Domestic violence includes causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a spouse or former spouse or another household member. In addition to imprisonment, a domestic violence conviction can have serious consequences in a South Carolina divorce case. If an individual is convicted or pleads guilty to domestic violence, that person may not later claim that there is no physical abuse in a divorce case. Therefore, the negative effects of domestic violence on divorce can be substantial and can have a lasting impact.
Domestic Violence And Divorce
In South Carolina, a divorcing party can allege physical abuse as a fault-based reason for divorce. However, there is no guarantee that a domestic violence conviction will automatically qualify for a fault based divorce. In order to be a reason for divorce, the spouse alleging abuse must prove either physical injury or a substantial risk of death or serious bodily harm. An example of substantial risk of death is if an individual shoots a gun at his spouse, but misses.
A spouse alleging physical cruelty in a divorce case can file a request for an Order for Protection with the court. After being served with a copy of the Order for Protection, the alleged abuser will have a court hearing. At that time, the court may issue an Order regarding child custody and visitation, personal property, the residence, contact with the minor child and spouse and restrictions on the use of joint bank accounts. The Order for Protection hearing is similar to a trial. Information used during a family court Order for Protection hearing can be used by the prosecutor to prepare for a domestic violence trial.
A spouse who alleges physical abuse in a divorce case must prove that the abuse happened by a preponderance of the evidence. This is lower than the requirement for a domestic violence conviction. In order for an individual to be convicted for domestic violence, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, it is easier to prove that a person committed physical cruelty in a South Carolina divorce case than in a domestic violence case.
There is a good chance that parent who is arrested for domestic violence will be viewed negatively by the family court when it’s time for the judge or jury to make decisions regarding custody, child support, alimony and property division. That is why some spouses make false claims of physical cruelty in order to gain an advantage in their divorce case. However, the false claims can certainly backfire when the truth is revealed.
Can Our South Carolina Attorneys Help You?
An experienced domestic violence attorney in South Carolina is the best resource for protecting your rights when you are accused of domestic violence. Contact Greenville Defense Attorney Aaron De Bruin to speak to an attorney today.
What will a criminal defense attorney do for my case?
Once I have evaluated your case I will provide you an overview of your case. This will describe among other things the criminal law process, how we will work together to navigate the criminal justice system, and what expectation I have for you as a client and what expectations you should have for me as your defense attorney.
What should my attorney do to prepare my case for trial?
I collect not only the evidence that the government is required to supply, but also gather my own evidence for your defense as well. I will talk to witnesses, look for other video from third party sources, and go to the scene of the alleged offense. I believe your case is far to important not to go the extra mile to insure we know all the facts for your case, to provide you the best possible defense.
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No one cares more about your case than you. While we prepare your case, we also prepare your for trial. The one thing we need most from you is total honesty. Remember, everything you and I talk about is confidential. I am on your side.
For Drug offense cases, we may require you to look into a rehabilitation facility. I have had client’s charged with drug crimes who unfortunately we suffering from serious addiction and needed help, not jail. When I was able to convince those clients to make the difficult decision and enter a rehabilitation facility it helped create a positive situation that made negotiating their case more favorable. Many criminal cases last over a year. If I can help get a client suffering from an addition on the path to recovery while defending them from their criminal drug charges, their future becomes much more optimistic, and often, so does their case. Changing your life prior to trial or before a plea will greatly decrease your changes of going to jail. We are here to help not only with your legal needs, but also to help you in life. We have seen success stories and want you to be one too.
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Your attorney’s fees will be based on multiple things including but not limited to, the severity of the crime, the evidence against you, prior convictions, and the amount of jail time your are facing if convicted. For criminal defense services I charge my client’s a flat fee on almost all cases at the start of their case. Therefore, you know how much your case will cost on day one.
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