Violent crimes of any sort are vigorously investigated and prosecuted in South Carolina, and domestic violence charges are no exception. In fact, some contend an allegation of domestic violence garners more attention from law enforcement than other crimes because standard procedure typically involves an on the spot arrest. While the investigating officers look to the totality of the circumstances observed at the scene, often they primarily rely on an allegation made by the alleged victim as to what transpired. The allegation may not be entirely true.
Initially, domestic violence is a broad term used to include a wide range of specific acts and behavior. Domestic violence experts report it includes acts that are physical, verbal, emotional, and/or economic. Typically, physical abuse is alleged, which again can include various degrees of severity from simple assault to far more serious allegations that may involve serious injury to the alleged victim or the use of a weapon by the alleged abuser. Because mandatory jail time, loss of employment, loss of reputation and removal from the family home are potential consequences, defending against such charges is essential.
Due to the extreme emotions often involved in domestic violence cases, it is not unusual for the alleged victim to recant previously made allegations after the heat of the moment has passed. Although that alone is not sufficient to curtail a prosecutor from building a case, it is a significant finding. Other relevant facts include a prior history of violence or a lack thereof, whether an ongoing divorce or custody is at issue and whether alcohol is involved in the incident.
Accusations of domestic violence, especially those involving violent crimes, are serious matters with potentially life-changing consequences. A criminal defense lawyer might investigate the facts and provide advice on the best manner in which to proceed.