Criminal Domestic Violence - High and Aggravated Nature

SECTION 16-25-65. Criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature; elements; penalty; conditional probation; statutory offense.

(A) A person who violates Section 16-25-20(A) is guilty of the offense of criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature when one of the following occurs. The person commits:

(1) an assault and battery which involves the use of a deadly weapon or results in serious bodily injury to the victim; or

(2) an assault, with or without an accompanying battery, which would reasonably cause a person to fear imminent serious bodily injury or death.

(B) A person who violates subsection (A) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not less than a mandatory minimum of one year nor more than ten years. The court may suspend the imposition or execution of all or part of the sentence, except the one-year mandatory minimum sentence, and place the offender on probation conditioned upon the offender completing, to the satisfaction of the court, a program designed to treat batterers offered through a government agency, nonprofit organization, or private provider approved by the Department of Social Services. The offender must pay a reasonable fee for participation in the treatment program, but no person may be denied treatment due to inability to pay. If the offender suffers from a substance abuse problem, the judge may order, or the batterer treatment program may refer, the offender to supplemental treatment coordinated through the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services with the local alcohol and drug treatment authorities pursuant to Section 61-12-20. The offender must pay a reasonable fee for participation in the substance abuse treatment program, but no person may be denied treatment due to inability to pay.

(C) The provisions of subsection (A) create a statutory offense of criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and must not be construed to codify the common law crime of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.