Understanding Assault and Battery Laws in North Carolina

Assault in North Carolina encompasses the common law crimes of assault as well as battery. North Carolina has merged the two crimes together, while many states regard them as separate offenses. An assault is placing the aggrieved party in fear of serious bodily injury or death. A battery is an offensive touching of a person without the consent of that person. There are a number of crimes which include assault in North Carolina. These crimes range from simple assault to inflicting serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The law can be very confusing, that is why hiring a proper Raleigh assault lawyer is imperative.

North Carolina misdemeanors fall into four different classes: Class 1A misdemeanors, Class 1 misdemeanors, Class 2 misdemeanors and Class 3 misdemeanors. Class 1A misdemeanors receive the highest degree of punishments while Class 3 misdemeanors receive the lowest degree of punishments. While a guilty charge of simple assault may result in a class 2 misdemeanor, the punishment for a guilty charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill may result in a class C felony charge. Felony charges range from class A -I, with class A resulting in death or life without parole and class I resulting in a 3-12 month sentencing.

It can be difficult to navigate the various potential sentences, as they vary under structured sentencing. For example, if a woman assaults a man she would be guilty of simple assault. If a man assaults a woman, then he would be guilty of assault on a female, which is a class A1 misdemeanor – the highest level of misdemeanors under structured sentencing. A person charged with any of the assault crimes in North Carolina needs a person who is experienced at trying these wide ranging cases in front of a jury. A comprehensive view of the case is imperative to a client’s defense in any assault case.

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