Beaufort Assault Lawyer
Even though assault is among the most common criminal charges that people find themselves facing, it is also frequently misunderstood. Contrary to what many people may think, you do not have to injure someone—or even touch them—to be charged with and convicted of assault, so long as the court believes you likely did—or intended to—cause harm to that person.
The complex ways in which state law addresses this offense make assistance from a knowledgeable Schiller & Hamilton defense attorney crucial for someone seeking a positive resolution to this type of case. A qualified Beaufort assault lawyer could ensure you understand every legal element of the charges against you and work tirelessly to defend your interests on your behalf.
What is a Misdemeanor Assault?
South Carolina Code of Laws §16-3-600 defines four types of assault and battery as a criminal offense: third-degree, second-degree, first-degree, and assault of a high and aggravated nature. The first two are considered misdemeanors, while the latter are considered felonies. An accomplished attorney experienced with assaults could help lower the sentence for each conviction.
The least severe variant is in the third degree, which may entail unlawfully injuring another person or threatening—or attempting—to injure someone while having “the present ability to do so.” Penalties for a third-degree conviction include a maximum jail term of 30 days and a $500 fine at most.
A second-degree conviction occurs when someone causes, attempts, or threatens moderate bodily injury to another person—meaning the injury causes temporary impairment, unconsciousness, or loss of function, or requires medical treatment involving anesthesia.
Any assaultive act that involves nonconsensual touching of someone’s private parts either under or over clothing also constitutes second-degree assault. A conviction for this offense is punishable by maximum jail time of three years plus a fine of $2,500 at most.
What is a Felony Assault?
Unlike third-degree and second-degree, first-degree and assault of a high and aggravated nature are considered felonies. Because they are felonies, the penalties are higher and the impact on a convicted individual’s life is greater.
Under state law, a person commits a first degree offense like this if they cause—or threaten—injuries to someone:
- Involving nonconsensual touching of private parts
- During theft, burglary, robbery, or kidnapping
- While engaging in behavior that would likely cause great bodily injury or death
A convicted individual may face a maximum prison term of ten years if they are found responsible for one of the actions listed above.
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature entails causing someone else great bodily injury or injuring someone in a way that is likely to result in great bodily harm or death. This offense is punishable by a maximum 20-year prison term, and representation from a knowledgeable defense lawyer could be especially crucial for people facing this kind of allegation in Beaufort.
Enlist a Beaufort Assault Attorney to Help Now
Depending on what you are being accused of, you may find yourself prosecuted in one of several different ways. Your case may have different negative outcomes for you if you try to fight it without support from qualified legal counsel at Schiller & Hamilton.
A dedicated Beaufort assault lawyer could provide the assistance you need to effectively pursue your desired case outcome. Learn more by calling us today.