Violent Crimes in Lexington, South Carolina

Examining the Potential Penalties

Violent crimes or assault charges are those where an individual is accused of harming, or attempting to harm, another human being. Violent crimes range from assault third degree or simple assault, which is prosecuted in the magistrate court and carries a possible sentence of up to 30 days' imprisonment, to murder, which is prosecuted in the court of general sessions and carries a possible sentence of 30 years to life imprisonment or the death penalty.

James Snell is available to assist those charged with a violent crime in South Carolina. If you, or a loved one, are accused of causing or participating in an injury or a death then you should immediately obtain the services of a Lexington criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable with violent crimes. Please call the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC now for your free case evaluation.

Types of Violent Crime

Third-Degree Assault
S.C. Code §16-3-600(E)
South Carolina has replaced simple assault and battery with the adoption of the new assault statute for cases arising after June 7, 2011. Assault third degree is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of over $1,000 or up to 30 days in jail. It is typically prosecuted in the magistrate or municipal court by either a prosecutor or the arresting police officer. In order to be convicted of third-degree assault, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant did or attempted to unlawfully injury another person.

Second-Degree Assault
S.C. Code §16-3-600(D)
Assault second degree is a new offense in South Carolina created by the legislature for offenses occurring after June 7, 2011. It is a misdemeanor but is punishable by up to three years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. It is prosecuted in general sessions by the solicitor's office. Assault second differs from assault third in that moderate physical injury must be attempted or done or there is non-consensual touching of private parts either above or below clothing.

First-Degree Assault
S.C. Code §16-3-600(C)
Assault first degree is a felony and is punishable by up to ten years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. The statute is violated when a defendant touches someone with lewd intent, causes a physical injury while committing a listed felony, or was accomplished with means likely to produce a great injury or death.

Simple Assault and Battery
Simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable by either a fine or up to 30 days in jail. It is prosecuted in the magistrate court and ordinarily by the arresting police officer. There is no requirement that anyone is actually injured to be convicted of simple assault, only that one attempted to cause an injury to another with the ability to do so. If an injury actually occurs, the offense may be assault and battery. South Carolina's simple assault law has been replaced by the new criminal offenses of assault first, assault second and assault third. This creates a multi-tiered system of assault charges by degree and is a fundamental change from simple assault or assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN).

Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature (ABHAN)
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, or ABHAN, is a misdemeanor punishable by either a fine at the court's discretion or up to ten years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. Under South Carolina law, there has to be an aggravating factor to the assault, such as the use of a deadly weapon or infliction of severe bodily injury. Under South Carolina law, sticks, shovels, gasoline, automobiles, knives, and firearms have all been found to be deadly weapons.

Mayhem
Mayhem is a felony punishable by three months to ten years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is different from an ordinary assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in that the victim must be mutilated with a resulting disabling injury. For example, if a victim received a broken leg and would permanently walk with a limp, this may be sufficient to constitute the offense of mayhem.

Attempted Poisoning with Intent to Kill
S.C. Code §16-3-60
Attempted poisoning with intent to kill is a felony punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. The State must prove that one intended on providing a poison or other dangerous substance, and it is not sufficient if the poisoning was simply accidental.

Assault and Battery with Intent to Kill (ABWIK)
S.C. Code §16-3-620
Assault and battery with intent to kill, or ABWIK, is a felony punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. This offense comprises all of the elements to murder, just without the death of the victim. There is no requirement through that one had the intent to kill another, only to inflict severe physical harm.

Involuntary Manslaughter
S.C. Code §16-3-60
Involuntary manslaughter is a felony punishable by up to five years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is the unintentional killing of another with criminal negligence. Criminal negligence is defined as the reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Voluntary Manslaughter
S.C. Code §16-3-50
Voluntary manslaughter is a felony punishable by 2 to 30 years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. This offense is different from murder in that the killing was not premeditated, but rather was done in the heat of the moment.

Lynching
S.C. Code §16-3-210
Lynching is a felony punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment in cases where the victim did not die. If the victim died, then execution or a sentence of 5 to 40 years might be awaiting the offender. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is an act of violence committed by two or people against a victim, acting together, which results in either the death or physical injury to the victim.

Murder
S.C. Code §16-3-10
Murder is a felony punishable by either execution, life imprisonment or a minimum sentence of no less than 30 years. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. In order for the conviction to result in execution, there must be found to be aggravating factors, such as a prior conviction for murder, or the torture or sexual assault of the victim.

Homicide by Child Abuse
S.C. Code §16-3-85
Homicide by child abuse is a felony punishable by 20 years to life imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. The victim must be under the age of 11, and the prosecution must show either that the child was abused or neglected in such a manner as to show no regard for the child's life.

Lexington Sex Crime Attorney Defending Your Rights

Don't let an arrest for a violent crime ruin your future! Even after your release from jail or prison, you could still find that your conviction would follow you into the future, as many employers will use the fact that you have a criminal record to deny you employment. Fortunately, you have powerful legal rights, and we know how to effectively defend these rights. If you live in the Lexington or Columbia areas, or other surrounding communities in South Carolina, we can provide you with legal assistance. Contact a Lexington criminal defense attorney now so that we can take the first steps in your case.

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