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An Overview of Assault and Battery in South Carolina

Many states separate “assault” and “battery” into two separate charges. However, the state of South Carolina merges them together into a single infraction. Regardless of naming structure, being charged with assaulting another person can carry life-changing consequences and should be addressed with urgency.
The state of South Carolina divides Assault and Battery charges up into three different degrees, according to severity, as broken down below:
First Degree Assault & Battery
First Degree Assault and Battery occurs when you unlawfully harm another person, and if the act involves non-consensual touch in a lewd manner (i.e. either above or underneath clothing). You may also be charged with First Degree Assault and Battery if you cause bodily harm during the commission of a robbery, burglary, or kidnapping or if you implement the use of a weapon.  Assault and Battery in the first degree is a felony charge and carries mandatory jail time of no more than 10 years.
Second Degree Assault & Battery
Second Degree Assault and Battery occurs when you cause moderate bodily harm, which can include internal organ damage requiring immediate treatment or surgery. Like first degree assault, you may also be charged with second degree assault if the act includes non-consensual sexual touching. Imposing the threat of harm is also considered second degree assault and battery in South Carolina and could be punishable by prison time of up to 3 years.  
Third Degree Assault & Battery
Third Degree Assault & Battery is the lesser of all degrees, but is still punishable by jail time up to 30 days or fines. Those who have been convicted of third degree assault in South Carolina have either caused bodily harm directly or threatened to do so.
Assault & Battery – High and Aggravated Nature
Assault and Battery HAN or, “High and Aggravated Nature” is the most severe degree of Assault and Battery and is charged when the injury is inflicted so severe that the victim could lose an organ, limb, or life. Conviction of Assault & Battery of High and Aggravated Nature is punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years.
What To Do If You’ve Been Charged with Assault & Battery
Being charged with any crime is a serious matter and the state of South Carolina doesn’t take violent crimes lightly. It is always in your best interest to have an experienced criminal law attorney on your side that can dig deep into the details of your case, the surrounding circumstances, and negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf.
Don’t risk going at it alone. Greg McCollum’s Complete Legal Defense Team is ready and willing to go to bat for you. Give us a call today at (843) 627-4025 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation with an experienced, aggressive South Carolina criminal defense attorney who can help you.

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