Charleston Assault and Battery Lawyer
Defense for Criminal Charges in Charleston, Summerville and throughout South Carolina
Have you been charged with assault and battery in Charleston, SC? If so, you might be feeling scared and uncertain of your next step. You might not even understand the difference between the types of assault and battery as defined by law. You need a Charleston assault and battery lawyer who can explain the seriousness of your charge and walk you through your defense.
Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A. can help. Our assault and battery defense lawyers have experience representing clients in Charleston, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina. We can address any questions or concerns you have about your case. Our experienced team is well-versed in the criminal justice process and the laws concerning your rights. We understand that this can be a challenging and stressful time for you, which is why we will be by your side from beginning to end. When you choose us for your defense, you will have an advocate ready to go above and beyond to ensure your side of the story is heard and defend your innocence. We have obtained optimal results for past clients*. We know past results do not guarantee future outcomes, but we will seek a favorable result on your behalf.
South Carolina's Assault and Battery Law
Generally, assault and battery charges arise when a person unlawfully injures another. Every situation is different, and the actual conduct involved in one offense may be considered more severe than another. Additionally, the harm caused or attempted to be caused to the alleged victim can vary. As such, South Carolina Code of Laws § 16-3-600 defines different degrees of assault and battery based on the act and the result.
Types of Assault and Battery Charges
Here's how each charge breaks down:
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
This offense occurs when a person:
- Unlawfully injures another, and causes great bodily injury.
- The act could have killed the other individual or greatly injured them.
Injury to another is considered "great" when it could have caused the individual's death, or it resulted in permanent disfigurement or prolonged impairment of a limb or organ.
First-Degree Assault and Battery
A charge for this offense is levied when a person:
- Unlawfully injures another; and without permission and with ill intent, they touched the individual's private parts (buttocks, genitals, or female breasts).
- The conduct occurred during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft.
- Tries to harm another, and they have the means to do so, and the act could cause death or great bodily injury to the other.
- The act happened during a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft.
Second-Degree Assault and Battery
A person may be accused of this offense if they:
- Unlawfully injures or attempted or offers to injure another, and they caused or could have caused moderate bodily injury to the other.
- Without permission, they touched the other's private parts (buttocks, genitals, or female breasts).
Moderate bodily injury is harm that requires extensive medical care. It's something more than a scratch, bruise, or minor abrasion that only needs one-time treatment.
Third-degree Assault and Battery (Simple Assault)
It's a crime for a person to:
- Unlawfully injure someone else, or Offer or attempt to injure another and have the ability to carry out the act
Regardless of the crime you've been accused of, you need tenacious defense on your side. At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., our Charleston assault and battery attorneys know how to build and present defenses. We are ready to protect your rights and freedom.
What are the Penalties for Assault and Battery in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, depending on the degree, assault and battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. The potential conviction penalties depend on the offense for which the defendant was accused.
Below are the punishments:
- Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature is a felony charge and can lead to up to 20 years in prison
- First-degree assault and battery is a felony charge and can lead to up to up to 10 years in prison
- Second-degree assault and battery is charged as a misdemeanor and carries up to 3 years in jail, and/or up to $500 in fines
- Third-degree assault and battery is a misdemeanor offense and can lead to up to 30 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines
The consequences of a conviction go beyond incarceration and fines. For instance, your reputation could be ruined, your relationships hurt, and your career prospects are seriously damaged. Our assault and battery defense lawyers in Charleston can navigate you toward the best possible result. We'll seek to help you minimize or avoid the potential penalties.
Assault & Battery on a Law Enforcement Official in SC
In South Carolina, assault and battery on a law enforcement officer is considered a serious offense. This often occurs when a person is resisting arres, which is a separate criminal offense that involves actively resisting, opposing, or obstructing a law enforcement officer while they are performing their official duties.
A person who knowingly and willfully opposes or resists arrest from a police officer performing their official duties can be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine between $500 and $1,000.
A person who knowingly and willfully assaults or otherwise harms a police officer while resisting arrest can be charged with a felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Common Defenses for Assault and Battery
An assault and battery charge does not mean guilt, and at Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., we want to ensure all sides of the story are heard. That is why we scour every detail of these cases to determine how to best defend our clients.
Depending on the circumstances, specific defenses can be raised, such as:
- Self-defense: It's possible that the accused felt threatened by the person they allegedly assaulted and was protecting themselves against immediate bodily harm. They also might have felt that safe escape from an escalating situation was impossible.
- Defense of others: The accused might have used or attempted to use force against someone else because they were protecting another person from immediate harm.
- Defense of property: If the person the accused allegedly assaulted was unlawfully on their property and presented a risk of imminent harm, the accused may have been justified in using force against them.
- Consent: The alleged victim might have given the accused permission to touch or attempt to touch them.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Case With our Assault Lawyer in Charleston, SC
If you're facing assault and battery charges, it's crucial to hire an experienced lawyer who can provide the counsel and representation you need. At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., we are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and guide you through the court process.
From the start of your case, our reliable Charleston assault and battery defense attorneys will be committed to you. We've handled various complex matters before and understand the nuances and possible defenses that can be raised.
* The results achieved on behalf of one client in one matter do not necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for another client.