Aiken Domestic Violence Lawyer


Most people who find themselves caught in abusive relationships are easily so overwhelmed and fearful of the situation that they don’t even realize there are laws in place to protect them. Domestic violence is a devastating form of abuse between people who share an intimate or close relationship.

Unfortunately, domestic violence cases are some of the most unreported crimes. Plus, most abusive partners gradually become more frightening, controlling, and abusive over time.

In case you are a victim of domestic violence, it’s important to speak to an Aiken domestic violence lawyer to understand your rights and take steps to prevent further harm.

The Aiken criminal defense lawyers at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, and Staggs have an extensive track record of helping victims of domestic violence in SC. Call us today at (803) 649-5338 to discuss your legal options and steps you could take.

Table of Contents

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is defined as willful physical assault, intimidation, battery, sexual assault, or any other abusive behavior that occurs as part of a systematic pattern of control or power, usually perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.

It applies to married couples, as well as boyfriends/girlfriends and spouses. Domestic violence also doesn’t have to be physical, it can include sexual, emotional, psychological, or economic actions or threats of such behavior.

Any form of behavior that intimidates, frightens, manipulates, humiliates, or hurts another person could fit the definition.

Some examples include:

  • Physical abuse – hitting, pinching, shoving, slapping, biting
  • Psychological abuse – threatening harm to the victim or their children, forcing isolation from others, destruction of property
  • Sexual abuse – rape, treating the victim in a sexually demeaning way
  • Emotional abuse – continual criticism, calling names
  • Economic abuse – forbidding employment, preventing access to money

Domestic violence charges are taken seriously in SC, and a conviction could have lasting effects on the person’s life, as it lingers on your criminal record.

It’s therefore important to seek legal guidance from a skilled Aiken domestic violence lawyer for the best outcome for your case.

What Are Some Common Domestic Violence Charges in South Carolina?

Here are some of the most common domestic violence charges our Aiken domestic violence come across in South Carolina:

Physical Abuse

This is one of the most common cases, and it includes punching, kicking, hitting, biting, slapping, or any other actions that cause physical harm to the victim.

An Aiken domestic violence lawyer can help you prove the case against the abuser in court, whether or not the action left any visible damage.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse often coincides with other forms of abuse. For instance, an emotional abuser may try controlling or manipulating their victim’s behaviors through belligerence, unpredictable mood swings, and threats of suicide.

Sexual Abuse

This can be defined as nonconsensual touching, rape, harassment, and other degrading behaviors. Sexual abuse can also include efforts aimed at taking away the control you have over your reproduction.

An example would be a partner pressuring you to have an abortion or unprotected sex.

Financial abuse

This is often subtle, but quite dangerous to those trapped in an abusive relationship. Financial abusers essentially seek to eliminate the possibility of the victim leaving by keeping tight control over their money.

It may also entail being denied money for essentials, or the abuser blocking your efforts to get a job.

Digital Abuse

This involves using technology to maintain or exert control over a partner and it can take different forms.

Forms such as stalking, incessant texting or calling, use of GPS tracking, looking through devices without your permission, using social media to send abusive messages, or using technology for blackmail.

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What Qualifies as Domestic Violence, and How is it Difference From Other Offenses?

By definition, domestic violence is similar to battery and assault. The difference is that domestic violence cases involve a household member.

When a person inflicts any form of physical injury or harm to a member of their household or attempts to cause such harm by threats of imminent peril, it’s considered domestic violence.

What Are the Potential Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction?

A domestic violence conviction can have severe consequences, including the following:

  • Imprisonment
  • Losing child custody and/or visitation rights
  • Substantial fines
  • Mandatory counseling and/or anger management classes
  • Mandatory community service
  • Losing your right to carry a firearm
  • A permanent mark on your criminal record

What Should I Do If I Have Been Arrested For Domestic Violence?

No matter the situation, the first thing you want to do is to exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t give out any statements to the police without your attorney present.

Of course, you should cooperate if asked for information such as your name, address, and other personal details, but this doesn’t mean waiving your Miranda Rights.

Keep in mind that anything you say can and will be used against you in court, and the consequences of a conviction can be serious, and may include probation, jail time, and a permanent criminal record.

The next thing you want is to get in touch with an Aiken domestic violence lawyer. Ideally, you will want to work with a lawyer who has experience handling both sides of criminal law – the prosecution and the defense.

What Are Some Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges?

Defenses to domestic violence charges are often based on challenging one or more essential elements of the crime. In case the allegations are exaggerated or false, your Aiken domestic violence lawyer will work to prove them wrong.

Here are some of the most common defenses an Aiken domestic violence lawyer may use:


Self-defense can be used if there is evidence that you were just defending yourself or another member of the household from harm. You must show that to protect yourself, you were forced to use force or use a weapon.

In such a scenario, the aggressor might have been injured in the process, but your actions don’t constitute domestic violence.

Factual Fraud

If the “victim” gave falsified information when the charges were being filed, this can be an effective defense. Factual fraud is mostly common in child custody disputes and divorce cases, in an attempt by the other party to sway the judgment in their favor.

Your Aiken domestic violence lawyer will be focused on gathering evidence such as challenging the credibility of witnesses, and establishing the truth with this defense option.


You can demonstrate to the court that you had an alibi that proves your innocence. For instance, if you were not in the location where the domestic violence allegedly happened, you can’t be convicted.

Your Aiken domestic violence lawyer will use witness testimony, video, and other testimony to prove this.


The prosecution has to prove that you intended to cause harm to the victim or acted recklessly. If you injure the person unintentionally, your Aiken domestic violence lawyer can help you prove it was an accident.

Is it Possible to Have Domestic Violence Charges Reduced or Dismissed?

Yes. A domestic violence charge can be dropped.

However, it’s worth noting that it’s not entirely up to the victim to press charges. The state is the one that charges the accused, not the victim. Even if the victim isn’t looking to cooperate with the prosecutor or the police, the prosecutor can still charge you.

An unwilling victim can make the prosecution’s job to prove the case more difficult, but there are situations where the prosecution may want to push forward with the case.

The victim also can’t ask for the charges to be dropped, though they do have the power to drop them. This could be confusing as the arresting officer may ask the victim to complete a form about whether to prosecute the case or not.

However, the accused should never threaten or coerce the victim to request the prosecutor to drop the charges. In case the victim wants to drop the charges, the prosecution will want to talk to the victim to ensure that the accuser is not influencing them.

Why Choose Our Aiken Domestic Violence Lawyer for Your Defense?

We understand that you might feel remorseful or embarrassed if you’re facing domestic violence charges. You might even be tempted to try handling the situation on your own.

However, as we’ve discussed, a lot is at stake if you end up being convicted. This is why we are always available to help protect your freedom and rights by creating the best possible defense.

Our firm takes a strong and proactive approach to help defend people against domestic violence charges. We offer a skilled representation through an experienced Aiken criminal defense lawyer who can uncover any contradictory evidence and false statements obtained against you. We are focused on protecting your rights and mitigating any potential penalties.

If you have been charged with domestic violence in South Carolina, an Aiken domestic violence lawyer from Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, and Staggs is ready to give your case the personal attention it needs.

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Contact an Aiken Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

At Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, and Staggs, we have been defending the rights of domestic violence victims for decades now. Our team has the legal expertise and a comprehensive knowledge of how the criminal justice system works in South Carolina.

You can count on us to deliver the best possible outcome. Contact us on (803) 649-5338 to schedule a free consultation with our Aiken domestic violence lawyers.