The phrase you are under arrest for assault and battery is the bread and butter of many crime dramas. However, many people are unaware of the actual definition of assault and battery.
The reality is that the definition of assault and battery depends on what state you are in. In some states, assault and battery are actually two completely distinct crimes. However, this is not the case in South Carolina. According to the South Carolina legislature, in South Carolina assault and battery is a single crime with four different degrees.
What is assault and battery?
Essentially, this crime involves injuring somebody or attempting to injure somebody. You do not actually need to make contact with the victim in order for the courts to charge you with assault and battery in South Carolina. The courts may choose to charge you with assault and battery if you threaten a person.
What are the degrees of assault and battery in SC?
There are three general degrees of assault and battery in South Carolina: first degree, second degree, and third degree. First degree is the most serious of these. This is when one person enters another person in a way that might produce death or serious bodily injury. Second-degree assault and battery causes moderate injury to the victim. Assault and battery in the third degree is a charge for simple injuries or the attempt to injure another person.
The final degree of assault and battery in South Carolina is assault and battery of a High and Aggravated Nature. This is a lesser version of attempted murder. Often, understanding assault and battery in South Carolina is the first step in navigating the criminal justice process.