What are the Different “Degrees” of Assault and Battery?
If you’re’ charged with Assault and Battery in Myrtle Beach or the surrounding area, you are probably wondering what the difference is between first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree assault and battery. There are many levels of A&B in South Carolina, and the difference is not as clear-cut as you might think.
Both assault and battery third-degree and second-degree are considered misdemeanors in South Carolina, although the penalty is quite different. Third-degree assault and battery is a 30-day misdemeanor in magistrate court, while Second-Degree A&B is punishable by 0-3 years and is triable in the Court of General Sessions. A third-degree assault and battery is typically prosecuted by the arresting officer, while the second-degree assault and battery is prosecuted by the Solicitor’s Office of the county where the event allegedly took place. Assault and Battery First-Degree as well as Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature are both felonies, punishable by 0-10 years and 0-20 years, respectively.
All levels of assault and battery have similar elements: “if the person unlawfully injures another person, or offers or attempts to injure another person with the present ability to do so.” The difference between the degrees is the level of injury involved. I’ve compiled a list of the offenses, the penalty, and the level of injury involved.
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature requires that “great bodily injury” occur or could have possibly occurred. It is a felony punishable by 0-20 years in prison, of which 85% must be served.
Assault and Battery, First-Degree is a lesser offense of ABHAN and requires that a “serious bodily injury” occur or could have possibly occurred. It is a felony punishable by 0-10 years in prison.
Assault and Battery, Second-Degree is a lesser offense of all of the above, and is a misdemeanor that requires “moderate bodily injury” to have occurred. It is a misdemeanor punishable by 0-3 years in prison.
Assault and Battery, Third-Degree is a lesser offense of all of the above and is a misdemeanor that requires “injury” to another person. It is a misdemeanor punishable by 0-30 days or a fine of up to $500. It is tried in magistrate court.
If you are charged with assault and battery, make sure to contact an attorney you can trust. Call Attorney Grant Smaldone at 843-808-2100 today for a free consultation.