In South Carolina assault, also known as assault and battery, are very serious charges. Even though they are categorized as both felonies and misdemeanors depending on the specific charge they can drastically affect someone’s life. Apart from third-degree assault and battery, each charge can carry prison terms of over one year and up to 20 years incarcerated. South Carolina, like many other states, categorizes misdemeanors and felonies by degree.
Understanding the differences between the different charges associated with assault is incredibly important if you or someone you know is potentially facing a similar situation. An experienced defense attorney can represent you and defend your constitutional rights.
What are Misdemeanor Assault & Battery Charges in South Carolina?
In South Carolina second and third-degree assault and battery are defined as misdemeanor charges. South Carolina defines third-degree assault and battery as illegally injuring or attempting to injure a person. Third Degree assault is sometimes known as simple battery. In 3rd degree assault, a person does not necessarily have to be injured because the level of injury does not have to be proven or defined.
Second Degree Assault in South Carolina is, like third degree assault, a misdemeanor. Although also a misdemeanor, it is scrutinized more heavily than third degree assault. For a crime to be defined as second degree assault it must meet certain requirements. A requirement the court looks for is if there was, or could have been, “moderate bodily injury.” Moderate bodily injury could be seen as breaking an arm or leg.
What are Felony Assault Charges in South Carolina?
There are two classes of felony assault in South Carolina. The most egregious being Assault of a “High and Aggravated Nature (ABHAN).” The other being 1st degree Assault and Battery. ABHAN is categorized as a lesser crime than murder. It is defined as inducing great bodily injury on someone, almost to the point or level of death. This can be construed as injuring someone and the victim having major bodily harm (harm to their essential organs and/or permanent disfigurement). 1st degree Assault on the other hand is a lesser offense when compared to murder or ABHAN. 1st degree A&B can be defined as being able to cause great harm while attempting a robbery or burglary.
Punishments for Assault and Battery Misdemeanors and Felonies
For misdemeanor charges;
3rd degree Assault and Battery can carry up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.
2nd degree Assault and Battery can carry up to 3 years in jail and up to $2,5000 in fines.
For felony charges;
1st degree Assault can carry up to 10 years in jail.
ABHAN can carry up to 20 years in jail.
Have you been accused of Assault? Are you looking to fight for your rights or restore your reputation? Our law firm has years of experience in criminal defense. We strive to represent our clients fairly and thoroughly. Contact us today for a free consultation.