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Phone: 864-582-0416
Holland & Usry, P.A.

I have been charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. I know I hurt the guy pretty badly, but he was coming at me with a knife. Do I have a defense?

Yes. You have the defense of self-defense. Self-defense is the force one uses to protect himself or others. The force must be reasonable in consideration of the threat of harm.

In South Carolina, if there is evidence to support self-defense, it is your right to assert it. According to South Carolina law, if the defendant and his criminal defense attorney argue self defense the state must disprove at least one of the following:

  • The defendant is without fault in bringing on the difficulty.
  • The defendant believed he was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering serious injury, or actually was in imminent danger.
  • If based on belief of imminent danger, a reasonable person would have entertained the same belief.
  • If based on actual imminent danger, under similar circumstances a person of ordinary prudence, firmness, and courage would be justified in acting as the defendant did to save himself.
  • The defendant had no other probable means of avoiding the danger.

If the self-defense claim is successful, then the actions the defendant took in order to avoid his being harmed will be considered legal use of force. A winning self-defense claim can result in a not guilty verdict when a person is charged with the various degrees of assault and battery, attempted murder, or murder.

If you have been charged with one of these offenses, it is important for you to talk to a lawyer. You cannot reasonably expect to handle your own criminal case to a satisfactory conclusion. If you would like to discuss a criminal matter with one of the attorneys of Holland & Usry, please use the instant chat feature on this page or call us as soon as possible at 864.582.0416 or toll-free at 888.230.1841.