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South Carolina Code Annotated 16-3-600: Assault and Battery in the First Degree (Felony)

1. Definition and Elements of the Crime

Assault and Battery in the First Degree (Felony) Under South Carolina Code Annotated 16-3-600, the crime of assault and battery in the first degree occurs when the defendant unlawfully injures another person by either: (1) nonconsensual touching of the private parts of a person (under or above the clothing), with lewd and lascivious intent OR (2) occurred during the commission of robbery, burglary, kidnapping or theft. The crime of assault and battery in the first degree also occurs when the defendant offers or attempts to injure another person by means likely to produce death or great bodily injury or offers or attempts to injure another person during the commission of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping or theft.

To prove the crime of Assault and Battery in the First Degree, the State must be able to present admissible evidence against the Defendant, including but not limited to the following “essential elements.”

The States Burden of Proof for a conviction of Assault and Battery in the First Degree, like other criminal charges, is Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that:

  1. The Defendant injured another person, and the act:
    1. a. Involves non-consensual touching of the private parts of a person, either under or above the clothing, with lewd and lascivious intent; or
    2. b. Occurred during the commission of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping or theft OR
  2. The Defendant offers or attempts to injure another person with the present ability to do so, and the act:
    1. a. Is accomplished by means likely to produce death or great bodily injury; or
    2. b. Occurred during the commission of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping or theft

“Great bodily injury” means injury that causes a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.

“Private parts” means the genital area or buttocks of a male or female or the breasts of a female.

Assault and battery in the first degree is a lesser included offense of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and attempted murder.

2. Examples

Defendant is at a bar in Fort Mill, SC with friends for his birthday. Defendant has a crush on one of his friends but he has not had to the courage to tell her how he feels. Defendant gets angry when he sees the girl talk to another guy at the bar. Defendant proceeds to drink 2 shots and then goes up to friend and aggressively grabs her crotch in front of the other guy. Defendant asks friend if she likes it. Defendant can be charged with Assault and Battery in the First Degree in York County, South Carolina.

Defendant’s co-worker is a constant annoyance, disorganized, loud, a suck up to their boss and constantly blames other people for her mistakes. She claims to be in a position that she has no formal training in and lacks the appropriate degree for. Defendant has had enough of co-worker. In an effort to force her to quit, Defendant decides to rob co-worker as she exits the building late at night. Co-worker gets aggressive and starts scratching and clawing at Defendant. Defendant clocks her over the head with his Glock in an effort to subdue co-worker. Co-worker is intubated and in a coma for three weeks with swelling and hemorrhaging in her brain. Defendant can be charged with Assault and Battery in the First Degree.

3. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. South Carolina Code Annotated 56-5-2930: Operating Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
  2. Murder Charges in South Carolina
  3. Driving Under the Influence
  4. Ft. Mill DUI Lawyer
  5. What is the States Burden of Proof?
  6. South Carolina Code Annotated 16-3-600(D)(1): Assault and Battery in the Second Degree (Misdemeanor)
  7. South Carolina Code Annotated 16-3-600(E)(1): Assault and Battery in the Third Degree (Misdemeanor)
  8. South Carolina Code Annotated 16-3-600(B)(1): Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature (Felony)
4. Defenses

Assault and Battery in the First Degree (Felony) If a Defendant can prove that they acted in self-defense, the defendant cannot be convicted of Assault and Battery in the First Degree. If the Defendant can prove that great bodily injury did not occur or the injury did not take place during the commission of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping or theft, the Defendant cannot be convicted of Assault and Battery in the First Degree. It’s important to note, generally speaking in criminal charges, the Defendant does not bear a Burden of Proof to show innocence. There are instances though, such as affirmative defenses that the defense must be pleaded in advance. If you have questions about your assault charges in South Carolina, we recommend you retain legal counsel immediately. Each legal matter is distinct and therefore your matter deserves individual attention by a Ft. Mill criminal lawyer.

5. Penalties for Assault and Battery in the First Degree

The crime of Assault and Battery in the First Degree is a felony which carries a maximum period of incarceration of ten years a state correctional facility.

6. Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery in the First Degree

If you have been charged with assault and battery in the first degree, you need to seek an experienced South Carolina attorney immediately. This charge carries the potential for substantial prison time.

As a convicted violent felon, your ability to obtain jobs, loans or housing will be significantly impaired. Additionally, your conviction can substantially enhance the penalties for any future arrests and convictions for violent crimes. It is imperative that you contact our experienced South Carolina attorney at Powers Law in order to protect your rights.

Chris J. Beddow is the sole South Carolina criminal defense lawyer at Powers Law Firm, PA. As such, Chris Beddow is also solely responsible for all legal content on this website regarding South Carolina criminal charges.

It’s imperative to begin your defense without delay. Please call Chris Beddow at 704-342-4357 immediately.

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