In the state of South Carolina, assault crimes are taken very seriously. If you are arrested for an assault, it’s completely normal to feel nervous about the potential outcomes. A local defense attorney can put your mind at ease as they advocate on your behalf in the S.C. criminal courts.
Assault offenses in S.C. are categorized according to seriousness. The circumstances of your case including your mindset at the occurrence of the assault will play a role in how you are charged. If the alleged victim is injured, the severity of their injury also plays a role.
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
This is a battery charge, involving physical contact, which results in great bodily harm or in a manner which was likely to produce death or great bodily injury. Great bodily injury includes permanent disfigurement or loss of use of a limb.
ABHAN is considered the most serious of assault charges and is a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison.
First Degree Assault and Battery – Laws and Penalties
This is a felony offense in South Carolina and carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years behind bars. It is defined as either:
- An assault and battery where injury results, and
- it includes nonconsensual touching of genitals in a lewd manner, or
- it occurred during the commission of a theft, robbery, kidnapping, or burglary.
- An assault (without battery, or physical contact) which
- was likely to produce death or great bodily harm, or
- that occurred during the commission of a theft, robbery, kidnapping, or burglary.
Second Degree Assault and Battery
This assault crime is considered a misdemeanor though it carries up to a 3-year prison sentence. It could be the charge you are facing if the prosecutor believes you committed an assault where:
- resulting in moderate bodily injury or could have resulted in moderate bodily injury requiring medical treatment, or
- nonconsensual touching of the genitals
Third Degree Assault and Battery (Simple Assault)
This is what’s commonly referred to as a simple assault or common law assault. It is the applicable charge when you injure someone else or merely attempt to injure someone else. It’s a misdemeanor offense which carries up to 30 days in jail.
Often, if you are charged with a second-degree assault charge and have a clean criminal record, you could benefit from a plea agreement reducing your charges to third-degree assault.
Simple assault charges are the easiest to negotiate a plea deal to avoid a criminal record which is the primary goal in these situations.
If you are facing assault charges, you need the assistance of a defense attorney. The role of a criminal defense attorney is to ensure your rights are protected at every stage of the criminal justice process and to work to get you the best results possible.
Contact us to speak with a local attorney who can help you with a free consultation on your case.