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5 degrees of assault in South Carolina

In South Carolina, assault is a serious crime that involves actions causing fear or the threat of physical harm to another person. South Carolina law distinguishes between assault and battery.

Assault is when someone tries to harm or scare another person, while battery is when there is actual physical contact or injury. It is important to understand what assault means in South Carolina:

First-degree assault

This is the most severe type of assault. It happens when someone tries to cause serious bodily harm or puts another person’s life in danger on purpose. The intention to harm is central in first-degree assault cases.

Second-degree assault

Second-degree assault takes place when someone tries to hurt another person or behaves in a way that makes them fear getting hurt. This act involves a dangerous weapon that could cause serious harm.

Third-degree assault

This is a lesser form of assault. It includes situations where someone threatens or tries to hurt someone, making them scared. It is usually treated as a less severe offense and often charged as a misdemeanor.

Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature

ABHAN is a more severe form of assault. It often involves actions that could lead to death or severe injury. Assault with the intent to cause serious harm or injury is a felony.

Assault and battery

This charge comes into play when there is actual physical contact or harm done to someone without their consent. It can range from small fights to more serious incidents, with penalties depending on how bad the injuries are.

There were over 80,000 reports of simple or aggravated assault in South Carolina in 2021. In deciding how to charge these cases, South Carolina law considers the specific circumstances of each assault case. This includes why the person did it and how much harm or fear the victim experienced. Penalties for assault convictions may include fines, probation, community service or jail time, depending on how serious the offense was.