Anytime someone faces assault allegations, there is a risk for the courts to upgrade those charges on account of outstanding factors. One of those factors is unlawful weapons charges.
It is important to understand South Carolina’s unlawful weapons charges in order to know how they affect potential assault charges.
While the Constitution affords all legal residents of the United States the right to bear arms, each state has its own laws that frame that right. There are certain situations in South Carolina including concealed carry of a handgun without a permit where it is illegal.
Many residents lose their right to bear arms in the course of their lives through felony convictions or court orders due to drunkenness, membership in a subversive organization or otherwise.
Pointing and presenting
It is unlawful to point or present a firearm at any person. It does not matter whether the bearer leaves the firearm unloaded or not. One caveat that may undermine this charge is if someone does this in self-defense.
South Carolina law prohibits firing a gun at or into buildings that people regularly occupy. Residents may also not fire at vehicles while occupied.
Each of these comes with its own level of severity and years of potential prison time. However, when a person faces charges of assault and the encounter in question involves a weapon, the assault charge may upgrade to aggravated assault.
Any conviction related to these charges affects peoples’ futures and it takes careful planning and evidence to organize an adequate defense to avoid the worst of these convictions.