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What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Protective Orders in South Carolina Domestic Abuse Cases

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If you commit domestic abuse while violating a protective order, charges can be upgraded, resulting in stiffer penalties. And the definition of “protective order” stretches further than you think. Some folks might be shocked to discover they were under one they didn’t even know about—until their charges get upgraded for it. 

Here’s what protective order means and the consequences it creates under South Carolina domestic violence law. 

“Protective Order” Defined

South Carolina law calls it a “protection order.” A protection order generally means any order issued in South Carolina- or anywhere else, including a foreign country- to protect a “household member.” The term “household member” means a spouse or ex-spouse, people who have a child together, or a man and woman who live together- or used to.

Protection orders include:

  • Orders of protection. These are issued by the family court to forbid contact with the household member for 6 months up to a year. You can learn more about orders of protection by exploring the related links listed below. 
  • Restraining orders. These can be issued by any court, but we find them most often in family court or magistrate’s court. They limit contact between people or totally forbid it. 
  • Bond condition. In some criminal cases, your bail or bond order forbids contact with certain people. This is called a “no contact” provision. 

Consequences of Protection Orders in Domestic Abuse Cases

If you violate a protection order while committing domestic violence, your charges are upgraded. For example, domestic violence 3rd degree becomes domestic violence 2nd degree, and your jail exposure goes from 90 days to 3 years.  Your potential lowest fine more than doubles. 

You Need Help

If your charges are enhanced for violating a protective order, you’re already in deep trouble. You could also face a prosecutor and judge intent on teaching you a hard lesson. 

You need a trained professional to help dig you out. Call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 so we can get to work protecting you.   

 

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