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

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

    Former Client

  • “I would highly recommend Mr. Snell, should you be seeking legal counsel in SC.”

    Former Client

  • “I want to thank you for how you handled my son's case. We were very concerned with whether or not his charges would effect his future. After meeting with you we knew that we could trust you to advise us in his best interests. I cannot express how grateful ”

    Former Client

  • “I tell everyone who needs a lawyer to call James Snell.”

    Former Client

  • “I would first like to thank you for accepting my case! I also want to thank you for the friendly help and support that you and your time provided. The service exceeded my expectations… I am relieved to have my case to be over and I appreciate the measures ”

    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

  • Should you talk to the police?

    When the police suspect you of committing a crime, they often want you to come into the station to give an interview. They may already have enough ...

    View More
  • Help! My child was charged with marijuana. Should we take PTI?

    A common situation faced by parents is what to do when their child is charged with marijuana. We receive calls from panicked mothers or fathers who ...

    View More
  • Charged with missing jury duty?

    We’ve been getting contacted by individuals concerned that they are being criminally charged or held in contempt for missing jury duty. These ...

    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.