By Monica SteinerContributing Author. The circumstances of the offense determine the level of felony, which in turn determine the penalties that apply to the crime.
When it comes to rape, the law strives to protect strangers, acquaintances, and married people equally. In South Carolina, as in all states, there is no exception or defense to prosecution for assault or rape that occurs within a marriage to learn more about marital rape laws in South Carolina, see Marital Rape in South Carolina. Rape is a felony in South Carolina, and the applicable fines and prison term depend on the circumstances of the crime.
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature occurs when the crime causes great bodily injury or was accomplished by means likely to do so. Penalties include a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Assault and battery of the first degree occurs when the crime causes injury during unwanted sexual touching, or when the sexual battery occurred during the commission of certain other crimes. It also includes circumstances when injury was likely due to the nature of the battery, even if no physical injury occurred.
Penalties include up to ten years in prison. Assault and battery in the second degree includes crimes that include a moderate physical injury or attempt to injure during unwanted sexual touching. A defendant can also claim that the sexual activity was consensual. In a sexual assault battery case, there can be significant questions about what constitutes consent or what constitutes refusal. Does the word constitute a lack of consent as soon as it is spoken, or must the victim object more vigorously?
Another possible defense is an insanity plea, in which the defense argues that the accused is mentally ill and did not have the capacity to control his behavior, to form criminal intent or to understand what he was doing or that his actions were unlawful. If you are facing a sexual assault and battery charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your Sexual battery charges in south carolina. A lawyer can often negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge or a reduction in penalties such as, for example, probation instead of prison time ; and will know how prosecutors and judges typically handle cases like yours.
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