Wake County Criminal Lawyers Representing People Accused of Aggravated Assault
The Variety of Assault Charges in North Carolina Call for an Experienced, Savvy Criminal Defense Attorney
North Carolina law provides that any person who commits a simple assault is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The term battery is often used interchangeably with assault. There are a number of aggravating factors that can be applied as elements to an assault case that can enhance the charge so that the accused faces harsher punishment such as a Class 1 or Class A1 misdemeanors or even an extremely wide range of felonies. Class 1 misdemeanors has a 120 day jail sentence and a discretionary fine while a Class A1 misdemeanor, the highest level of misdemeanor, carries a 150 day jail sentence with a discretionary fine. If your charge is at a felony level, you can expect even stronger punishments if you are convicted. The more serious the charge, the more experience you will want your criminal defense lawyer to have.
The best criminal defense attorneys are familiar with all the ways that a seemingly simple assault case can be transformed by an ambitious prosecutor (or one who simply wants more leverage in a negotiation) into a more serious crime by alleging additional facts. Aggravated assault charges include, but are not limited to:
- Assault Inflicting Serious Injury
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Malicious Injury by an Explosive, Incendiary, or Acid
- Assault on a Government Officer, Handicapped Individual, Emergency
Personnel, and many other specially protected employed persons
In general, you can see that aggravated assault cases occur when there is either a serious injury or a weapon is involved. A serious injury is not readily defined. Determining what is a serious injury as opposed to a simple assault resulting in a mild injury is figured out on a case by case basis. Factors going to a serious injury include how much pain the victim suffered, whether the victim was hospitalized, and whether the victim sustained serious mental or emotional injury.
It is also worth noting that even DWI charges can be elevated to violent crimes when they involve injury or death.
The most serious non-sexual and non-lethal assault classification is Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury and it is a Class C felony. Convictions for class C felonies
carry punishment that includes mandatory prison time. There are a variety of assaults beneath Class C felonies and they include the likes of malicious maiming and malicious castration. Sexual assaults and homicides are exceptions to this rule and are typically more serious but are treated as their own category for the purposes of this discussion as the defenses of such charges are so inherently unique.
A deadly weapon can be anything, a weapon or a tool, that can cause death. Guns and knives are deadly weapons, but pens or pencils, a glass bottle, a bookend are also deadly weapons. Hands and feet can be considered deadly weapons when the relative size and strength of the perpetrator and the victim are considered. It does not matter if an object that is considered to be a deadly weapon has another use. If it is used as a weapon
, it is a considered a weapon. On top of that, an unloaded gun, a BB gun, or a paintball gun can also be classified as a deadly weapon because of the fear it provokes in a victim.
North Carolina law has established two types of assaults. The first type of assault is an act, attempt, or the appearance of attempt to physically injure another person with force or violence. Under this type of assault, there has to be a show of force or menace of violence sufficient to put a reasonable person in fear of immediate injury. The second type of assault is assault by show of violence. This type of assault occurs when there is an apparent ability to inflict injury. A reasonable person must fear harm from it and it must cause the victim to do something he or she normally would not have done.
If you are facing aggravated assault charges, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You should also avoid making statements to the police. Remember that you have a right to lawyer.
The best criminal defense attorneys can help guide you through your aggravated assault charge and find the best solution for you, whether if it is a trial or a plea bargain. Our team of defense lawyers is prepared to help you. We are experienced in handling aggravated assault cases.
Our criminal defense attorneys help people throughout Wake County, North Carolina. We frequently handle offenses arising out of the following cities: Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Raleigh, Knightdale, New Hope, Apex, Morrisville, Wendell, Wake Forest, Garner, Rolesville and Zebulon.