You never intended things to happen the way they did. Perhaps you got into a physical altercation, or maybe you let your hands get ahead of your brain. You could have handled the situation better, but did you really commit a crime?
Now you’re facing an assault and battery charge, and you don’t know what to do.
Your first priority should be to seek the help of an experienced criminal lawyer in South Carolina who can explain your options and help you plan the best defense possible. Kent Collins can help you do that–he’s unafraid to ask you the tough questions to get to the bottom of your case. He will help you fight for your rights.
Right now, you may not understand the charge against you, so let’s cover the basics of assault and battery charges in SC.
What is assault and battery?
Generally speaking, assault is causing someone to fear harm to themselves. Battery is actually causing such harm. However, South Carolina law puts assault and battery together under its criminal laws for assault which can be found in S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-600. Therefore, whether you cause someone to fear you will injure them or if you actually injure them, both acts are considered assault under SC law.
Additionally, non-consensual touching of the private parts of a person either under or above clothing qualifies as assault. Even though there may be no physical injury, the act meets the legal definition of assault.
Examples of assault and battery
While it’s sometimes straightforward to tell whether an act is or isn’t assault, it isn’t always. Here are a few examples of assault and battery:
- One person punches another person
- One person threatens another person by acting like he is about to swing an object at the other person’s head
- One person makes credible terroristic threats toward another person
- One person touches the genitals of another person without permission
When someone commits one of the acts above or similar acts, the criminal punishment for such acts is imposed by a judge within limits established in SC law.
Fines and penalties in SC for assault and battery
The maximum fines and penalties for assault and battery are laid out in law. As the severity of each charge increases so do the fines and jail time:
- 3rd Degree (sometimes called “simple assault”)–up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500
- 2nd Degree–up to 3 years in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500
- 1st Degree–up to 10 years in jail
Even though 1st Degree Assault and Battery does not have a fine associated with it, the jail time increases greatly from the 2nd-degree charge. The 1st-degree charge is a felony. The 2nd- and 3rd-degree charges are misdemeanors.
Common questions about assault and battery in SC
There are a lot of issues to think through when you’re charged with assault and battery. The more you know, the better decisions you can make. So here are answers to some of the common questions people have when they are facing assault and battery charges.
Is there a difference between assault and battery?
Under South Carolina law, there is no distinction between assault and battery. Both fall under assault statutes.
Is assault and battery a felony or misdemeanor?
Whether an assault and battery charge is a felony or misdemeanor depends on how severe it is. First-degree charges are felonies. Second and 3rd-degree charges are misdemeanors.
What is assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature?
This felony charge is more serious than 1st-degree assault and battery but less serious than attempted murder. It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
What is assault and battery with intent to kill? Now called called attempted murder.
This amounts to attempted murder which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
What is assault and battery by mob?
This charge can be leveled against a person who joins in a group of two or more people for the purpose of committing a violent act against another person. The penalties associated with each degree are increased when the assault is “by mob.”
Get the legal help you need
If you’re facing an assault and battery charge–or perhaps someone you know is– you need to act now. The prosecution may be putting their case together right now. An attorney can help you evaluate the evidence against you and mount a strong defense.
Don’t waist any more time. You freedom is depending on it. Call 803-808-0905, or use this form to get in touch with Kent.