Call Today 803.359.3301
What Is Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature?

What Is Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature?

Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature is a specific delineation from criminal domestic violence or other DV charges. Keep reading for more information.

State Law

South Carolina has a tier list of serious domestic violence charges. One of them, the most serious and violent is called domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature or DVHAN.

The state penal code S.C. Code § 16-25-65 states that a person commits DVHAN if:

  • The offense is committed under extreme indifference to the value of human life and causes severe bodily injury to the victim
  • The offense is accompanied by battery and would cause extreme fear of harm or death
  • The accusation is made in congruence with a protection order and would be considered first degree domestic violence

The law may seem as though it only applies to extreme violence or attempted murder but police make DVHAN arrests for a variety of reasons in situations that may not be extreme but could escalate without intervention. Regardless of the context, DVHAN charges are a felony and could be punished by at least 20 years in prison.

Criminal Charges

These cases are handled by the Solicitor’s office and those convicted and are found guilty are likely to be sentenced to a prison term. In some cases, the office will use domestic violence assault as supporting evidence in a DVHAN case but no physical contact is required.

Some examples of this include:

  • Allegations of chocking, or bruising on the victim’s throat
  • Possession of a knife or gun
  • Verbal threats to kill the victim
  • Injuries that require emergency room treatment or hospitalization
  • Use of a deadly weapon

A deadly weapon can be almost anything. In some cases, a shovel or automobile could be considered deadly. Regardless of the item, if it was used to harm or threaten harm to the victim.


As mentioned previously, DVHAN charges are felonies. These crimes are classified along with criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and other serious crimes. The police may overcharge the defendant to ensue a guilty verdict, but evidence must still be provided.

These cases are serious, and the penalties are severe. If you are facing DVHAN charges, you must contact an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can defend you in court and protect your best interests.

If you have been charged with DVHAN, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC.


Get Started Today

We're Available to Schedule Immediate, Same-Day Consultations
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.