You were out with your friends, doing your thing, really minding your own business. Then, out of the blue, it seems, someone approaches your party, exchanges words and a fight starts. Before you know it, you find yourself in police cuffs and charged with assault and battery. What can you do?
In South Carolina, a criminal court does not treat assault and battery charges lightly — especially in those cases that involve weapons of any kind. The consequences tied to a conviction can really affect your life in a number of ways. Luckily, it may be possible to fight the charges or at least seek a charge reduction.
To achieve a conviction
In order for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction in an assault and battery case, there are certain elements that they must prove exist in the case. These elements are:
- Following words with actions
- There was intent to cause harm
- The victim feared for his or her safety
Out of all of this, the key word here really is intent. Did you intend to cause harm? Did you intend to get in this fight?
More than one side
With assault and battery cases, there is always more than one side to the story: the victim’s and yours. You are facing charges because of the alleged victim’s side of the story, but that does not mean that there will be a conviction or punishment to the fullest extent of the law. With the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, your side of the story can come out.
There are a number of ways to fight assault and battery charges. Potential defense includes:
- Self defense
- Defense of others in your party
- Defense of property
In the scenario mentioned above, you may have been defending yourself or your friends. The prosecuting attorney would then have the burden of proving that was not the case in order to achieve a conviction.
You can fight assault and battery charges, though it may be difficult. You can, with help, seek to protect your rights and defend yourself. While it may not be an easy task, with counsel at your side, you can make informed legal decisions as you navigate the criminal court system and work toward achieving the best outcome possible.