Like all states in America, South Carolina has laws that are designed to protect people from abuse inflicted by a member of their own household. It’s important to be aware of the details of these laws, not only so you can know your legal rights in the event that you’re a victim of domestic violence, but also so you’re aware of your legal rights in the event that you’re accused of perpetrating the crime of domestic violence. At De Bruin Law Firm, we believe that it’s important for all individuals to be considered innocent until proven guilty, and our criminal defense attorneys will fight hard to defend the rights of any individual who feels wrongly accused in these cases.

South Carolina’s Domestic Violence Charges

The Palmetto State employs what are known as a gradated domestic violence charges. This means they’re considered to be varying levels and types of domestic violence, each with their own specific definitions and potential penalties.

First Degree Domestic Violence

A person can be charged with first degree domestic violence if law enforcement officers determine they have caused or attempted to cause great bodily harm to a person in their household. First degree domestic violence charges also apply to someone who has violated a protective order, has two or more prior convictions for domestic violence within 10 years, commits domestic violence against a pregnant women, and a number of other situations.

Second Degree Domestic Violence

A person can be charged with second degree domestic violence if law enforcement officers determine they have caused or attempted to cause moderate bodily harm to a person in their household. This charge can also apply to a number of additional acts.

Third Degree Domestic Violence

A person can be charged with second degree domestic violence if law enforcement officers determine they have caused or attempted to cause any harm to someone in their household.


In addition to these gradated domestic violence charges, South Carolina lawmakers have set aside a fourth distinct category of charges. This category refers to domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, or DVHAN. A person can be charged with DVHAN if law enforcement officers determine that assault or battery has been committed with a deadly weapon, or in such a way that the victim feared serious injury and/or death.

De Bruin Law Firm understand that no case of domestic violence is black and white. Our criminal attorneys have years of experience with these type of cases, and are always available to discuss your particular circumstances.

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.

What do I need to do to help my attorney defend me?

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.

How much does a criminal defense attorney cost?

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.

I also am aware that  many people are unable to afford to pay thousands of dollars upfront. In order to better serve my clients I offer a payment plan option. If you’d like to see if you qualify for our criminal defense payment plan option please contact us by using our form, or call us directly at (864) 372-2896.

Who will handle my case?

How do you know the attorney you hire is the attorney who will represent you during the entire process? I personally guarantee that I will handle every part of your criminal case, you will not be passed of t a junior attorney.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you are arrested for a felony, misdemeanor, DUI, or serious traffic offense in Greenville, SC or the surrounding area, Aaron De Bruin provides aggressive defense of his clients’ rights, freedom, and driving privileges. We have someone available to speak to you 24 hours/7 days per week. Our firm will even arrange in-house financing in certain cases. Call us today at 864-372-2896 to arrange a free no obligation confidential consultation.