South Carolina law identifies several degrees of assault and battery, ranging from simple misdemeanor assault to felony assault of a high and aggravated nature. Essentially, any unlawful touching of others constitutes an assault and may result in severe penalties.

If you are facing charges, a Mount Pleasant assault lawyer may be able to work with you to understand your side of the story and develop an effective defense strategy in your case. Since assault is a crime of violence, a criminal conviction on your record for assault could be highly detrimental to your future educational opportunities, employment, and career. Avoiding or minimizing the impact of this situation on your life may be crucial to protecting your future. Reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.

Third and Second-Degree Assault in Mount Pleasant

Under South Carolina Code § 16-3-600(E), assault and battery in the third degree—also called simple assault—occurs when individuals unlawfully cause or attempt to cause injury to another person. In the case of simple assault, no persons suffer severe injuries, and the alleged aggressor of the crime does not utilize a weapon. Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense that can result in a $500 fine, 30 days of incarceration or both.

S.C. Code § 16-3-600(D)(1) sets forth the criminal offense of a second-degree assault and battery, which is also a misdemeanor offense. To constitute second-degree assault and battery, an act must result in moderate bodily injury to others, create the possibility of moderate bodily injury occurring, or involve the touching of the private parts of others, either under or above their clothing, without their consent.

Individuals who commit assault and battery in the second degree can face a fine of up to $2,500, incarceration for up to three years, or both. A lawyer in Mount Pleasant may be able to defend individuals facing misdemeanor assault and battery charges and work to mitigate penalties.

Felony Assault and Battery Charges

The next highest level of assault and battery under South Carolina law is assault and battery of the first degree, which is defined under S.C. Code § 16-3-600(C)(1). First-degree assault is a felony and can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years. Individuals commit first-degree assault and battery if they unlawfully injure others and the act of doing so:

  • Involves the nonconsensual touching of the private parts of others with lewd and lascivious intent or
  • Occurs during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft

First-degree assault and battery also may occur if individuals offer or attempt to injure others with the present ability to do so and their actions either:

  • Use a means that is likely to result in death or great bodily injury or
  • Occurs during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft

Call a Mount Pleasant Assault Attorney Today

If you are facing assault charges in Mount Pleasant, it may be to your benefit to consult with an experienced Mount Pleasant assault lawyer. An assault conviction can have severe implications for your future and cause you to miss out on valuable opportunities in terms of education and employment. As a result, contacting legal counsel may be wise.