Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Greenville, SC

Domestic abuse offenses in South Carolina are aggressively prosecuted. Acts of violence such as assault and battery are often key elements of these crimes, but when such crimes occur between family members or other members of a household, it becomes a different type of crime entirely. Rather than an assault and battery charge in South Carolina, the perpetrator will receive a domestic violence charge. Even if the alleged victim does not press charges, law enforcement officers and prosecutors perform their due diligence to put accused domestic violence perpetrators behind bars.

domestic violence defense attorney greenville sc

South Carolina ranks among the worst states for deadly violence against women. This puts law enforcement agencies under increased pressure to protect domestic violence victims. Domestic violence accusations in South Carolina may include allegations against a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, or a household member. At AnneMarie Odom Law, we provide our clients with aggressive defense representation and have the courtroom experience to stand up to the state.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence in SC?

Domestic violence refers to the threat, attempt, or actual infliction of physical harm to a household member or anyone who shares a domestic relationship. According to South Carolina law, household members or domestic relationships may include individuals who:

  • Are married
  • Were previously married
  • Live together
  • Previously lived together
  • Are parents of the same child

Law enforcement authorities, courts, prosecutors, and the general public take domestic abuse cases very seriously. As a result, a domestic violence charge in South Carolina can carry severe penalties that may have life-altering consequences.

Greenville Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Punishment for Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature

Penalty: 0 to 20 years (felony)

For this charge to apply, there must be evidence of the following:

  • Defendant had extreme indifference to the value of human life AND the victim feared a threat of great bodily injury or death (i.e., a gun is placed gun to the victim’s head by the defendant); OR
  • Defendant inflicted severe bodily injury while committing the crime, presenting a high risk of:
    • Death
    • Severe lifetime disfigurement
    • Prolonged recovery period or impairment; OR
    • Defendant violated a protective order AND committed DV 1st degree during the violation

Domestic Violence 1st Degree SC

Penalty: 0 to 10 years (felony)

Defendant physically assaulted the victim or threatened physical harm, and had the power to carry out the threat at that time; AND either:

  • Convicted of DV two or more times within the past ten years;
  • Harm inflicted is categorized as great bodily injury and involves the real possibility of:
    • Death
    • Permanent disfigurement
    • Prolonged recovery period or impairment
  • A gun is used by defendant; OR
  • 2nd-degree domestic violence is committed by defendant AND either:
    • The protection order was being violated by defendant
    • The defendant was aware or should have been aware the victim was pregnant
    • A robbery, burglary, theft, or kidnapping was being committed by defendant (A place where the victim was located was entered without permission)
    • The victim was choked or smothered, blocking airway, by defendant
    • The victim’s use of their cell phone, home phone, or any other electronic communication was blocked by defendant, keeping them from asking law enforcement for help

Domestic Violence 2nd Degree SC

Penalty: 0 to 3 years and/or $2500-$5000 fine (misdemeanor)

Defendant physically assaulted the victim or threatened physical harm, and had the power to carry out the threat at that time; AND either:

  • The damage is classified as moderate bodily injury and includes:
    • Long periods of unconsciousness
    • Disfigurement that is temporary or moderate
    • Causes temporary loss of function of a body part (toes, arms, fingers, etc.) or organ(s)
    • Medical intervention involving regional or general anesthesia
    • Bones that are fractured or broken
  • Defendant has been convicted of domestic violence once within the past ten years; OR
  • Committed 3rd-degree domestic violence AND either:
    • Was violating a protective order
    • The victim was pregnant and defendant knew or should have known
    • A minor was present or witnessed the event
    • Occurred during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft
    • The victim’s breathing or airflow was restricted during the crime
    • The victim could not call police for help because defendant blocked their use of a cell or landline phone or other electronic communication

Domestic Violence 3rd Degree SC

Penalty: 0 to 90 days and/or $1000-$2500 fine (misdemeanor)

Defendant physically assaulted the victim or threatened physical harm, and had the power to carry out the threat at that time.

South Carolina Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Order of Protection in South Carolina

A protective order in South Carolina protects a petitioner from being hurt or abused by a family member, household member, someone with whom they share a child, or someone with whom they have previously or currently dated. This order can be applied for by both male and female victims. It prohibits the accused from contacting the victim for a specified period of time and requires a person to stop acting abusively toward the other person.

In general, the order forbids direct or indirect communication with the victim, as well as any form of assault, threats, or harassment of the victim or their family. A final order of protection typically stands for six months to a year, but may be increased after it expires. To learn more about the laws surrounding orders of protection in South Carolina, speak to an experienced Greenville domestic violence attorney today.

Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

Greenville domestic violence attorney AnneMarie Odom attentively and thoroughly listens to your side of the story and does a thorough investigation to prepare your case. She’ll come up with the strongest potential defense strategy for your case. Such defenses against charges of domestic violence may include false accusations, a changing narrative, self-defense, a solid alibi, and not enough evidence.

South Carolina Domestic Violence Lawyer

At AnneMarie Odom Law, we recognize that aggressive criminal defense representation is essential in cases involving domestic violence allegations. These allegations must be treated carefully. A first conviction carries severe consequences, including the possibility of jail time, while consecutive convictions for domestic abuse can carry even stiffer penalties and can result in years in prison and hefty fines.

AnneMarie Odom examines every piece of evidence the prosecution plans to use and will create a defense strategy specifically tailored to your case to get the best result possible.


With a thorough understanding of each case, she works to achieve the best possible result, whether that means persuading the state of South Carolina to drop the case or lessen the charges against her clients, or putting up the strongest trial defense possible.

To discuss your charges, contact Greenville domestic violence attorney AnneMarie Odom as soon as possible.

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