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ASSAULT AND BATTERY – STATE CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Types of Assault in South Carolina
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature
Assault and Battery, First Degree
Assault and Battery, Second Degree
Assault and Battery, Third Degree
Assault and Battery
There are several types of crimes known as Assault and Battery in South Carolina. The least serious is assault and battery in the third degree which is a misdemeanor triable in magistrate court or municipal court. It is defined as being committed if a person unlawfully injures another person, or offers or attempts to injure another person with the present ability to do so. Historically, under our system of common law an assault is placing immediate and imminent peril such that a reasonable person would think he was about to be struck and injured. That is assault. The striking of another person is the battery. If one person with criminal intent, swings his fists at someone but missed, that would be assault. The maximum in penalty is thirty days in jail or a fine of five hundred ($500.00) dollars plus court costs.
Other levels of assault and battery are assault and battery in the second degree, which is also a misdemeanor and carries a maximum punishment of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to two thousand five hundred ($2,500.00) dollars. Assault and battery in the first degree is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature is a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison, which makes it a no parole offense. The most serious charge of assault and battery is attempted murder which carries a sentence of up to thirty years imprisonment, no part of which can be suspended to probation. Since it carries a possible penalty in excess of twenty years, it too is classified as a no parole offense. The state must prove intent to kill with malice afore thought.
Prior to 2010, when the law changed in South Carolina, people were charged with crimes known as assault and battery, also known as simple assault. According to the law passed in 2010, those common law offenses have now been abolished.
If you have been accused of assault, contact the law office of M. Gregory McCollum. Mr. McCollum has handled and defended every type of assault case.
In many cases the assault is justified by specific defenses that may be raised such as:
Self-defense, defense of others or defense of one’s home. Attorney Greg McCollum has represented and defended individuals charged with all types of assault.
What will happen on your case, depends upon many factors. Having an experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyer is one of those factors. Every case is unique and different defenses are available on different cases. If you are interested in a consultation, please contact the Law Office of Greg McCollum for an appointment.
Following are some examples of cases that Attorney Greg McCollum has handled. These are provided to give you information which may be helpful. Often, people think that because they were arrested and charged with a criminal offense that there is nothing they can do about it, and that the situation is hopeless or futile. It is important to know that an arrest and charge is only an accusation, and that a person is not automatically deemed to be guilty. In some cases the person is innocent, in other cases the state lacks sufficient evidence to convict, and sometimes the person has been charged with a greater offense than the state can prove, which can result in charges being reduced or dismissed completely. What can or will occur on your case can not be predicted with absolute certainty. The practice of law is not a science dependent on absolute rules. Law must be interpreted and applied to a particular set of facts, which may or not be proven. What will happen to your case depends upon several factors and each case is unique.
When reading results from past cases it is important to know that any result Attorney Greg McCollum may achieve on behalf of one client does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
Sample Cases Handled by Attorney Greg McCollum
State vs. S.H. – (2009)
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravate Nature (ABHAN)*
Penalty Up to Ten Years Parole Eligible
*Note: This offense was changed. It was an unclassified misdemeanor. It is now a different offense yet called the same thing which is somewhat confusing. The offense was changed in June 2010.
This client was charged with the crime of Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature which at the time was a common law crime which carried a possible penalty of up to ten years in prison. The police alleged that our client struck another person in the head with a beer bottle at a Myrtle Beach night club. After hearing the testimony and defense, cross examination of the investigating officer, and after considering the evidence produced, the Judge reduced the Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravate Nature (ABHAN) to Simple Assault and Battery, an offense, which at the time carried a maximum penalty of up to thirty days in jail and within the jurisdiction of the Myrtle Beach Municipal Court. The charge was remanded to the Municipal Court where it was later DISMISSED.