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Facing Assault & Battery Charges in SC?
If you’re facing assault and battery charges you may or may not have physically harmed someone.
Oftentimes when people think of assault and battery they imagine someone was brutally beaten. While this is just one scenario, there are other scenarios which are far less severe than what most people might imagine.
You see, it’s a misconception that physical injury must occur in order to be charged with assault and battery. And, depending on the degree of your charges along with the number of offenses, the fines, penalties and jail time vary greatly.
But, regardless of the degree or offense, assault and battery charges are always serious and should be taken as such. If convicted, the impact it has on one’s life is just too great to not fight the charges.
What Is Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery are often used together, but they are actually two distinct legal concepts related to physical harm or threats of harm against another person:
- Assault: Assault is the intentional act of causing someone to fear that they are about to be physically harmed. It does not require actual physical contact. For example, if someone raises their fist and threatens to punch another person, that could be considered assault.
- Battery: Battery is the intentional and unlawful physical contact with another person without their consent. It involves actual physical harm or offensive contact. For example, if someone punches another person and makes physical contact, that could be considered battery.
In some jurisdictions, assault and battery are combined into a single offense, while in others, they are treated as separate offenses. The severity of the charges and potential penalties can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, such as the extent of the injuries, the presence of aggravating factors, and the laws of the jurisdiction.
What Factors Determine The Seriousness of Your Charges?
While not a complete list, law enforcement considers one or more of the following factors to determine the degree of the charge:
- Severity of injuries suffered by the victim
- Age of the victim
- Size, including height and weight of the victim vs. the height and weight of the accused
- Whether the victim wants to press charges
- If a weapon was used
- Whether the private parts of the victim were touched by the accused
The Assault & Battery Attorneys at Templeton Mims & Ward can help.
While assault and battery charges are a serious offense, there’s hope. There are several ways we can obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
Let’s take a look at potential options.
Generally speaking, a person may use whatever degree of force is reasonably necessary to protect themselves from bodily harm.
However, if you initiated the fight, then self defense cannot be claimed. There is an exception in some cases – if you can prove that you retreated from the confrontation self defense may be used even if you were the initial aggressor.
Aiding others in threatening situations is a valid defense provided the defender is free from fault.
Defense of Property
A reasonable amount of force may be used to protect property. However, the right to defend property is more limited than that of self defense. For example, deadly force is usually not permitted.
Of course if the circumstances surrounding your case demonstrate that the harm to the victim was an accident then this can be a viable defense as well.
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Why Fight Your Assault & Battery Charges?
The most obvious reason to fight your assault and battery charge is because you want to avoid the consequences of a conviction, namely, jail time and a criminal record.
Depending on the degree of the charge, you could be facing anywhere from 30 days for assault and battery 3rd degree and up to 20 years in prison for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
In addition to the obvious reasons for fighting your charges, some of the potential consequences that have a long lasting effect on your life if convicted are: the loss of your job, loss of your right to carry a firearm, loss of your voting rights, difficulty finding housing, and if you’re in the military you may face additional consequences there as well.
Here’s What We’ll Do:
- Fight your assault and battery charge
- Represent you at your bond hearing after the arrest
- Devise a plan of attack to arrive at the best possible outcome possible
- Uncover the facts and details surrounding your case to build a solid and effective defense
- Keep you informed every step of the way so you can make an informed decision
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between assault and battery?
In South Carolina, assault and battery is one and the same. There is only one type of charge for this crime and it is for “Assault and Battery.” There are actually four charges in this category: ABHAN, assault and battery 1st degree, assault and battery 2nd degree, and assault and battery 3rd degree also known as simple assault.
Is assault and battery a felony or a misdemeanor?
There are four charges for assault and battery, two of which are felonies and two are misdemeanors:
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN) is the most serious assault and battery charge and is a felony, as is assault and battery 1st degree.
Assault and battery 2nd degree and assault and battery 3rd degree are both misdemeanor charges.
Will I go to jail if convicted of assault and battery?
Assault and battery charges are treated seriously in South Carolina. If convicted, you could be facing serious jail time! Here is what you could be facing:
|Assault & Battery 1st Degree
|Assault & Battery 2nd Degree
|0-3 years and/or possible fines
|Assault & Battery 3rd Degree
|0-30 days and/or possible fines
There are many factors that go into how much jail time you could serve. The Court will look at many things, such as prior convictions and the severity of the victim’s injuries.
Can assault and battery charges get dropped?
It is always possible that charges can be dropped. Police officers and prosecutors make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can get a case thrown out. Your defense attorney will go over the details of your case with a close eye, looking for anything that may help your case come to a favorable end.
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