Columbia Second-Degree Assault Lawyer

Second-degree assault is defined under Section 16-3-600 of the South Carolina Code of Laws as when a person unlawfully injures another person or attempts to injure another person with the present ability to do so, and there is moderate bodily injury or nonconsensual touching of the private parts of another person either under or above the clothing. It is a misdemeanor that carries up to three years in jail.

If you have been accused of unlawfully injuring another, a Columbia second-degree assault lawyer could help you fight the charges. They could review the facts of the case and help you build a defense against the charges against you. Seek help from an experienced assault attorney to learn about the consequences of a conviction.

Difference Between First And Second-Degree Assault

The primary difference between first-degree assault and second-degree assault is the definition of great bodily injury and moderate bodily injury. There is a big difference between great bodily injury and moderate bodily injury based on those definitions that are found in Section 16-3-600.

The definition of moderate bodily injury is a physical injury that involves prolonged loss of consciousness, temporary or moderate disfigurement, temporary loss of the function of the bodily member, an injury that requires regional or general anesthesia, or injury that results in a fracture dislocation. Moderate bodily injury does not include one-time treatment and subsequent observations of scratches, cuts, abrasions, bruises, burns, splinters, or any other injuries that do not ordinarily require extensive medical care.

In all criminal cases, the role of intent, called mens rea, is very important. A person has to intend to inflict that type of injury on the other person. If it is an accident, then they are technically not guilty of that crime. A diligent second-degree assault attorney in Columbia could collect evidence and fight against allegations of intent.

Consequences of A Conviction

The long-term consequences of a second-degree assault conviction differ from those of a first-degree assault conviction. A second-degree assault and battery is a considered a misdemeanor offense which carries up to three years in jail, while first-degree assault is a felony.

A felony comes with many long-term consequences in terms of jobs, financial aid, and housing. The likelihood of getting a probationary sentence for a second-degree assault and battery is incredibly higher than a first-degree assault.

A knowledgeable Columbia second-degree assault lawyer could help individuals understand the specific penalties of a conviction and how to build a defense.

Evidence in an Assault Case

In a second-degree assault case, prosecutors need to prove is that there was moderate bodily injury. They may also need to prove that there was nonconsensual touching of the private parts of another person either under or above the clothing.

To prove these elements, the prosecution will generally need statements from the alleged victim, as well as pictures, medical records, other witness statements, and any type of surveillance video recording.

Defenses To Refute The Prosecution’s Evidence

The basic defenses a seasoned attorney may use to refute the prosecution’s evidence in second-degree assault cases would be an alibi.

Another defense against second-degree assault is the alleged victim may be lying, and they can prove that because there are no injuries. They could prove the lack of injuries through medical records, witness statements, or through other means, such as a text message from a person saying that they were going to have them arrested out of revenge or spite.

Mitigating Factors

Mitigating factors in an assault case are determined by an individual’s lack of a prior record. The assault attorney could explain and prove the reasons why a person should not go to jail, such as they have a stable job, a family, and a great support system.

How An Assault Attorney Could Help

If you are facing assault charges, you should seek help from a skilled attorney. They could immediately work to collect evidence, speak to witnesses, and review the facts of the case to build a defense against the charges. They may be able to help reduce the charges or get the case dismissed.

The sooner a Columbia second-degree assault lawyer is on the case, the sooner they can begin fighting against the charges. Schedule a consultation today to get started on your defense.