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Domestic Simple Assault

Assault and Battery

If you or a loved one has been the victim of domestic violence, it is not uncommon for a simple assault or assault and battery to have occurred. There are many layers of assault and battery, and they can sometimes arise between people who have an ongoing or previous relationship. The differences between the different types of assault often depend entirely on the facts, and the terms “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably.

Simple Assault

Simple Assault, a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail, occurs when someone “commits an assault on another.” This definition is obviously quite ambiguous in nature and gives little guidance as to whether an assault has happened. Many people are surprised to learn that physical contact does not even have to be made for an assault to have occurred.

There are two types of assault. The first, assault by overt act or attempt, happens when someone does or tries to do something that puts another person in fear of being physical injured, even if no actual physical harm was done. This type of assault is the more easily identifiable of the two, because it usually involves one person physically striking another. As long as the aggressor intends to make good on the attempt, an assault has occurred. If someone punches you in the face, they have committed an assault. If someone tries to punch you in the face and misses, an assault has still occurred. Some other examples include kicking, biting, scratching, throwing things at you, using a vehicle or other device to physically injury you, etc.

The second type of assault is an assault by show of force. This type of assault involves: 1) a person showing they have the ability to hurt or harm you, 2) you actually thinking it will happen, and 3) you in response do something you normally would not do as a result of your concern you will be harmed. If someone “bucks” at you and you jerk your head back in fear, hitting your head, an assault has arguably occurred. If someone drives their car in your direction, and you jump out of the way in fear, even if they were not going to actually run you over an assault has arguably occurred.

Simple Assault is also a lesser included offense of many other, more serious acts, which at their core involve an “assault.” Some examples include:

CHARGEOFFENSE CLASSMAXIMUM JAIL TIME
Simple AssaultClass 1 misdemeanor120 days
Assault Inflicting Serious InjuryClass A1 misdemeanor150 days
Assault with a Deadly WeaponClass A1 misdemeanor150 days
Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily InjuryClass F Felony33-49 months
Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to KillClass E Felony50-72 months
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious InjuryClass E Felony50-72 months
Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious InjuryClass C Felony146-188 months

Each of these assaults have much more severe punishments than an ordinary simple assault, and can subject you to even more significant jail terms. In many cases, one fact makes all the difference between the most elementary assault case and the most complex. For example, the difference in Assault Inflicting Serious Injury and Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury depends entirely on the facts surrounding “bodily” injury, even though the former is only a misdemeanor and the latter a much more serious felony. The difference between assault and battery is discussed more fully in the Assault and Battery article.

Arnold & Smith, PLLC has criminal defense attorneys as well as family law attorneys with extensive experience in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and surrounding areas who are equipped and prepared to not only help you defend your matter in criminal court, but can also help you deal with it in the context of your family law situation. We have former prosecutors in our ranks as well as Certified Family Law Specialists, giving us a unique perspective in arguing and analyzing the merits of your case. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today and let our attorneys protect your rights and argue on your behalf.