can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison for a 1st degree CDV charge, as it is a felony. These charges may be brought against you if:
- The victim had a restraining order
- A gun was used
- A minor saw or heard the altercation
- You attempted to choke the victim
First-degree charges can be ordered if you have had two CDV charges within the last 10 years.
CDV Charge: 2nd Degree
Second degree CDV charges can be given to a person who has two or more convictions of CDV within 10 years of the current offense. It is a misdemeanor offense that is charged when:
- There is the use of a firearm
- The offense is committed in sight of a minor
- The offense is committed by someone known to be pregnant
- The offense is committed during the commission of a robbery, kidnapping or theft
- The victim’s airflow is inhibited
- Physical force was used to block the victim’s access to a telephone or other form of communication
Second degree CDV charges can warrant up to a three-year stay in jail, and fines up to $5000.
CDV Charge: 3rd Degree
This is the least severe of CDV charges. It is a misdemeanor, and to warrant this charge, you must have injured or threatened to injure a person you have:
- Live with, or previously have lived with
- Had a child with
If convicted of a 3rd degree CDV charge, you could spend up to 90 days in jail and face fines up to $2500.
Consult with a Greenville Attorney to Discuss Your CDV Charge
If facing a CDV charge in South Carolina, you must contact a Greenville CDV attorney at Kendrick and Leonard to determine the strength of the case against you and the possible outcomes that may result. Your CDV attorney in Columbia SC will be able to help your assess what degree of charges you may face and what the best strategy is for overcoming them.