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Michelle, Elected/Appointed Official
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4136
Experience:  30 + yrs in the legal profession incl. criminal, family, politics, legislator judiciary 6 yrs
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I am a Mom with a 14 yr old daughter. She has been talking ...

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I am a Mom with a 14 yr old daughter. She has been talking back, disrespecting her stefather, grandmother, teachers at school and fighting on occasion with her peers. We''ve discussed every incident and she swears to do better "next time". Well the "next time" always tops the previous one. This has been going on for over a year now. She back talked me and I spanked her 2 weeks ago. Her bed is low enough for her to kneel on the floor with her torso lying on the bed. At the same time I swung the belt she decided that she would put her arm on the rear end and it was hit several times and left marks. The police was called and I was taken to jail and charged with assault & battery. What is the probability of me going to court without a lawyer and having this dropped?


This is a most-unfortunate situation for you and your family. Kids can be so trying. In SC, the law requires there to be "reckless" or grossly negilgent behavior on part of a parent using corporal punishment. Spanking is not against the law in SC as long as it is not deem excessive and cause "harm". Now, that is something a judge would need to decide - whether what you did - use of a belt" was excessive - because there are exceptions as I have provided below.

While there was no intent to inflict the injury to her arm the fact that used a belt could go against you. Given that, I suggest you do not go to court alone. I suggest you at least consult with a local attorney who can assist you with this. You can contact a referral via the SC Bar Association - HERE

You certainly don't want a situation where you are convicted of an assault and battery.

This is what the law says in that regard

(1) "Child" means a person under the age of eighteen.

(2) "Child abuse or neglect", or "harm" occurs when the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare:

(a) inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or mental injury or engages in acts or omissions which present a substantial risk of physical or mental injury to the child, including injuries sustained as a result of excessive corporal punishment, but excluding corporal punishment or physical discipline which:

(i) is administered by a parent or person in loco parentis;

(ii) is perpetrated for the sole purpose of restraining or correcting the child;

(iii) is reasonable in manner and moderate in degree;

(iv) has not brought about permanent or lasting damage to the child; and

(v) is not reckless or grossly negligent behavior by the parents.

(b) commits or allows to be committed against the child a sexual offense as defined by the laws of this State or engages in acts or omissions that present a substantial risk that a sexual offense as defined in the laws of this State would be committed against the child

Best to all of you in this matter.


If my answer has been helpful, please ACCEPT my answer so I get credit for my effort to help you . If I can be of further help, let me know. Appropriate FEEDBACK is appreciated as is a bonus. Thanks ~ Michelle



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