South Carolina Assault Lawyer

Assault as a criminal offense in South Carolina is commonly misunderstood by those charged with it. Contrary to popular belief, you do not necessarily have to cause someone else to suffer physical harm in order to be charged with assault—under certain circumstances, even an attempt to harm someone else or put them in danger of harm may constitute a criminal offense.

Whether your assault charge is classified as a misdemeanor or felony offense, you will almost certainly need help from a knowledgeable defense attorney if you want your case to have an outcome in your favor. A South Carolina assault lawyer could explain the nature of your specific charge, help collect exculpatory evidence, and work to present a comprehensive defense on your behalf.

Misdemeanor Assault Charges in South Carolina

South Carolina Code of Laws §16-3-600 defines four different forms of criminal assault and battery, two of which are misdemeanor offenses and two of which are felonies. An assault attorney could help defend an individual accused of any variety of assault in South Carolina, as well as discuss the differences between each degree of this offense in further detail.

The least severe variant of assault under state law is assault and battery in the third degree, which entails someone deliberately and unlawfully causing another person to suffer injury, or attempting or offering to cause another person harm while also possessing apparent means of immediately doing so. Upon conviction for this misdemeanor offense, a defendant may face a maximum of 30 days of imprisonment and a $500 fine.

Assault and battery in the second degree is also considered a misdemeanor offense, albeit a more serious one that is punishable by up to three years of imprisonment and a $2,500 fine. This offense also involves someone actually harming someone or intentionally trying to do so, with the additional qualifying factors that the assault caused or could have caused moderate bodily injury or involved nonconsensual contact with the targeted individual’s private parts.

When Could Assault Become a Felony Offense?

A South Carolina resident may be charged with assault and battery in the first degree if they injure another person and, in doing so, make nonconsensual contact with the targeted individual’s private parts while having lewd and lascivious intent. It can also involve an attempt or offer to cause great bodily injury to someone else, or an assault during the commission of a theft or kidnapping. Under any of these circumstances, first-degree assault is a felony which could be punished by up to a ten-year prison sentence.

Finally, the most severe form of assault and battery codified under state law is assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. This offense entails someone actually causing great bodily injury to someone else, or someone engaging in assault through means likely to cause great bodily injury or death. It is virtually essential for someone facing this degree of charge to seek representation from a skilled assault lawyer in South Carolina, as a conviction could put them in prison for up to 20 years.

How a South Carolina Assault Attorney Could Help

Even if your assault charge is only classified as a misdemeanor, it is still important to take the allegations against you—and the potential consequences you could face upon conviction—seriously. Fortunately, help is available from an experienced legal professional who has dealt successfully with cases like yours before.

A South Carolina assault lawyer could provide the guidance and support you need to effectively deal with your charges and secure a positive case result. Call today to discuss your legal options.