North Carolina Assault Defense Attorneys
Assault Consequences in NC
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. Aggravating factors may include Class 1 or Class A1 misdemeanors or even an extremely wide range of felonies.
Class 1 misdemeanors have a 120-day jail sentence and a discretionary fine. 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.
Types of Assault Cases in North Carolina
Simple assault occurs when a person shows force or violence that causes a person to reasonably fear they will suffer immediate physical injury.
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.
More serious penalties can be imposed if the assault involved:
- Assault Inflicting Serious Injury
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury with Intent to Kill
- Malicious Injury by an Explosive, Incendiary, or Acid
- Assault on a Female When You Are 18 or Older
- Assault on a Government Officer, Sports Official, Handicapped Individual, Emergency Personnel, Child Under 12, and many other specially protected employed persons
What is Considered Aggravated Assault?
North Carolina does not have an offense called “aggravated assault.’ However, assault can be charged more harshly when aggravating factors were present at the time of the offense.
In general, you can see that aggravating factors arise when there is either a serious injury or a weapon is involved.
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.
What Are the Most Serious Assault Crimes?
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 a 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.
What is Considered a Deadly Weapon?
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.
The Two Types of Assault in North Carolina
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.
Contact Our Assault Defense Lawyers
If you are facing assault charges, contact our Raleigh assault lawyers as soon as possible. You should also avoid making statements to the police. Remember that you have a right to a lawyer.
The dedicated assault attorneys at Kurtz & Blum can help guide you through your 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 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. Contact us today.