An aggravated assault charge carries severe criminal penalties, including the potential for decades in prison. This criminal offense occurs when the victim of an “assault and battery of high and aggravated nature” suffers serious injury as a result. Aggravated assault is a felony charge that could jeopardize various rights and opportunities such as the ability to go to school or find employment.
If you face charges of this severity, contact a North Charleston aggravated assault lawyer immediately to defend your case and protect your rights. A felony conviction could impact your life for many years to come, so it is important that you schedule a consultation today with an aggressive legal advocate.
Definition of Assault and Battery in North Charleston
In many states, assault is a separate charge from battery. However, “assault and battery” are treated as one offense under South Carolina law. This means that if someone attempts to harm another person, they can be charged with assault and battery even if no actual harm occurs. The circumstances of each scenario will determine what level of assault charges a defendant and their local attorney will have to fight.
What is Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature?
A charge of a “high and aggravated nature” is the most serious form of the offense of assault and battery in South Carolina. This occurs when a person unlawfully causes great bodily injury to another individual or injures them by means that would likely cause great bodily injury or death.
“Great bodily injury” is one that accompanies a substantial risk of the following:
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss or impairment of a bodily member or organ
For example, a person could be charged with aggravated assault if they cause severe injuries that require the use of life-saving procedures at the hospital. Aggravated assault is also sometimes added to charges of attempted murder.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault and Battery
If convicted of this felony offense, a defendant could face penalties of up to twenty years in prison. A felony record will also result in the loss of certain constitutional rights, such as the right to vote and the right to bear arms. As such, serious charges such as aggravated assault require the expertise of a relentless attorney to defend against them in North Charleston court.
What are the Degrees of Assault and Battery?
Besides charges of a high and aggravated nature, there are other forms of assault and battery that are considered less serious under South Carolina state law.
- First Degree Assault and Battery: This offense may result in a prison sentence of up to ten years and is considered a felony.
- Second Degree Assault and Battery: This is a misdemeanor charge and may result in a fine of up to $2,500 and up to three years in prison.
- Third Degree Assault and Battery: This misdemeanor offense carries the potential for a fine of up to $500 and up to thirty days in jail.
These “lesser” forms of assault and battery offenses still carry hefty penalties that can negatively influence someone’s life. However, because they are less serious than an aggravated assault charge, a skilled attorney in the community may help a defendant obtain a plea deal or conviction of a lesser charge.
Consult with a North Charleston Aggravated Assault Attorney
Charges this severe can lead to decades in prison. If you have been accused of assault and battery, you deserve to have your side represented by a competent, knowledgeable attorney with years of experience defending these types of criminal cases. For the sake of your rights and future, contact a hardworking North Charleston aggravated assault attorney today.