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Domestic Simple Assault

If you or someone you care about has been the victim of domestic violence in Waxhaw, it can be a difficult time for everyone involved. When domestic violence occurs in Waxhaw, it is not uncommon for an assault and battery or a simple assault to have happened during the dispute. Unfortunately, assault and battery can sometimes happen between people who have an ongoing relationship or had a previous one that fell apart and there are many layers that lead up to the incident. Under North Carolina law, they are different types of assault and battery. These classifications are completely dependent upon the specific facts in each particular case. While the terms are different, “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably among the general public.

Simple Assault

North Carolina law categorizes simple assault as a Class 2 misdemeanor, defining that it occurs when one person commits an assault on another. This ambiguous definition gives little guidance to those in Marvin trying to determine whether or not an assault has happened. Indeed, many people are unaware that physical contact is not necessary for an assault to have occurred. Under the law there are two types of assault - assault by overt act or attempt and assault by show of force.

Assault by overt act or attempt occurs when an individual does or tries to do something that puts another in fear of physical injury even if no actual physical harm occurred. This is the more recognizable type of assault because it generally involves on person physically hitting another person. Of note, as long as the aggressor intends to physically attack the person or attempts to, assault has occurred. For example, if someone strikes you in the face, it is assault. If someone tries to strike you in the face but misses, it is still assault.

Assault by show of force involves a person demonstrating to another that he or she has the ability to hurt or harm that person, the intended victim actually thinking that he or she will be harmed, and the intended victim does something he or she normally would not in reaction to being concerned about being harmed. For example, if someone drives a car in your direction and you jump out of the way out of fear, even if that person was not actually going to harm you with the car, an assault has occurred.

Simple Assault as a Lesser Included Offense

In the state of North Carolina, simple assault is also a lesser included offense in many other more serious crimes that involve assault. Examples under North Carolina law where classification of the crime (i.e., misdemeanor versus felony) and maximum punishment depend on the type of assault charge include:

  • Simple assault: Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail;
  • Assault inflicting serious injury: Class A1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 150 days in jail;
  • Assault with a deadly weapon: Class 1A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail;
  • Assault inflicting serious bodily injury: Class F felony, punishable by 33 to 49 months in jail;
  • Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill: Class E Felony, punishable by 50 to 72 months in jail;
  • Assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury: Class E felony, punishable by 50 to 72 months in jail;
  • Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury: Class C felony, punishable by 146 to 188 months in jail;

As can be seen, each one of these criminal assaults have increasingly severe punishments that are above what is imposed in Waxhaw, North Carolina for ordinary simple assault. Often times in these types of cases, one seemingly minor factor can make the difference between a simple assault and a more complicated one. For example, even though one is a misdemeanor and another is a felony, the difference between assault inflicting serious injury and assault inflicting serious bodily injury is entirely dependent upon the facts surrounding “bodily” injury.

Criminal Defense Help in Waxhaw

Arnold & Smith, PLLC is a North Carolina law firm that has criminal defense attorneys and family law attorneys who have extensive experience in Waxhaw and the surrounding areas. Our lawyers are equipped and prepared to help you with both criminal and family law matters inside and outside of the courtroom. Our firm boasts certified family law specialists as well as former prosecutors, giving us a unique perspective when analyzing and arguing your case’s merits. Contact us today and let our attorney protect your rights under applicable North Carolina law.