Lexington Assault Lawyer

Some of the most common criminal charges seen in South Carolina courts involve some form of assault. While the basic definition of assault is well understood, there are many alternative definitions that affect the potential ramifications for a conviction.

Depending upon the circumstances of the attack and the resulting injuries, a person may be charged with as many as four different versions of assault.

Lexington assault lawyer represents clients who are facing any of these charges. A conviction under any of them carries a potential jail sentence and a permanent criminal record. For these reasons, it is imperative to understand what an assault charge means and how to defend against these allegations in court with the help of an experienced defense attorney.

Assault Laws in South Carolina

There are four levels of assault and battery charges in South Carolina. They all share a common core definition under South Carolina Law 16-3-600. It states that an assault is an act that causes an unlawful injury to another person. Alternatively, an attempt to injure another person also qualifies as assault.

For example, if a person punches another person, this is clearly assault. In addition, if a person swings and misses, they can still be charged with assault under South Carolina’s definitions.

This basic definition is assault and battery in the third degree. This is the least serious version of assault and is classified as a misdemeanor. The statute states that a conviction can result in a fine of up to $500.00 and a jail term of up to 30 days.

In some situations, a convicted defendant may be sentenced to probation or jail time. Sentencing is handled on a case by case basis and is often influenced by whether the conviction was the result of a guilty plea or a verdict after a trial, which makes it imperative that a Lexington assault attorney is contacted.

Other Forms of Assault in Lexington

The second most severe version of assault is assault and battery in the second degree. This carries the basic definition described above, but the attack results, or could have resulted, in moderate bodily injury.

Another example is any non-consensual touching of the private parts of a person. A conviction here is still a misdemeanor but can result in a maximum fine of $2,500.00 and up to three years in county jail.

An assault and battery in the first degree is an attempted assault that could result in great bodily injury that is likely to produce death. It can also involve non-consensual sexual touching with a lascivious intent.

An assault committed during the commission of a burglary, robbery, theft, or kidnapping is charged as assault in the first degree. A conviction here is treated as a felony and is punished by up to 10 years in state prison making it extremely important that a Lexington assault lawyer is consulted as soon as possible.

Lastly, the most severe assault is an assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. This is an assault that results in great bodily injury that could lead to death. A conviction here is a felony with up to 20 years in state prison.

A conviction of any form of assault will result in a person having a permanent criminal record.

How a Lexington Assault Attorney Can Help

Lexington assault lawyer defends clients against all levels of assault charges. We understand the nuances in the four levels of charges and how to effectively defend against all of them.

One common form of defense is to claim that the defendant was merely defending themselves against an aggressive attacker. Other defenses may include challenging the truthfulness of State witnesses and questioning the validity of evidence.

With the consequences of a conviction being harsh, it is important for people to take a positive step towards protecting themselves. Contact today to see how we are able to help.