Assault and Battery Lawyers
The assault and battery lawyers at the Leviner Law Firm understand that a criminal conviction has serious consequences for you and your family.
Assault and battery charges in SC can range from a misdemeanor offense that carries up to 30 days in jail, to attempted murder charges that can carry up to 30 years in prison.
Each “degree” of assault and battery has its own definitions, elements that the state must prove to get a conviction, and potential defenses.
Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor assault and battery in the Magistrate Court or felony charges for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN) in General Sessions Court, you could be looking at substantial fines and restitution, a criminal record that brands you as a violent person, and prison time.
Our assault and battery attorneys have the experience you need to fight your charges and to help you find the best possible outcome in your case.
What an Assault & Battery Lawyer
Can Do For You
The assault and battery attorneys at the Leviner Law Firm know the law, the courts, the law enforcement agencies, and the prosecutors in the low country area, and we have a reputation for defending our clients.
Here’s how we can help:
- Answer your questions about criminal law in SC,
- Investigate your case and gather evidence to defend your rights,
- Retain experts when needed for consultation or testimony at your trial,
- Prepare your case for trial and try your case to a jury when necessary, and
- Negotiate with prosecutors to get your case dismissed or to find the best possible outcome based on your goals.
Why call The Leviner Law Firm:
- The assault and battery lawyers at Leviner Law Firm will help you to understand your charges and your options in a language that you will understand – no legal jargon necessary.
- They will include you in all decisions that are made in your case and keep you informed at all stages of your case.
- They care about you, your family, your case and your rights. They will do everything that is legally and ethically possible to achieve the best result for you.
Common Questions About Assault and Battery Lawyers in SC
We understand that if you are facing a prosecution for assault and battery in SC, you have questions. Although we will answer some general questions below, you should call the Leviner Law Firm as soon as possible for a free phone consultation to discuss the unique facts of your case.
Q. What are assault charges?
Assault is when you threaten to harm someone and you have the present ability to carry out the threat. For example, if I point a gun at you, that is assault. If I send you a text that says, “I’m going to drop a piano on your head,” that is not assault.
Battery is when you follow through with a threat to harm someone, and it involves some form of physical contact. For example, if I draw back my fist as if to punch you, that is assault. If I follow through and hit you in the face, that is battery.
SC law has combined the two offenses into the single charge of assault and battery, which could mean assault, could mean battery, or could mean both, depending on the facts of your case.
Q. Can assault charges be dropped?
A. Any criminal charge can be dismissed by the prosecutor, including assault and battery charges. Why would a prosecutor dismiss assault charges?
There are many reasons why assault charges are dropped, including:
- There is insufficient evidence to prosecute,
- The alleged victim requests that the charges be dropped (but see next question below),
- Your attorney uncovers new evidence or witness testimony that demonstrates your innocence,
- The prosecutor determines that you were acting in self-defense,
- Your assault charges are dropped in exchange for a guilty plea to other charges,
- You have completed a pretrial diversion program, or
- For whatever reason, the prosecutor decides it is in the interest of justice to drop your charges – remember, a prosecutor’s duty is not to get convictions, but to seek justice.
Q. Can assault charges be dropped by the victim?
A. An alleged victim cannot drop the charges against you, but they can ask the prosecutor to dismiss your charges. Technically, your crime is not against the alleged victim; it is against the State of SC, which is represented by the prosecutor.
If the alleged victim was suing you in civil court, they could dismiss their case. But that’s not the case in a criminal prosecution, because the “plaintiff” in a criminal case is the State of SC, not the alleged victim.
Regardless, a defendant should never contact the alleged victim in an assault and battery case – any contact with the alleged victim must be through the court, the prosecutor’s office, or your defense lawyer’s office to avoid allegations of witness intimidation and so that you do not violate the no-contact provisions of your bond.
Q. Can assault charges be expunged?
A. A conviction for assault and battery third degree – a misdemeanor in magistrate court that is punishable by no more than 30 days in jail – can be expunged after three years if there are no other convictions.
If you enter a guilty plea under the provisions of the SC Youthful Offender Act (YOA), your conviction can be expunged five years after completion of your sentence – note, however, that the more serious assault charges, like assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature or attempted murder, are violent offenses that are not eligible for a YOA sentence.
If your assault charges are dismissed or if you are acquitted at trial, all records of the arrest and prosecution can be expunged.
Q. Is an assault charge a misdemeanor?
A. Third-degree and second-degree assault and battery charges are misdemeanor offenses, although assault and battery second degree carries up to three years and is heard in General Sessions Court.
All “higher” degrees of assault are felony offenses, including assault and battery first degree, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and attempted murder.
Q. Can assault charges be reduced?
A. Each degree of assault is a “lesser included offense” of each of the higher degrees. This means that, if the evidence supports it, your assault charges can be reduced by the prosecutor or by a jury to any of the lower degrees of assault.
For example, assault and battery third degree is a lesser included offense of attempted murder, which technically means that an attempted murder charge, which carries up to 30 years in prison, could be reduced to assault and battery third degree, which carries no more than 30 days in jail.
What Clients Say About Leviner Law Firm
Amanda Leviner is an ambitious woman of integrity and is passionate about her work. Her and her team work diligently on your behalf and maintain good communication with the client throughout the process.
Amanda is reliable and trustworthy in every sense of the word. She genuinely cares about her clients and the best possible outcome for the individual(s) involved. She is all heels and hustle!
Please be aware that any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
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