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Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in SC

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in SC

Not only can a domestic violence incident result in an arrest, but it can also lead to having a restraining order – or “order of protection” in South Carolina – filed against you. This type of court order is designed to protect a family/household member and/or their children who have been victims of abuse (e.g., assault, sexual assault, or any other physical harm or threats to do so) by their current or former spouse, a current or former cohabitant, or someone with whom they share a child in common. 

There are two types of restraining orders in South Carolina: temporary orders of protection and final orders of protection. Here is a breakdown of each order: 

Temporary Order of Protection 

A judge issues a temporary order of protection if he/she believes the alleged victim is in imminent danger of abuse. This type of order lasts up to 15 days or until the full court hearing – regarding a final order of protection – is held. 

Once an alleged victim files a petition, a hearing is held within 24 hours. The alleged abuser does not have to be present.  

A temporary order of protection orders the alleged abuser to do the following: 

  • Avoid abusing or threatening to abuse the alleged victim 

  • Avoid communicating or attempting to communicate with the alleged victim 

  • Stay away from any place where the alleged victim frequents (e.g., family home, workplace, school, daycare, etc.) 

Final Order of Protection 

In order to obtain a final order of protection, a full court hearing is held and both sides have an opportunity to present their evidence and call witnesses to the stand. If a judge grants the alleged victim the order, it will last at least six months or up to one year. 

A final order of protection orders the alleged abuser to do the following: 

  • Follow all the relief associated with a temporary order of protection 

  • Follow temporary child custody and visitation rights 

  • Pay child support 

  • Prevents the person from selling or give up income or property 

  • Orders the person out of the family home 

  • Pay court costs and attorney’s fees 

If you are being accused of domestic violence in Lexington, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today at (803) 359-3301 for a free initial consultation. Get more than 15 years of legal experience on your side! 


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