In South Carolina, you can be charged with the criminal offense of assault and battery if you illegally hurt another person, or attempt to injure someone else with a current ability to do so. In legal terms, assault is the threat of bodily harm along with an apparent, current capacity to cause harm. Battery is defined as unwarranted non-consensual physical contact with someone else.
If you or a loved one is charged with assault and battery, you should know that you’re innocent until proven guilty. This is a right granted by the US Constitution. It’s the burden of the state to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. At Boatwright Legal, we have a team of criminal defense attorneys who are ready to fight for you and protect your rights.
We will use every resource at our disposal to help you get the best possible outcome in your assault and battery case. Our team will initiate a private investigation into the allegations made against you, assess every aspect of your case, and work with expert witnesses to build a strong defense.
We offer all our clients a free consultation to discuss the details of your arrest, the possible defenses, and the consequences you might be facing. Call us at 864-745-9758 for a free consultation.
Possible Defenses in Assault and Battery Cases in South Carolina
You want to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you figure out and raise defenses that will work best in your case. The following are some of the typical defenses that could be used to fight these charges in South Carolina:
Self-defense: This is among the most common defenses used in assault and battery cases. When raising this as a defense, you have to demonstrate that the victim attacked you and you were only defending yourself.
Defense of others: If you were defending another individual that was being attacked, then you could raise this as a defense to fight the charges.
Misidentification: In some cases, the victim or the witness may misidentify the perpetrator. If this is what happened in your case, you could argue that the police arrested the wrong person.
Alibi defense: You could raise the alibi defense with the claim of misidentification if you have a solid alibi that can effectively demonstrate you were somewhere else at the time of the assault or battery.
Consent: Raising this defense means that you have to prove the victim had consented to fight with you.
Accident: If the circumstances of your case allow, you could argue that the harm caused to the victim was an accident, and this would be a viable defense as well.
Types of Assault and Battery Charges
Just as in other states, in South Carolina, it’s illegal to unlawfully injure someone to different degrees. The state has separate definitions for assault and battery and categorizes every charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the nature and severity of the charge. Only 2nd and 3rd-degree charges are considered misdemeanors.
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature (ABHAN)
You can be found guilty of ABHAN if you injure someone (not just threatening) and this results in great bodily injury and/or puts the victim at the risk of great bodily harm or death. ABHAN carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison.
First Degree Assault and Battery
Assault and battery of the first degree usually involves injuring someone during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft, or touching someone’s private parts without their consent. It also includes attempting or threatening to injure someone, and the assault would have led to death or great bodily injury or happened during a kidnapping, robbery, theft, or burglary. It carries up to 10 years imprisonment.
Second-degree Assault and Battery
This occurs when a person unlawfully attempts to or injures another person, and causes moderate bodily injury to the person. This charge also includes touching someone else’s private parts non-consensually, either above or under their clothing. It carries up to 3 years in prison.
Third-degree assault and battery
This is also known as Simple Assault, which occurs when a person injures or attempts to unlawfully injure another person. Third-degree is a misdemeanor offense that usually carries up to 30 days in jail.
How Does Hiring an Attorney Help?
Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible after you’re charged with assault and battery is crucial. Keep in mind that the law gives you both civil and constitutional rights, which should protect you from a wrongful charge.
Of course, you want to do your best to avoid the consequences of a conviction, which includes jail time and having a criminal record. Based on the nature and severity of the charge, you could be facing anywhere from 30 days to 20 years in prison. To help you avoid these consequences, here’s what we’ll do:
- Fight your assault and battery charge
- Represent you during your bond hearing following the arrest
- Devising a strategy of attack to get to the best possible outcome possible
- Uncover facts and details surrounding your case to develop solid and effective defenses
- Keeping you informed at every step of the way to help you make informed decisions
- Consult a knowledgeable assault and battery attorney today
Reach out to a well-practiced attorney as promptly as possible after the charge or arrest
A legal professional could help you with all the stages of the legal process. Our lawyers can effectively defend you from assault and battery charges by getting all the facts and details about the case, including the how, where, who, when, and why. With these facts established, they will be able to identify proper strategies and effective defenses.
For instance, they will be able to determine whether there were any constitutional violations and start planning the best possible defense. Your lawyer could also start collecting mitigating evidence that demonstrates why you should not be held responsible.
If you or a loved one has been accused of assault and battery, your best bet would be to seek legal representation from Boatwright Legal. Our experienced Assault and Battery Lawyers are skilled and experienced in criminal defense and will work tirelessly to help you reach the best possible outcome. Call our office at 864-745-9758 to schedule a free consultation or fill out the contact form on our site.