Accusations of assault can be highly stressful. You could be facing fines, prison time, and damage to your reputation upon conviction.
If you are facing charges for assaulting someone, you need a strong legal professional in your corner. An experienced Greenville assault lawyer could help construct a compelling and comprehensive defense strategy for your unique situation. In addition to protecting your legal rights and pursuing a case resolution that best serves your interests, your defense attorney could work to mitigate the sanctions passed down during sentencing.
Degrees of Assault Charges Under State Law
South Carolina Code of Laws §16-3-600 outlines four distinct degrees of assault that a person in Greenville may be charged with. These degrees include third, second, and first-degree assault as well as assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, or ABHAN. In most cases, more serious injuries result in more serious charges.
The least severe type of assault codified under state law is assault and battery in the third degree. This charge entails unlawfully injuring someone, or offering or attempting to injure someone with the present ability to do so. Assaulting another person without causing significant injuries is usually Assault and Battery 3rd degree.
If an act of assault results in or reasonably could have resulted in moderate bodily injury, it is generally considered second-degree assault and battery. Further, if an act involves the perpetrator touching another person’s private parts, either under or above their clothing, without consent, it is also considered second-degree assault and battery. “Moderate bodily injury” is a complicated term, and has a broad definition in the SC Code of Laws. Generally, moderate bodily injury is defined as an injury that:
- Causes a prolonged loss of consciousness
- Leads to temporary or moderate disfigurement
- Causes loss of the function of a bodily member or organ
- Requires medical treatment that involves general or regional anesthesia
- Results in a fracture or dislocation
First-degree assault and battery encompass a variety of actions. is defined as injuring another person or offering or attempting to injure another person while committing an act of robbery, kidnapping, burglary, theft. Injuring someone while touching their private parts, either above or under their clothes, without consent, is also First degree Assault and battery. Offering or attempting to injure another person, with the present ability to do so, and the act is accomplished by means likely to produce death or great bodily injury, or committed
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature is the most severe assault charge. A conviction on these charges could result in serious prison time, so it is best to consult with a skilled Greenville assault attorney as soon as possible after being charged to begin building a robust defense.
Potential Penalties for an Assault Conviction
Third-degree and second-degree assault are misdemeanor offenses in South Carolina, punishable upon conviction with respective maximum jail sentences of 30 days and three years, and respective maximum fines of $500 and $2,500. First-degree assault is a felony offense for which a person convicted could be sentenced to a maximum ten-year prison sentence.
High and aggravated assault and battery is an even more serious felony, as it could result in a maximum prison sentence upon conviction of 20 years. It is crucial to work with a seasoned attorney when defending assault charges in Greenville so that all possible steps are taken to mitigate the consequences of a conviction.
A Greenville Assault Attorney Could Help Build a Strong Defense
The State does not take assault offenses lightly. Even a misdemeanor conviction could have a substantial impact on your personal and professional future. More severe charges of this nature could even lead to you serving several years in prison, even if you have no record of other criminal convictions prior to this one.
Assistance from a knowledgeable Greenville assault lawyer could make a world of difference when it comes to preserving your rights after an allegation like this. As a former prosecutor and municipal judge, attorney Chris Jones knows exactly what to expect in court and could use this to bolster your case. Call today to get started.