Criminal Defense Lawyer Mount Pleasant, SC
When a person is charged with assault, it is not uncommon for a battery charge to also be attached. Under South Carolina law, assault is a non-physical act of threatening someone so that they fear for their safety. Battery is the actual act of violence the perpetrator uses against the victim. A person can be charged with assault if they threaten a victim, whether blatantly or an implied threat, even if the physical harm never actually took place. If you have been charged with assault or battery, a criminal defense lawyer in Mount Pleasant, SC can help defend you against these charges.
Assault Must-Have Intent
In order to prove an assault, the prosecutor must prove that the accused intentionally behaved in such a way that the victim had a reasonable belief that they were at immediate risk of harm. There must be evidence of this intent, such as physical gestures and/or language. A criminal defense lawyer can dispute that evidence by showing:
- The accused’s behavior was misinterpreted by the victim.
- The accused’s behavior was unintentional.
- The victim’s belief that the accused acted in a threatening way was unreasonable. For example, some people have irrational fear toward people based on their appearance.
If an accused person actually committed the assault, a Mount Pleasant criminal defense lawyer can still build a defense against those charges. For example, if the accused was acting in self-defense, that could be enough to get the assault charges dropped because stopping an imminent battery is an affirmative defense. The lawyer would have to prove that:
- The alleged victim was an immediate threat of violence to the accused or to another person.
- The actions by the accused went only far enough as was necessary to stop that imminent danger. If the accused continued to assault the alleged victim once there was no longer danger, then the self-defense defense would likely be ignored by the court.
Although both types of charges are serious ones, it can be easier to defend against an assault charge than to defend against a battery charge, depending on the circumstances. This is because there is no physical harm involved. The police or prosecutor must prove that the accused had the intent to harm the victim.
Do Not Try to Defend Against These Charges on Your Own
Assault and battery are considered violent crimes and a conviction can not only result in serious penalties, but it can also have a long-term, significant impact on your personal and professional life.
If you have been charged with assault, battery, or any other type of violent crime in South Carolina, you need an aggressive Mount Pleasant, SC criminal defense lawyer representing you. Call Joe Good, Attorney at Law to schedule a free and confidential consultation and find out how we can help.