Charlotte Assault Defense Lawyers

Assaults are considered a violent crime under North Carolina criminal laws. A defendant need not physically touch another person to be charged with the crime of assault . Defendants who are convicted of assault face the possibility of a criminal record for time in prison or assault. You will need the best possible assault defense lawyer on your side in order to secure the best possible outcome.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help

Sometimes good people make mistakes in the heat of the moment. In other cases, innocent people are charged with the crime of assault and battery . Whatever the case may be, the lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are ready to make sure that you have the best possible legal defense.

The criminal courts are often intimidating, especially to those defendants facing first-time criminal charges. You need a skilled legal team on your side. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Misdemeanor Assault in North Carolina

The severity of the assault charge depends on who the victim is, how the victim was hurt, and the severity of the injuries. Misdemeanor assault is the least serious type of assault charge. Class 1 misdemeanor assaults include verbal assaults, fights, and minor physical contact with another person.

Under North Carolina law, Class 1 misdemeanor assaults are punishable by up to 120 days in jail. If you do not have a history of criminal activity, the court may suspend your sentence so that you serve jail time rather than time in prison. This depends on the severity of the assault and is also based on the judge's discretion.

Simple Assault Charges in North Carolina

In North Carolina, simple assault is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by 60 days or less in prison. Simple assaults occur when someone assaults another person without a deadly weapon and without causing serious bodily harm.

The first type of simple assault is an assault by an overt act or attempt. When the defendant does something or attempts to do something that puts another person in fear of physical harm, a simple assault has taken place. Most people think that an assault only takes place when the defendant commits physical harm.

However, a defendant who does not actually strike or touch another person can still face assault charges. The defendant must attempt to physically harm the other person. For example, if someone attempts to throw a punch and misses, he or she can face assault charges. Throwing items at someone, kicking, scratching, and biting are also considered assault in North Carolina.

Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon in North Carolina

The North Carolina criminal code defines a deadly weapon as a tool or weapon with the potential to cause death. Deadly weapons can include all of the following:

  • A motor vehicle
  • A firearm
  • A strangulation device
  • A knife
  • Any other device that can cause harm

The prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to kill the victim to prove assault for felony assault charges. When the assault with a deadly weapon results in serious bodily injury to the victim, the defendant can face Class C felony charges. Class C felonies are punished by 44 - 92 months imprisonment for first-time offenders. When the defendant has previous criminal convictions, the sentence may be longer.

What happens when the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant intended to kill the victim? When the assault resulted in serious bodily harm, the defendant will face Class E felony charges punishable by 15 to 31 months imprisonment when the defendant does not have prior convictions.

Aggravating circumstances can result in an elevation of the seriousness of the assault charge. Aggravating circumstances include assaults on certain groups of people, including the elderly, firemen, police officers, and people with disabilities. Assault committed while using public transportation, at a public event, or assaults committed on school grounds are also viewed as more serious.

Assault on a Female

Assault on a female in North Carolina is a Class A1 misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by no less than 150 days of imprisonment. This crime takes place when an adult male, age 18 or older, commits a battery or assault on a female. Men are often charged with assault on a female when domestic violence takes place. Arguments between spouses or partners who are in a relationship can often become heated, resulting in one or both spouses assaulting each other.