Charleston, SC. Assault and Battery Criminal Defense Attorney
Assault and Battery charges can carry serious penalties if convicted. Hefty prison time and fines are some of the direct implications of an Assault and Battery conviction, but other unforeseen consequences can occur too.
If you have been charged with Assault and Battery in Charleston, South Carolina, or surrounding areas, like Beaufort, Berkeley, Dorchester, and Orangeburg, our firm is here for you. Having the Cornwell Law Firm team by your side will increase your chances of presenting the right legal defense. Contact the Cornwell Law Firm today.
South Carolina Assault and Battery Laws
South Carolina law categorizes Assault and Battery as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on how serious the injuries are or could have been. Regardless of whether your charge is a misdemeanor or felony of any degree, we highly recommend contacting a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling these charges. Legal statutes and applicable defenses are complicated and by not hiring an attorney you increase the likelihood that you could be unjustly punished for a crime you didn’t commit. For the full South Carolina Statutes on these charges, click here.
Assault & Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
- This is the most significant felony charge under the Assault and Battery statutes and is considered a lesser included offense of Attempted Murder. This statute can be charged in two separate ways. A person can be charged with Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature if they cause great bodily injury to another person. “Great Bodily Injury” means hurting another person to the point where the person almost dies, is permanently disfigured, or loses function of one of their body parts. A person can also be charged under this statute if they use a potentially deadly weapon, such as a gun, knife, or blunt object, during the act, even if the other person doesn’t suffer from a great bodily injury. The mere use of an instrument that could have caused death or great bodily injury, is enough for a person to be charged under this statute.
Assault & Battery 1st Degree
- Also considered a felony offense, it is less serious than the charge of Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature. A person may face this charge if they touch another person’s private parts (either under or above their clothing) in a sexual manner without consent. Another way a person can be charged under this statute is if they injure or even attempt to injure another person while committing another crime, such as robbery, burglary, kidnapping or theft. Finally, a person may also be charged under this statute if they injure or attempt to injure another person by means likely to produce death or great bodily injury, such as strangulation.
Assault & Battery 2nd Degree
- This is a misdemeanor offense and can be charged when a person injures another person and the injury requires medical treatment to repair an organ system or causes a wound to the skin, muscles, or connective tissue which requires the injured party to undergo surgery or general anesthesia to treat the injury. A person can also be charged under this statute if they touch another person’s private parts (either under or above their clothing) without consent, even if the touching is not in a sexual manner.
Assault & Battery 3rd Degree
- This misdemeanor offense is defined as injuring or attempting to injure someone. The statute does not define specific injuries.
Potential Penalties and Consequences
A person convicted of Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature is also categorized as a Serious and Violent offense in South Carolina, resulting in a “strike” on a person’s criminal record. A person convicted under this statute is required to serve 85% of their prison sentence and is not eligible for parole. Assault and Battery 1st Degree carries a sentence up to 10 years in prison, while Assault and Battery 2nd Degree carries up to 3 years in prison and a potential fine of up to $2,500.00. A person convicted under either one of these statutes must serve at least 25% of their prison sentence before they become eligible for parole. 3rd Degree convictions can result in up to 30 days in the county/city jail and a potential fine of up to $500.00
In addition to impacting a person’s reputation, freedom, and constitutional rights, such as the right to own or possess a firearm and the right to vote, a criminal record can also affect where a person lives, attends school, works, etc. These charges may also come into play if a person is going through divorce and/or seeking child custody.
Charleston, SC. Criminal Defense Attorney
Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney, like Ashley Cornwell of the Cornwell Law Firm, may provide you or your family with the representation needed. If you have been charged or believe you will be charged with Assault and Battery in South Carolina we can help! Our firm focuses on providing top-notch legal representation and individualized service.