Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence - South Carolina

Date:

Circumstances That Constitute Witnessing

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 16-25-20; 16-25-65

In criminal law: It is unlawful to do the following:

  • Cause physical harm or injury to a person's own household member
  • Offer or attempt to cause physical harm or injury to a person's own household member with the apparent present ability under the circumstances that reasonably creates the fear of imminent peril

A person commits the offense of domestic violence in the first degree if either of the following is true:

  • The person causes great bodily injury to the person's own household member.
  • In the process of committing domestic violence in the second degree, the offense is committed in the presence of or while being perceived by a minor.

A person commits the offense of domestic violence in the second degree if either of the following is true:

  • The person causes moderate bodily injury to the person's own household member.
  • In the process of committing domestic violence in the third degree, the offense is committed in the presence of or while being perceived by a minor.

A person is guilty of the offense of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature when the person commits the offense under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life and results in great bodily injury to the victim. Circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life include committing the offense in the presence of a minor.

Consequences

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 16-25-20; 16-25-65

A person who commits domestic violence in the first degree is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for no more than 10 years.

A person who commits the offense of domestic violence in the second degree is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined no less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000 or imprisoned for no more than 3 years, or both.

A person who commits the offense of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for no more than 20 years.