Assault and Battery Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charleston, SC
Assault and battery offenses in SC are categorized based on the seriousness of the injuries to the alleged victim – the more severe the injury, the higher the degree of assault and battery and the higher the potential penalties will be.
There is no longer a separate offense for “assault” in South Carolina – both assault (threatening injury) and battery (causing injury) are covered by SC’s assault and battery laws.
What are the Degrees of Assault and Battery in SC?
Assault and battery can be third, second, or first degree, or it can be assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN).
Assault and Battery Third Degree
Third-degree assault and battery is a misdemeanor, usually heard in the magistrate or municipal courts, that carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.
It simply means that a person “unlawfully injures” another person (and the injuries are not severe enough to qualify as second or first-degree assault and battery), or a person threatens to injure someone with the present ability to do so.
Assault and Battery Second Degree
Second-degree assault and battery is when a person unlawfully injures someone or makes threats to injure someone, and it caused (or could have caused, in the case of a threat) moderate bodily injury.
You can also be charged with assault and battery 2nd degree if you touch someone’s private parts without consent – in either case, second-degree assault and battery is a misdemeanor that is heard in General Session court and carries up to three years in prison.
Assault and Battery First Degree
First-degree assault and battery can be:
- Unlawful injury to another person during the commission of a kidnapping, burglary, robbery, or theft;
- Touching someone’s private parts “with a lewd and lascivious intent;”
- Threatening to injure another person with the present ability to do so when it would have resulted in death or great bodily injury; or
- Threatening to injure someone with death or great bodily injury during the commission of a kidnapping, burglary, robbery, or theft.
1st-degree assault and battery in SC is a felony punishable by as much as ten years in prison.
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
ABHAN in SC is when a person unlawful injures someone and it:
- Results in great bodily injury; or
- It was likely to result in either death or great bodily injury even if it did not.
ABHAN is a felony with a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
SC Assault and Battery Criminal Defense Attorney in Charleston
If you have been charged with any violent crime in SC, including assault and battery, murder, or attempted murder, call Charleston criminal defense lawyer Grant B. Smaldone now at (843) 808-2100 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation about your case.