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Legal Information: South Carolina

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 8, 2020

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

A violation of the order can be a criminal offense. Punishment can range from thirty days in jail to a fine of $200. A violation can also be considered “contempt of court,” which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500.1

It is important to note that if the officer has “probable cause” to believe an assault has been committed, the police must make an arrest on domestic violence calls even if you don’t have an order of protection.

The respondent can be arrested even if you invite or “allow” the respondent to violate the prohibitions contained in the order. For example, if your order of protection that says the abuser cannot contact you, the abuser can be arrested for contacting you even if you contact him/her first.

If you no longer need the order of protection or want to change it, you must get a court order terminating or modifying the order for protection. See How do I extend, change, or cancel my order of protection?

1 S.C. Code § 20-4-60(B)(1)