Bar Fights In South Carolina
Under South Carolina's assault & battery laws, you could easily be arrested if you are involved in an argument at a bar that escalates to a physical confrontation, however small that confrontation may be. To provide an example, unless you have missed the news in the past week or two, it is quite hard to avoid the Confirmation Hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. According to the New York Times & Washington Post, the most recent FBI Investigation this week has led them to investigating a police report from 1985 where Kavanaugh was alleged to have thrown some ice on a patron during a bar fight. Another acquaintance struck the patron with a glass cup, which cut the patron in the head.
Are either of these scenarios enough to be arrested for assault & battery in South Carolina? Technically, yes; although it likely depends on the surrounding circumstances. That is why it is important to be educated on the various assault and battery laws in South Carolina.
Assault & Battery Laws In South Carolina
Pursuant to South Carolina law, there are varying degrees of assault and battery which range from misdemeanors to violent felonies. The lowest level is assault and battery in the third degree, which is defined as a person unlawfully injuring another person, or attempting to injure another person with the present ability to do so. So, going back to our example of throwing a drink (not a glass, just the liquid) at someone, that could rise to the level of assault and battery in the third degree depending on the specific case.
As it pertains to throwing an actual glass cup at someone or striking someone with it, the relevant portion of the assault and battery in the second degree definition occurs when the person (1) unlawfully injures another person, or offers or attempts to injury another person with the present ability to do so; and (2) moderate bodily injury results or could have resulted. You could also be arrested for a bar fight where you strike someone with a glass cup and charged with assault and battery in the first degree, which is a felony. The relevant portion of assault and battery first degree is defined as a person offering or attempting to injure another person with the present ability to do so, and the act is accomplished by means likely to produce death or great bodily injury. Finally, depending on the severity of the injuries and the allegations of the bar fight, you could be charged with attempted murder and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN) under South Carolina laws. Attempted Murder and ABHAN are both considered violent felony crimes in South Carolina with very severe penalties.
You Need An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
As you can see, the assault and battery laws in South Carolina can be quite complicated. What may seem like a relatively minor confrontation at a bar can turn into a nightmare in an instant, depending on how quickly things escalate. At Young & Young, both law partners are former violent crime prosecutors and seasoned criminal defense attorneys that have successfully prosecuted and defended hundreds of assault and battery cases ranging from assault and battery in the third degree to ABHAN to attempted murder. When your future is on the line, trust us when we say you want an attorney with a criminal prosecution and defense background handling your case. Call us today for a free consultation at 843-724-1563.