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How Are Assault And Battery Charges Defined In South Carolina?

In South Carolina, if you injure someone, attempt to injure someone, or cause someone to fear that you will injure them, you can be charged with Assault and Battery.

Are There Different Levels Or Classifications Of Each? 

Yes, there are four different levels or classifications of assault and battery: Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature (ABHAN), Assault and Battery -1st Degree, Assault and Battery – 2nd Degree, and Assault and Battery – 3rd degree. Each charge has its own attributes and penalties. In South Carolina, Assault and Battery in the 2nd or 3rd degree are classified as misdemeanors. Both Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature (ABHAN) and 1st degree Assault and Battery are classified as felonies.

What Factors Might Enhance These Charges? (Weapon, Intent, Etc.?)

In general, the degrees of severity of Assault and Battery are assigned based on how badly the victim of the Assault and Battery was injured during the alleged crime in South Carolina.

Please Define Assault And Assault & Battery Against Certain Victims Or For Certain Purposes?

In South Carolina, an Assault and Battery committed against a family member or household member will fall under Domestic Violence charges.

How Does The ‘Degree of Injury’ a Victim Suffers Affect An Assault And Battery Charge in South Carolina?

You can be charged with Assault and Battery – 1st degree if you injure another or attempt to injure another, and the assault involves touching private parts under or above clothing with lewd intent.

If the Assault and Battery happened during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft in South Carolina, that act would also be classified as Assault and Battery – 1st degree.

Finally, if you intended to cause great bodily injury (as opposed to actually causing injury) as defined in ABHAN, you can be charged with Assault and Battery – 1st degree.

If the person you injured suffers moderate bodily injury and needs surgery or treatment of his or her internal organs because of the injuries you caused, you can be charged with Assault and Battery – 2ndDegree. Also, threatening moderate bodily injury is cause for an Assault and Battery – 2nd Degree charge.

Non consensual touching of the private parts of another person (either under or above clothing) can also result in a 2nd degree charge and, if proven, conviction.

If you injure (even minimally where skin is barely broken), attempt to injure or cause someone to fear that you’ll injure them, you can be charged with Assault and Battery in South Carolina – 3rd Degree.

Does A Victim Have To Be Injured For An Assault To Have Occurred? 

No, if you attempted or intended to injure them or the victim was fearful that you would injure them, then you can be charged with Assault and Battery.

What Penalties/Sentencing Is There For Assault And Battery Convictions?

Penalties for assault and battery include jail time and fines, as shown below:

Assault and Battery Charge Jail Time Fine
High and Aggravated Nature (ABHAN) Up to 20 years N/A
1st Degree Up to 10 years N/A
2nd degree Up to 3 years Up to $2,500
3rd degree Up to 30 Days Up to $500

What Possible Defenses Are Used In These Cases? Is Self-Defense Ever A Good Defense?

There are many potential defenses to be used in these cases if you have an experienced, aggressive attorney who knows that law inside and out. Police officers and prosecutors can make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can result in dropped charges, if your attorney knows how to capitalize on these. Charges can also be dropped if you and your lawyer reach a plea deal to a lesser offense with the prosecutor in your case. Self-defense often can be utilized as an outright defense if the evidence supports it.

Is assault and battery a felony in South Carolina? 

Assault and battery encompass a wide range of crimes, which includes great bodily harm or an injury that is likely to cause death. A person can be charged with battery, assault or both. An assault is happens when one intends to do harm to another person. While, battery (physical contact) results in the unlawful touching of another person without their permission, and there is a likely possibility that the intended touching might causes injury. Hence, having a South Carolina criminal defense attorney by your side can help you and your family throughout the whole process.

In South Carolina, assault and battery is a serious felony charge. The degree of assault depends upon the severity of the injury. There are three degrees of assault, first-degree assault and battery are called a felony charge; second and third-degree assault and battery are categorized into misdemeanor charges.

Hire a Legal Attorney  

Hire a criminal defense attorney in South Carolina, if you are charged with assault and battery in SC. It is important to remember that law has given constitutional and civil rights, which may protect you from a wrongful assault and battery charge. Therefore, it is important to seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can help you throughout the criminal justice process, and gives you the best chance at a good outcome.

What is the penalty for simple assault in South Carolina?  

The penalty for simple assault in South Carolina is severe. If you are charged with assault and battery in SC, then it is important to consult an experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorney, who can explain you alternative options as well as help you plan the best defense possible.

The penalties for assault and battery are laid out in the law. The severity of the charge decides the amount of fine and serving jail time. Let’s shed some light on the varying degrees and the proposed penalties in the books of law.

  • First Degree- up to 10 years in jail
  • Second Degree- up to 3 years in jail as well as fine up to $2500
  • Third Degree- which is also known as Simple Assault, up to 30 days jail time coupled with fine amount up to $500.

Hence, if you are facing an assault and battery charge, you need to contact a South Carolina criminal defense attorney. Only a criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the evidence against you, and build a strong defense against you.

Can assault and battery charges be dropped?

In most of the situation, assault and battery charges in South Carolina are not dropped. As per the policy grounds alone, many jurisdictions have zero tolerance for domestic violence abuse. The rational logic behind this is, it will progressively worsen the abuse, and people involved in that situation will not be able to take any step because of the financial pressure or pressure exerted by aggressors. However, it is the discretion of the state to reduce charges or not. In other situations, if the court find out feasible it may offer a plea bargain agreement to the defendant, which is more favorable and lenient. But, only an experienced criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to have the charges reduced to a lesser offense. However, there are no guarantees in this regard.

For more information on Assault & Battery In South Carolina, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (843) 856-2222 today.

Sahn Law Firm, located in Charleston, South Carolina, provides representation throughout Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Daniel Island, Sullivan's Island, Georgetown, St. George, Hanahan, Santee, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach and Beaufort. The firm also represents people in the municipalities of Charleston County, Dorchester County, Berkeley County, Georgetown County, Clarendon County and Beaufort County.

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Charleston, SC 29492

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