An indictment for assault can be a serious, severe charge. Individuals in Summerville who have been accused of assault might face a felony conviction and significant penalties. If you have been charged with assault and are unsure of your legal rights, it may be prudent to contact a seasoned Summerville assault lawyer. An attorney could help collect evidence, speak with witnesses, and build a strong case to preserve your future.
First Degree Assault Charges in Summerville
In Summerville, first-degree assault is defined by the South Carolina Code of Laws §16-3-600(C)(1) as threatening or attempting to injure another person with the present ability to do so. The charge may be coupled with battery in the first degree, which is the unlawful injury of a person.
First-degree assault may occur in the course of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft or under circumstances likely to create great bodily harm. It is charged as a felony, and a conviction could result in up to ten years of incarceration.
In a trial for assault, the Summerville prosecutor will generally need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person intended to cause significant physical harm to the alleged victim. A skilled Summerville assault attorney may be able to defend a client by creating doubt about the defendant’s intention.
Lesser Assault Allegations in Summerville
Second and third-degree assault are lesser charges than the first-degree offense. Like first-degree assault, second and third-degree assault may also be coupled with a battery indictment if actual harm is alleged to have occurred.
Second-degree assault and battery, per S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-600(D)(3), may be charged as a lesser included offense to first-degree assault and battery or attempted murder. Generally, however, second-degree assault is charged as a misdemeanor. It carries a maximum sentence of three years and a fine of $2,500. Third-degree assault is also a misdemeanor in Summerville and carries a penalty of $500 and up to 30 days in jail.
Although second or third-degree assault are misdemeanors with lighter sentences, they can be more serious if they are charged as lesser included offenses to felonies. An assault lawyer in Summerville may discuss these possibilities in more detail with defendants.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Summerville
Aggravated assault is an elevated charge related to the use of a weapon during the commission of an assault. Per S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-610, if the accused person has been alleged to have been carrying a concealed or deadly weapon, prosecutors could charge aggravated assault, and the Summerville court may tack on additional penalties after a conviction.
An assault attorney in Summerville could work with prosecutors to mitigate an aggravated assault charge and avoid significant penalties for a defendant.
Contact a Summerville Assault Attorney Today
Whether you have been indicted for assault or are under investigation, it might be wise to research your legal options as soon as possible. An assault conviction could lead to incarceration and other serious consequences.
An adept Summerville assault lawyer may have the experience necessary to build an effective defense and preserve your future. Contact an attorney today to get started.