If you have been charged with assault and battery in Columbia, South Carolina, you need to hire an experienced, aggressive Columbia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Truslow & Truslow know how to fight back against this serious charge. We have helped many South Carolina clients take back their freedom and their future, and we can help you too.
Do not wait another day to get started on a vigorous, persuasive defense. Contact the Columbia criminal defense attorneys of Truslow & Truslow today at (803) 590-6688 to speak with one of our knowledgeable assault and battery attorneys about your case.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Charged With Assault and Battery?
If you’ve been charged with assault and battery in South Carolina, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Assault and battery is a serious charge that can carry steep penalties, including up to 20 years in prison, depending on the level of assault and battery you are charged with. Furthermore, having an assault and battery conviction on your criminal record could negatively impact you for the rest of your life in far-reaching ways, including which jobs you can work, where you can live, how much money you can borrow, and much more.
A knowledgeable defense attorney with experience in trying cases involving charges of assault and battery can help you with the following:
- Understanding the offense you are charged with and the possible penalties
- Investigating the facts of your case
- Gathering evidence for your defense
- Evaluating your legal options
- Analyzing the strength of the case against you
- Negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor
- Making pre-trial motions, such as a motion to suppress certain evidence
- Questioning witnesses
- Fighting for you at trial
- Advocating for more lenient sentencing
What Are Potential Defenses for Assault and Battery?
A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you form a persuasive, compelling defense to use in fighting an assault and battery charge. Some common defenses for Columbia clients accused of assault and battery include:
- Self-defense – This is the most common defense. If the other person was the aggressor, you would have been within your rights to defend yourself.
- Defense of another – If you were defending someone else, such as your spouse or a friend who was assaulted or is at risk of being assaulted, you could use that as a defense.
- Alibi – A very strong defense is a strong, provable alibi.
Contact Truslow & Truslow for a Vigorous Defense of an Assault and Battery Charge
If you have been charged with assault and battery in South Carolina, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Truslow & Truslow at (803) 590-6688 today to get started on a vigorous, compelling defense.
What Is Assault and Battery in South Carolina?
In South Carolina law, an individual may be charged with assault and battery if they injure, attempt to injure or offer to injure another person or act in such a threatening manner as to cause someone to fear injury to themselves.
There are four degrees or categories of assault and battery in South Carolina law. Each category has a slightly different definition and comes with associated penalties.
Assault and Battery in the Third Degree
A person commits assault and battery in the third degree if they injure another person or offer or attempt to injure another person. Typically, an assault and battery in the third degree leaves little or no lasting harm. For example, if Bob and Jim get into an argument, and Bob hits Jim, causing only minor harm that does not require medical attention, Bob could be charged with assault and battery in the third degree.
Assault and battery in the third degree is a misdemeanor offense. The penalty is a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail.
Assault and Battery in the Second Degree
A person commits assault and battery in the second degree if they injure another person or attempt or offer to injure another person and:
- The person suffers or could have suffered moderate bodily injury, which is defined as an injury involving loss of consciousness, temporary or moderate disfigurement, temporary loss of function of a body part or organ, fracture, dislocation, or medical treatment requiring general anesthesia; or
- The action involves nonconsensual touching of private parts.
An example of assault and battery in the second degree is an argument in which Jim strikes Bob with a baseball bat and fractures Bob’s arm.
Assault and battery in the second degree is a misdemeanor offense. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to three years in jail.
Assault and Battery in the First Degree
A person commits assault and battery in the first degree if one of the following incidents occurs:
- They injure another person, and the act involves nonconsensual touching of private parts with “lewd and lascivious intent.”
- They injure another person while committing another crime, such as robbery or kidnapping.
- They offer or attempt to injure another person, and the means of doing so would likely cause the person to die or suffer great bodily injury.
- They offer or attempt to injure another person while committing another crime, such as robbery or kidnapping.
There are many scenarios that could result in a charge of assault and battery in the first degree. For example, if Sam steals Billy’s iPhone, and in the process, Billy falls and breaks his arm, Sam could be charged with assault and battery in the first degree. Another example would be if Sam attempts but fails to push Billy off the roof of a building, which would surely cause Billy great bodily injury or death, Sam could be charged with assault and battery in the first degree.
Assault and battery in the first degree is a felony offense. The penalty is up to ten years in prison.
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN) is the most serious of the four categories. A person commits ABHAN if they injure another person, and:
- The person suffers great bodily injury, which is defined as an injury with a substantial risk of death or serious, permanent disfigurement or prolonged loss of function to a body part or organ; or
The means of causing the injury is likely to result in death or great bodily injury.
An example of an ABHAN would be if David and Jeff get in an argument in a parking lot, and David runs Jeff over with his car, crushing Jeff’s back and causing permanent paralysis.
ABHAN is a felony offense and carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.