So, the holidays came, you got together with family and friends, and you all prepared to celebrate the season. Of course, the stress that can accompany the holidays often leads to disputes that end unpleasantly. In fact, the end result could easily be a dispute with family or friends that ends with an assault charge. Against you.

Experts have long acknowledged that domestic violence can go up during the year-end holiday season. There are myriad potential reasons, ranging from holiday stress resulting from spending time with relatives you might not normally see – or even get along with – to the expense of seasonal gift giving, to the pressure of hosting and feeding family members at what often is viewed as a special, once-a-year gathering, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Given that the holidays tend to be a time of heavier drinking for many, it is quite possible that alcohol consumption is involved, as well.

All of these factors can play a role in what turns into holiday violence. While statistics specifically measuring holiday domestic violence are hard to come by, The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has noted that police in many cities have noted that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day seem to produce more domestic violence reports than other days of the year. Whether you are involved in a violent encounter with family, friends, or strangers, assault charges are no joke and you should consult with an attorney.

South Carolina Assault Charges Can Prove to be Quite Serious

South Carolina law provides for several different potential charges in cases of assault, ranging from third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, all the way up to “assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a felony that can result in serious penalties. Assault simply means threatening harm to someone when you are capable of inflicting the threatened harm. Battery is an unauthorized touching of another, even if there is no injury. South Carolina assault and battery charges include:

  • Third-degree assault and battery, which is simply a situation where a person hurts or tries to hurt another person. This is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
  • Second-degree assault, also a misdemeanor, includes a situation where the victim was injured sufficiently to require some medical care, although it also can include sexual contact without permission. Penalties include up to three years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
  • First-degree assault, a felony, includes injuries caused during a theft, robbery, burglary or kidnapping, a non-consensual touching of genitals “in a lewd manner,” with punishment up to 10 years in prison.
  • Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, or ABHAN, a felony, is South Carolina’s most serious assault charge. Carrying penalties of up to 20 years in prison, ABHAN involves a physical assault resulting in great bodily harm or an injury likely to cause death. “Great bodily harm” involves loss of a limb or permanent disfigurement, among other things.

If You are Facing Assault Charges in the Columbia Area, You Should Contact Criminal Defense Attorney William A. Hodge, Attorney at Law

If you are facing assault charges in the Columbia area, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney. You need a competent attorney to guide you through the legal process. William A. Hodge, Attorney at Law, can assist you. You can call me at (803) 457-2216 or use my online contact form.