Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature: Definition, Offense & Consequences
Obtain the Information You Need to Protect Your Legal Rights
The crime of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in South Carolina is a serious one that can result in serious legal consequences. If you are facing assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in SC, it is important that you understand the procedures, rules, definitions and punishments associated with this offense.
When facing these charges, you need an experienced and proven attorney to advocate on your behalf. We can help you to understand the charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature that you or a loved one is facing and how these charges may affect your freedom and disrupt your life.
At the Woods Law Firm, we have won hundreds of cases just like yours. We know that you have many questions about your charges. We can answer all of them.
What Is Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature?
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in South Carolina is defined under S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-600 as unlawfully injuring another person that causes great bodily injury to someone else or commits such actions that are likely to result in great bodily injury or death.
What Does the Charge High and Aggravated Nature Mean?
“High and aggravated nature” is based on the state's definition of “great bodily injury.” When great bodily injury occurs, a person can be charged with the crime of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, instead of first, second or third degree assault and battery in South Carolina. Great bodily injury is defined as an injury that causes any of the following:
- A substantial risk of death
- Serious, permanent disfigurement
- Protracted loss or impairment of a body part or organ
Is Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature a Felony?
Yes, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in SC is classified as a felony.
What Are the Penalties for Assault & Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature?
The most significant penalty that you face if charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in SC is the possibility of a long term of imprisonment. You can be imprisoned for up to 20 years if you are convicted of this offense. Additionally, you may face additional penalties, such as being sentenced to parole. You may also be required to pay restitution to provide compensation to the victim for their medical expenses and other damages they sustained or be sued in civil court to pay for them.
What Is Assault and Battery with the Intent to Kill in South Carolina?
Assault and battery with the intent to kill in South Carolina is a hybrid of two different offenses. Under S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-29, attempted murder is defined as trying to kill someone else with premeditation and the intent to kill. If you are convicted of this crime, you will face up to 30 years' imprisonment. Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature is considered a lesser-included offense in South Carolina, which means that if you are charged with attempted murder, you can also be charged with assault & battery of a high and aggravated nature and the jury determines whether to convict you of either offense.
What Is First Degree Assault and Battery in South Carolina?
Assault and battery in the 1st degree in South Carolina is a felony offense that is defined under S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-600. This crime is committed when you injure another person in an unlawful manner and this act:
- Involves nonconsensual sexual touching with lewd and lascivious intent
- Happened when you were committing the crime of kidnapping, robbery, burglary or theft
- Attempted or threatened to injure someone else with the current ability to do and while taking such action that is likely to result in great bodily injury or death or was committed while you were committing the crime of kidnapping, robbery, burglary or theft
This crime carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment and is also considered a lesser-included offense of attempted murder, as well as assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
What Is Second Degree Assault and Battery in South Carolina?
Under S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-600, you can face charges for 2nd degree assault and battery in South Carolina if you did any of the following:
- You caused another person to suffer moderate bodily injury
- You attempted to cause moderate bodily injury even if the injury did not arise
- You touched the private parts of another person (above or under clothing) and the other person did not consent to the touching
Second degree assault and battery in South Carolina is considered a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of three years' imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,500 plus court costs, fees and assessments.
What Is Third Degree Assault and Battery in South Carolina?
3rd degree assault and battery in South Carolina is a misdemeanor, according to S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-600. This crime, also referred to as “simple assault” in South Carolina, occurs when you injure or attempt to injure someone else and you have the current ability to do so. Third degree assault and battery in South Carolina carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500 plus court costs, fees and assessments.
What Is Assault and Battery Against Certain Victims or for Certain Purposes?
Assault and battery committed against a family or household member falls under domestic violence charges.
What Determines What Type of Assault and Battery Charges I Will Face?
Generally, the degree of injury that the victim suffers determines which offense you will be charged with.
- Whether anyone was injured or you only attempted the offense
- Whether the injury occurred during the commission of certain crimes
- Whether the offense involved any sexual touching
- Your intent at the time of the crime
It is not uncommon for an overzealous prosecutor to unnecessarily increase the charges against you, so it's important to seek the advice and counsel of our experienced South Carolina criminal defense lawyers before talking to law enforcement or accepting a plea bargain.
What Defenses Are There to Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature Charges?
There are various defenses that you may have available for your case. These may include:
- Mistaken identity
- Not meeting the elements of the crime
An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the circumstances surrounding your case and your arrest to determine the defenses that may apply to your case.
Can Assault and Battery Charges of a High and Aggravated Nature Be Dropped?
If police misconduct occurred, you were wrongly identified or evidence shows that you were not the perpetrator, assault and battery charges may be dropped. Additionally, the state has the discretion to reduce charges, and our experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorneys can negotiate to dismiss or reduce your charges. This can result in a lesser offense and punishment or the complete dismissal of all charges depending on the evidence.
How Can a South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
If you are facing serious criminal charges such as the violation of the SC law of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, it is important that you quickly retain the services of an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who can protect your constitutional rights. Attorney Freddy Woods can walk you through the criminal justice process and explain which defenses may be available to you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You may call our main office at (864) 298-8111 or text us at (843) 999-1106 or email us at [email protected] to speak to an experienced attorney for an immediate and confidential consultation.