Being charged with assault does not necessarily require that you have put your hands on someone. Generally speaking, an assault can occur if you’ve threatened bodily harm to someone in a believable way. Battery on the other hand, involves some sort of offensive physical contact. They are both included under the same general statute in North Carolina. If you are being charged with any type of assault crime in Raleigh, North Carolina, you need to contact a Raleigh criminal lawyer immediately.
Simple assaults are considered less serious in North Carolina than other types of assaults. Let’s take a look at how North Carolina differentiates the different types of assault charges.
Class 2 Misdemeanor
Simple Assault: Any person who commits a simple assault or a simple assault and battery or participates in a simple affray is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Examples of simple assault could be threatening bodily harm to someone when it appears you have the immediate capacity to carry out the threat, or intentionally causing physical contact in an offensive manner.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
Simple Assault Against a Sports Official: Involve the same elements of simple assault, but the charge involves a sporting official like a coach or referee.
Class A1 Misdemeanor
In North Carolina, class A1 indicates the most serious misdemeanor charges. Anything more serious would be charged as a felony. If you’ve been charged with an A1 misdemeanor you could be sentenced to jail or even the sex offender registry. Let’s take a look at the most serious A1 misdemeanor assaults.
- Sexual Battery: A person is guilty of sexual battery if for the purpose of sexual arousal or abuse, engages in sexual contact with another person:
- (A) By force and against the will of the other person; or
- (B) Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know that the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
- Assault on a Female: Being a male of at least 18 years of age threatens believable imminent physical harm, or physically contacts the victim in an offensive manner.
- Assaults a child under the age of 12 years
- Assaults an officer or employee of the State or any political subdivision of the State, when the officer or employee is discharging or attempting to discharge his official duties.
- Aggravated Assault: Inflicts serious injury upon another person or uses a deadly weapon.
- Assaults a person with whom the person has a personal relationship in the presence of a minor.
The most serious assault charge, results in serious bodily harm, use of force, and/or weapon is used. Some of the different types of felony assault are:
- Any person who assaults another person with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicts serious injury shall be punished as a Class C felon.
- Any person who assaults another person with a deadly weapon and inflicts serious injury shall be punished as a Class E felon.
- Any person who assaults another person with a deadly weapon with intent to kill shall be punished as a Class E felon.
If you are charged and found guilty of assault, your penalty will depend on various factors. These factors include your age and background, criminal history, circumstances surrounding the crime, damage that resulted, the amount of force used, if weapons were used and if the crime was premeditated. A person found guilty of assault may face prison time, probation, payment of fines, required to perform community service or the revocation of permits to carry or own weapons.
The best thing you can do if you are charged with assault is contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. They will help discuss all your available options. If you’ve been charged with assault, contact the attorneys at the Scharff Law Firm at (919) 457-1954.