Call Today 888.301.6004
Don't Face Your Charges Alone Contact Our Firm to Start Establishing a Successful Defense

What is the difference between a DV 3rd Degree, 2nd Degree and 1st Degree?

South Carolina currently has four separate domestic violence charges. While there are many similarities, there are many important differences too.

Similarities Between Charges

  • All South Carolina domestic violence charges are criminal charges, brought by the state.
  • No specific charge requires a prior conviction for domestic violence
  • No charge requires any actual physical injury
  • There must be a household member relationship between the defendant and alleged victim. This includes spouse, former spouse, people with children together, or those who have romantically lived together.
  • Prosecutors generally apply a “No Drop” policy, not dismissing cases at the request of the alleged victim. This does not however prevent dismissals for cause, not-guilty verdicts, favorable reductions, or pre-trial intervention (PTI)
  • No-contact bond restrictions can prevent any contact with the defendant and alleged victim during the pendency of the case
  • A conviction results in both a criminal record (damaging for background and employment purposes), loss of 2nd amendment rights, as well as sentencing by the court
  • Anyone charged has a right to retain counsel and object to the charge

Possible Maximum Sentence

DVHAN - Twenty Years
DV 1st - Ten Years
DV 2nd - Three Years
DV 3rd - Ninety Days

Felony Charges

DV 1st Degree
DVHAN

Misdemeanor Charges

DV 3rd Degree
DV 2nd Degree

General Sessions Only

DVHAN
DV 1st Degree
DV 2nd Degree

Magistrate\Municipal Court Eligible

DV 3rd Degree (but prosecuted in General Sessions in some counties)

Former Clients' Experiences

  • “I could tell that Mr. Snell knew what he was doing because everyone there knew him.”

    Former Client

  • “This is an amazing Firm”

    Brittany

  • “Thank you for being so kind and understanding and getting me out of the mess I got myself into…”

    Former Client

  • “Kind, caring, and courteous”

    Brittany T.

  • “You absolutely exceeded every possible expectation I had. I'm simply amazed at how quickly you got results for me. I am beyond happy that I hired you.”

    Former Client

  • Best of Lexington Life Nominee
  • Super Lawyers
  • Lawyer.com Premium Rating
  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating - Top Attorney Criminal Defense
  • Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - The National Trial Lawyers
  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating - Top Attorney DUI

Stay Updated

  • Does a 0.08 BAC mean you are automatically guilty of DUI?

    South Carolina drivers may know that they will be considered legally impaired if they drive with a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher. ...

    View More
  • We're sponsoring 2019 Kid's Day of Lexington

    The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, is an official sponsor of the 19th annual Kid's Day of Lexington . This event will be held at the Virginia ...

    View More
  • We're selected as a 2019 Best of Lexington Life Magazine

    We’re pleased to announce that we were selected as a 2019 “Best of” by Lexington Life Magazine in the area of Criminal Defense Law. Lexington Life ...

    View More

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.