Domestic violence is a criminal offense involving violence, abuse, or threats of harm against a partner or family member. In most states, including South Carolina, where our office is based, domestic violence charges can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the offense.
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, it is vital to learn more about this offense and what you can do if the allegations are false.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence can take many forms. Some of the most common include:
- Physical violence or assault
- Sexual assault
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
The victim in a domestic violence case can be a spouse, ex-spouse, romantic partner, family member, or cohabitant of the defendant.
Domestic Violence as a High-Priority Offense
According to South Carolina law, domestic violence charges can be filed if a person causes physical harm to a household member. These charges may also apply if a person commits any act of violence or threatens violence, causing a household member to fear for their safety.
In the state, domestic violence is a high-priority offense. This means that law enforcement officers must make an arrest if there is probable cause to believe that domestic violence has happened.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
Because the charge is high priority, if someone is convicted of domestic violence, they can face significant penalties. Some of the most common legal penalties include:
- Significant fines
- Imprisonment of up to 20 years
- Long-term probation
- Required community service
Domestic violence convictions can have a wide range of long-lasting consequences for the person found guilty. These include a criminal record that will affect the person’s social standing, employment opportunities, and other elements of life.
In these cases, the victim may seek a restraining order. This is a legal document that prohibits the defendant from contacting or being in proximity to the victim. Violating a restraining order can result in additional penalties and charges.
How to Proceed When You Are Facing False Allegations
There are several steps you should take to protect your interests and defend against fraudulent allegations. These steps include:
It is normal to feel angry or upset when falsely accused of a crime. Do your best to remain calm and composed when responding to the allegations.
Do not confront the accuser. Avoid any behavior that could be perceived as threatening or inappropriate.
If you can, collect any evidence that can help support your case. This may include:
- Witness statements
- Text messages
- Relevant emails
- Any communication that contradicts the allegations
Keep all relevant documents and records in a secure location.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing falsified domestic violence allegations, it is essential to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A skilled legal representative can fight to protect your legal rights and work to clear your name.
Cooperate with the Authorities
Make sure to be cooperative with law enforcement and other authorities. Tell the truth and provide any relevant information to help support your defense.
Maintain a Detailed Record
Keep a thorough record of interactions with the accuser. You should also maintain documentation of your contact with any other parties involved in the case.
Document any incidents or conversations that may be relevant to your defense.
Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney in Spartanburg
If you are facing false allegations of domestic violence, do not wait. It is critical to take these accusations seriously by contacting a legal professional.
The experienced team at the Law Office of Mo Abusaft has earned a reputation as dedicated advocates who provide aggressive representation for our clients. To learn more about how we can protect your rights in Spartanburg, South Carolina, contact the Law Office of Mo Abusaft to speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney today.