Assault and Battery

Assault and battery charges are now divided into degrees, and the old charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN) and assault and battery with intent to kill (ABWIK) have been done away with. 

Assault and battery third degree encompasses what used to be simple assault and simple assault and battery - if a person injures another or attempts to injure another person, they are charged with assault and battery third degree, and it is punishable by up to 30 days. 

Assault and battery second degree is a misdemeanor that carries up to three years. Like assault and battery first degree, no battery is necessary - it is an assault or an assault and battery where:
1) moderate bodily injury results or could have resulted (moderate bodily injury = physical injury requiring treatment (complex surgery or use of anesthesia) to an organ system other than skin, muscles, or connective tissues; or
2) there is nonconsensual touching of the private parts.

Assault and battery first degree is the equivalent of what used to be assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and it is a "high" misdemeanor punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  No battery is necessary; it is:

1) an assault and battery where injury results and
i) it involves nonconsensual touching of the private parts of an adult with lewd intent or
ii) it occurred during the commission of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft; or it can be
2) an assault, with no battery,
i) by means that are likely to produce death or great bodily injury (as opposed to ABHAN, where a battery was required) or
ii) that occurred during the commission of a robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or theft.

ABWIK has been replaced with the crime of attempted murder. 

Common defenses to assault and battery include self defense and lack of intent. If a person was struck or touched but it was an accident, you are not guilty of assault and battery. If you have been charged with simple assault and battery, call our Myrtle Beach office at 843-444-6122 or contact us online for a free initial consultation to find out how we can help.