Assault and Battery in South Carolina

The law has continued to expand on elements of assault and what constitutes criminal charges for bad behavior. If you’ve been handed an assault charge recently, here are some questions you might have and an idea of what you can expect:

What is assault?

Most people think that assault charges only apply to an aggressive person who was willfully and intentionally injured another person. However, assault charges are broadly applied to any type of behavior that may seem threatening to another individual, such as lifting up a fist to attack them and causing them to flinch. Whether or not you actually come into physical contact with that person, if they feared you might have had the intention to harm them, they may bring charges of assault against you. Other types of assault, such as intoxicated assault, can be applied to intoxicated drivers that harmed another person in a car accident. Even though the injury was brought upon by an accident instead of a something like a bar fight, the assault charge is still a felony.

What is assault and battery?

Some states may distinguish between these two charges, but not in South Carolina. Assault and battery is a single charge that can be distinguished as high and aggravated nature, 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree charges, and each one has its own requirements and punishments. 2nd and 3rd degree assault and battery charges are only misdemeanors, while HAN and 1st degree are classified as felonies.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is different than sexual harassment because it includes an element of physical contact, such as unwanted kissing, groping, or any form of sexual activity. However, like other forms of assault, the most important aspect is the perception of the victim. If they feel as though they were placed in a threatening or compromised position where the attacker could have continued with their sexual assault, then physical contact is not necessary to press charges.

Extenuating Circumstances

Assault charges can become complicated, especially when there is a history of conflict between the defendant and the plaintiff. When tempers boil over, things can quickly escalate, leading to a various charges of assault and battery. To address this complexity, the courts assign varying degrees of seriousness to each type of charge. If the assault occurred during another criminal act, such as a robbery, then the charge is much more serious. This is also true for premeditated acts of violence, such as staging an ambush for the victim. Charges that result from an intoxicated fight may be reduced to a lesser sentence if your attorney can prove that the act was a crime of passion. If you were driving a car while intoxicated and caused a serious accident, the charge may be increased to more severe penalty. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional as soon as charges of assault are brought against you. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer will help protect your rights.

How a DUII Conviction can affect Child Custody

The rule of thumb in child custody decisions in the U.S. is the best interest of the child. When both parents are equally capable of providing for the child, the judge’s ruling is often based on details that would make one parent just a little more desirable as the custodial parent over the other.

Historically, the custody of very young children is awarded to the primary caregiver, usually the mother, unless there are circumstances that bring into question the fitness of the parent to serve the best interests of the child. One such circumstance that could tip the balance in child custody cases is a conviction of Driving under the Influence or DUI.

In Texas, and indeed in most other states, a DUI is a criminal offense. It is a misdemeanor if there are less than three offenses on record, and a felony if there are three or more DUI incidents. A conviction carries stiff penalties, including jail time, suspension or revocation of the driver’s license, and heavy fines. If anyone you know has been charged with driving under the influence, speak to DUI lawyer Ian Inglis from Austin, TX about your case. More importantly, a DUI conviction implies a recklessness and habit of negligence that may weigh heavily against the parent when it comes to child custody and visitation rights.

A DUI conviction does not necessarily mean that the parent should no longer have an active role in his or her child’s life. According to the website of the BB Law Group PLLC, children generally benefit from the involvement of both parents in their lives after a divorce. However, a criminal record is definitely on the negative side of the slate in child custody decisions. A parent faced with the possibility of a DUII conviction should make every effort to avoid it by engaging the services of an experienced DUII defense lawyer. This can make all the difference when it comes to fighting for one’s rights of child custody and visitation.