Fight Your Assault & Battery Charges.
If you have been charged with assault and battery, whether it is a simple assault in the magistrate court or a felony assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN), you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side immediately.
You may have defenses to the charges which could include self-defense or defense of others, you may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program, or you may have other options that would allow us to get your case dismissed or win your case at trial.
Your attorneys at the Seaton Law Office will investigate your case, prepare your case for trial, and negotiate to get your charges dismissed and to keep your record clean whenever possible.
Understanding Assault & Battery Charges
Assault and battery charges in SC cover a wide range of conduct including a misdemeanor for threatening someone, a 20-year felony for causing great bodily injury, or life in prison for an assault by two or more people.
Although most assault and battery charges involve either physical violence or threatened physical violence, first or second-degree assault and battery can also include unwanted sexual touching.
Assault and battery charges are divided into four degrees – first, second, or third degree, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
Each “level” of assault and battery has its own set of elements that must be proven by the state and potential penalties that increase with the severity of the alleged offense.
SC also has an offense called “assault and battery by mob” which applies when two or more people inflict violence on someone.
Assault and Battery by Mob
When more than one person inflicts violence as a group, SC law treats the offense more seriously.
If two or more people inflict violence on another person, they could be looking at life in prison:
- Assault and battery by mob first degree (death results): 30 years to life in prison.
- Assault and battery by mob second degree (serious bodily injury results): Three years to 25 years in prison.
- Assault and battery by mob third degree (any bodily injury results): up to one year in prison.
Next, we will take a look at the four degrees of assault and battery charges in SC.
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
A person can be found guilty of ABHAN if they injure someone (threatening is not enough) and:
- It results in great bodily injury, or
- It was likely to result in great bodily injury or death.
ABHAN carries up to 20 years in prison.
Assault and Battery First Degree
First-degree assault and battery involves:
- Injuring someone and:
- Touching their private parts without consent, or
- The injury happened during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft; or
- Threatening or attempting to injure someone and:
- The assault would have caused great bodily injury or death, or
- It happened during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft.
First-degree assault and battery carries up to ten years in prison.
Assault and Battery Second Degree
Second-degree assault and battery involves injuring or threatening to injure a person and:
- Moderate bodily injury results or could have resulted, or
- It also involved touching a person’s private parts without consent.
Second-degree assault and battery carries up to three years in prison
Assault and Battery Third Degree
Third-degree assault and battery involves either:
- Injuring another person, or
- Threatening to injure them.
Third-degree assault and battery is a misdemeanor offense that carries up to 30 days in jail and is ordinarily heard in the magistrate or municipal court.
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FOUR (4) STEPS To Take If You’ve Been
Arrested for Assault & Battery
1. Contact an Attorney
Contact an attorney: Knowledgeable criminal defense counsel can make you aware of your rights and prevent mistakes from occurring. Having a lawyer by your side can stop law enforcement from bullying you during interrogations.
2. Do Not Talk to Police
Do not discuss your case with the police: Talking to the police about seemingly innocuous case details without an attorney can damage your defense. The police may take what you say out of context and use your words against you in the courtroom. Trying to convince the police of your innocence after your arrest can only hurt your case.
3. Do Not Talk to Friends or Family
Do not discuss your case with friends or family: Anything that you say to anyone about your case can be used against you. Do not post about your case on social media or send messages about your charges.
4. Do Not Lose Hope
Do not lose hope about your case: No matter the details of your case, no prosecutor has a guaranteed conviction. There are so many things that can go wrong with a prosecutor’s case. Our lawyer can investigate the evidence and show why there may be problems. Do not accept a plea deal without talking to our attorney.
Ready To Speak With An Attorney?
Let’s discuss the details of your case and see if we can help.