Lexington Attempted Murder / ABWIK Lawyer

Defining the Crime of Assault & Battery with Intent to Kill (ABWIK)

Prior to recent legal reforms, South Carolina upheld a statute regarding the crime of assault and battery with intent to kill (ABWIK) under S.C. Code § 16-3-620. While similar to the crime of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN), this offense involves any act in which one person knowingly inflicts physical harm upon another to the extent that they could have caused death, or intended to cause death. Now, however, the Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act has successfully repealed this law and replaced it with an "attempted murder" statute—which is listed in S.C. Code § 16-3-29. As such, anyone who is convicted of assault and battery with intent to kill from this point forward will be found guilty of attempted murder. Under the law, this is a felony that is punishable by a term of imprisonment for up to 30 years.

What is the statute of limitations for attempted murder in South Carolina?

Unlike most other states in the U.S., South Carolina does not uphold a statute of limitations for the crime of attempted murder—which was formerly prosecuted as assault and battery with intent to kill. In fact, South Carolina does not maintain a statute of limitations for any type of criminal offense that is committed in the state. This means that you could be prosecuted for a crime that was committed five, ten or even thirty years ago, as the state can choose to wage charges at any time. Throughout the rest of the U.S., however, crimes of this nature must be prosecuted within a certain amount of time. Should the prosecution fail to bring a case to trial within this period of time, they would be prohibited from ever doing so. For this reason, it is extremely important that you retain the help of a Lexington criminal attorney as soon as you have been arrested.

Are the new penalties for attempted murder the same as ABWIK?

According to the former statute for assault and battery with intent to kill (ABWIK), S.C. Code § 16-3-620, this felony offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment of no more than 20 years. Per the new reforms in legislature, however, the same crime is now prosecuted under S.C. Code § 16-3-29 as attempted murder—which is a felony that is punishable by up to 30 years' imprisonment. For this reason, it could be argued that you have a lot more to lose if you have recently been charged with this offense. It is also important to understand that the charges could be elevated to the level of murder if it can be proven that the victim later died of an injury that was inflicted during the assault—even if death was not imminent. As such, there is no reason why you should hesitate to enlist the aggressive criminal defense that you will need.

Contact Our Lexington Criminal Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been charged with attempted murder in South Carolina, it is imperative that you act quickly to retain the qualified assistance of a Lexington criminal lawyer from the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. Not only can we contribute years of experience to your defense, but our advice is free when you contact our firm at (888) 301-6004 or submit a complimentary case evaluation form online. For this reason, we encourage you to get started today by enlisting the professional help that you will need.

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