Violent crimes are rarely committed the way they are commonly shown on tv. They are rarely brutal attacks committed by bloodthirsty killers and are, in reality, almost always due to unfavorable circumstances and accidents. This can best be understood by reviewing the definition of violent crimes under South Carolina criminal law.
If you are facing a criminal charge for a violent crime, you should know that a conviction can have devastating consequences for your future. You should turn to experienced legal representation to protect your rights, fight against a conviction to keep your criminal record clean and get the best possible result out of your case. Contact one of our criminal defense attorneys at Touma Law Group today to schedule your initial consultation.
Understanding Violent Crimes in Greenville
To best understand what actions and circumstances meet the legal definition for violent crimes you should read the South Carolina Code § 16-1-60. This code sets two different connotations for the term "violent" as used for criminal offenses in South Carolina.
The first is the use of violence or threats of violence against another person. This covers cases such as murder, homicide, manslaughter, armed robbery, assault, etc.
The other applies "violent" to the severity of the crime rather than the actual act itself, focusing on the extent of the violation of the law.
A Greenville violent crimes lawyer from Touma Law Group can help you fully understand what falls under the label of violent crime under South Carolina law. If you are facing Greenville criminal charges, our legal team can assist you in navigating the different steps you will need to take, make sure you plainly understand the options available to you and work to build an exceptional defense for your case.
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Murder or Homicide
A Greenville murder charge refers to the intentional killing of another person. Intent can be either explicitly stated or implied from the context surrounding the act, and this intentional action makes murder the most serious crime in the state. Murder cases carry harsh penalties, ranging from 30 years to life in prison, and may involve the death penalty under certain circumstances.
To obtain a murder conviction, prosecutors need to show that someone acted with malice aforethought. They must demonstrate that the defendant intended to cause severe bodily injury or death to their victim. If this intent cannot be proven, or if the defense can demonstrate that their client was provoked by the victim, they may receive a reduction of charges to manslaughter.
Manslaughter is the unintentional, but still unlawful, killing of another person. It can be either voluntary, such as in a sudden, impassioned act, or involuntary, in response to provocation from the victim.
Involuntary manslaughter typically involves unintentionally killing another person while engaging in unlawful activities that don't usually result in death or bodily harm. It may also result from lawful behavior that shows reckless disregard for another person's safety.
The prosecution in a manslaughter case must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted in a manner that was criminally negligent and with disregard for the other person's safety. Involuntary manslaughter in South Carolina is punishable by up to 5 years in jail. For this reason, a Greenville criminal defense lawyer is likely to push for a reduction from murder to manslaughter charges when applicable.
Assault and Battery
Assault and battery charges are classified under first, second, and third-degree offenses.
- Third degree assault charges define cases when one person injures or attempts to injure another. Punishment for this offense involves up to 30 days in prison.
- Second degree assault and battery charges define cases when the assault leads to or could have lead to moderate injuries to the victim's organ system, or cases involving nonconsensual sexual contact. These are misdemeanor charges that can result in up to 3 years in jail.
- First degree assault and battery charges define cases when the assault results in injuries and occurs during a robbery, burglary, or theft, or involves nonconsensual sexual contact with lewd intent in prison; or assault without battery that is likely to result in death or serious injury or occurring during a robbery, kidnapping, burglary, or theft.
Assault and Battery by Mob
This describes criminal matters that would have previously been labeled lynching. The South Carolina criminal justice system separates this charge into three degrees:
- Third-degree charges cover assaults resulting in bodily injury and involve a punishment of up to 1 year in prison.
- Second-degree charges cover assaults resulting in serious injuries and carry punishments of between 3 and 25 years in jail.
- First-degree involves 2+ assailants and results in the death of the victim. This carries punishment between 30 years and life in prison.
Attempted murder charges are leveled at those who intentionally attempt to kill another person and carry criminal penalties of up to 30 years in jail.
Hire a Greenville Criminal Law Attorney
If you are facing violent crime charges the best thing you can do is find a defense counsel in the form of an experienced attorney. A criminal lawyer can help you fully understand your legal situation, explore all the options available to you, and work to avoid a criminal conviction while protecting your constitutional rights throughout the case.
At Touma Law Group we will work with you to craft an effective defense strategy against your Greenville County violent crime charges. Call us today or book an appointment online to schedule your free initial consultation!