Assault with a Deadly Weapon in South Carolina

Offenses against the person carry the most severe penalties under South Carolina law. However, the classification of the crime is essential for hoping to get a lenient sentence or a favorable plea deal. In the case of assault with a deadly weapon, you need to hire a seasoned Anderson criminal defense lawyer to prepare your case.

Let us explain why this type of offense poses more difficulty in building a defense case and reaching the best possible outcome.

What Exactly Is Assault with a Deadly Weapon?

The number one problem in this case is that South Carolina does not have a specific statute defining assault with a deadly weapon. The prosecutor has the freedom to choose the most severe among four different legal classifications.

Moreover, our state has a very broad interpretation of the term “deadly weapon”. The legal text includes the following items:

  • pistol
  • dirk
  • slingshot
  • metal knuckles
  • razor
  • any instrument that can be used with deadly force

Practically, any everyday object found in a household can be classified as a deadly weapon. If you use any such object in a conflict with another person, you may find yourself charged with a serious offense, far worse than simple assault or battery.

Types of Charges Related to Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Let us now discuss the types of charges a prosecutor can choose from in a case of assault involving a deadly weapon. These are:

Simple Assault Using a Deadly Weapon

The least severe charge is that of simple assault using a deadly weapon. It is defined as an intentional or reckless attempt to cause bodily injury to a person with any object capable of causing serious harm.

If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 fine.

Aggravated Assault Using a Deadly Weapon

In this case, the aggravating element is actually causing bodily injury to a person using a deadly weapon. And the penalties become extremely severe:

  • maximum 20 years in prison
  • up to $10,000 fine
  • at the judge’s discretion, restitution to the victim for medical costs and other damages

a wide range of items can be classified as deadly weapons

Second-Degree Assault Using a Deadly Weapon

From this classification onwards, the prosecution must prove intent to cause harm. You have to consult with an experienced Anderson criminal defense lawyer to start examining the evidence against you and find weak spots.

This charge refers to using any deadly object as a weapon to intentionally injure a person or cause them to fear injury. The prosecutor must prove the existence of intention to cause bodily harm or make them fear physical injury.

The penalties for this charge are up to five years in prison and possible fines.

First-Degree Assault Using a Deadly Weapon

A first-degree assault charge defines an assault against a person or group of persons using an object that could cause severe injuries or death. The prosecutor must prove the existence of a willful intent to cause bodily harm or death.

In this instance, the penalties are extremely severe: up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine.

Additional Penalties for Assault with a Deadly Weapon

If the prosecution identifies various aggravating circumstances, the judge can impose additional penalties. The defendant may be subject to:

  • forfeiture of the firearms
  • prohibition from owning or possessing firearms
  • the requirement to undergo a batterer’s education program at their own expense

Consult with an Experienced Anderson Criminal Defense Attorney!

A simple disagreement with another person can turn into a serious criminal charge if you happen to carry an object defined as a deadly weapon. This is not something you can explain away or hope the judge will overlook and give you a lenient sentence.

The best thing to do is reach out to an experienced Anderson criminal defense lawyer and start building your case. Your attorney may be able to get your charges dismissed or reduced before you have to go to court.

As a new client, you benefit from a free case evaluation, so call us today at 864-263-1679!


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