Protecting the futures of York, Lancaster, and Chester County clients
Assault charges can result from many unfortunate situations: bar fights, domestic violence, protecting a loved one from an aggressive individual, teenagers fighting at school, and even during an arrest for something more minor. Even when you feel like you've done the right thing, you may be looking at serious consequences for your actions. You also could be facing criminal charges due to a witness's false account of what actually happened. You don't deserve to spend years behind bars because you didn't receive the qualified help that you deserve.
In South Carolina, the crime rate has been on the radar of law makers for years, and convictions are how political careers are built. I understand the process the solicitor's office uses to prosecute cases, whether they are straight forward assault or domestic assault. I'm also seasoned in how and when it may be in your best interest to negotiate a deal. As a former prosecutor, I know there are certain circumstances under which charges may be reduced or dropped because the state's case just isn't strong enough to secure a conviction. Without a battle-tested criminal defense attorney, you may lose your advantage. Call Holland Law in Fort Mill or Rock Hill today.
Will I go to jail for a first time assault?
The South Carolina Code of Laws sets out very specific criteria for assault charges. Understand that you could be arrested for one type of assault charge, but then have multiple charges and counts brought against you. Punishments for every level of assault include some amount of jail time, regardless of whether it's your first offense.
Under SC Code § 16-3-600 (2018) and SC Code § 16-3-210 (2018) you could be charged with:
- Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature: up to 20 years in prison
- Assault and battery in the first degree: up to 10 years in prison
- Assault and battery in the second degree: up to 3 years in prison and/or $2,500 in fines
- Assault and battery in the third degree: up to 30 days in jail and/or $500 in fines
- Assault and battery by mob in the first degree: up to 30 years in prison
- Assault and battery by mob in the second degree: between 3 and 25 years in prison
- Assault and battery by mob in the third degree: up to one year in jail
There are also criminal enhancements that could affect your charges in cases of criminal sexual conduct, use of deadly weapons, and so forth.
You cannot risk going to trial without a well-crafted defense by an experienced criminal defense attorney. I fight to secure the best outcome possible, and discuss all potential outcomes with you so that you fully understand what could be at stake.
Do I really need a criminal defense lawyer?
Yes. Even before you are formally charged, the clock starts ticking on your freedom. Speaking with the police, even when you are clearly innocent, without a lawyer by your side can create problems for you later. You don't know what the police know or what direction their investigation is taking, and you may inadvertently turn their case towards you.
The earlier you retain me, the fewer pitfalls you will face no matter your involvement. Law enforcement is permitted to lie to you in order to obtain a confession, and fear is a powerful motivator when you feel that your back is against a wall.
The right opportunity can sometimes present itself to negotiate for reduced charges or another favorable plea deal at any time. Based on my review of the available evidence and facts of your case, other avenues may provide you similar leverage to escape the harsher statutory punishments if you were more directly involved.
Because I prosecuted people facing assault charges, I know what the state is looking for when it comes to making deals. I believe in second chances for those clients who are facing conviction, and I'll fight my hardest to help you get one.
What if it was self-defense?
If you have been involved in an assault and the case has moved towards trial, you have options if you acted in self-defense. The South Carolina Protection of Persons and Property Act provides that if you are a lawful citizen protecting yourself or another under certain circumstances, that you escape liability. Under these specific scenarios, you have no duty to retreat from the aggressor. If you acted to protect someone else, you essentially will be viewed as having stepped into that victim's shoes, giving you the same right of defense. Even if your assault charge doesn't fall under this statute exempting you from fault, there is still an argument to be made that you would have faced grave bodily injury or death had you not acted to protect yourself.
Aggressive legal representation that you need at a critical time
I founded Holland Law because I wanted to put my knowledge and experience to work for my community. I can't think of anything more noble than protecting the constitutional rights of citizens in York, Lancaster, and Chester Counties who could lose their freedom over an error in judgment or because someone didn't fight for their innocence. To schedule a consultation in either my Fort Mill office on Gold Hill Road, or in my Rock Hill office on Oakland Avenue, please call 803-590-6649, or reach out to me through my contact page.