April 4, 2008

Domestic violence bill advances through House committee | GoUpstate.com | Spartanburg, S.C.

Judiciary group OKs measure to make out-of-state convictions admissible

By Robert W. Dalton
Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Updated: 9:35 am


House Speaker Pro Tem Doug Smith

COLUMBIA — South Carolina judges could consider out-of-state convictions when sentencing criminal domestic violence offenders under a bill headed to the House floor.

The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Doug Smith, cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Currently, only South Carolina convictions can be considered in South Carolina. The difference between a conviction for a first offense and a second or subsequent offense is significant.

The penalty for a first offense is up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 to $2,500, but a judge can suspended the jail time and fine if the offender agrees to complete a batterer treatment program.

If someone is convicted of a second offense, they face a mandatory minimum of 30 days up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500 to $5,000. The judge can suspend the fine if a treatment program is completed.

A third offense requires a mandatory minimum of 1 year up to 5 years in jail.

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