Violent Crime Charges in North Carolina
If you are facing a violent crime or assault charges, you will need proactive and comprehensive legal representation to prepare the best possible defense. Brad & Raymond’s experience as former prosecutors and significant trial experience as defense attorneys gives them a distinctive perspective and understanding of the judicial system. They understand the importance of listening to your side of the story and investigating the circumstances of the incident and arrest. If you have been charged with a violent crime, speak with us before making statements to a police officer. Such statements can be used as evidence against you. Contact us today to discuss the best strategy for resolving your violent crimes charge.
Facing assault or violent crime charges? You’ll need an attorney experienced in taking these cases to trial. Contact us to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.
Types of Violent Crime Charge
Violent crime charges include a broad variety of cases, from different degrees of assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, domestic violence and more. Violent crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
A violent crime conviction can have serious consequences for your record, and may even preclude future employment opportunities. It’s important to understand what exactly your charges mean to come up with an effective legal representation strategy.
Asalto y Agresión
An assault or battery occurs when a person touches another without consent. However, in North Carolina, an assault does not require physical contact. In fact, a person commits assault merely by attempting to injure another and placing that victim in fear of bodily harm. Assault can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony belonging to several sub-categories, including:
Misdemeanor Assault Cases:
- Simple Assault: The most common form of assault in North Carolina. It occurs when a person commits any assault on another. Simple assault is Class 2 misdemeanor and the maximum possible punishment is 60 days imprisonment.
- Assault on a Female: This occurs when a male, who is at least 18 years old, assaults a female. It is a Class A1 misdemeanor and the maximum possible punishment is 150 days in prison.
- Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury: This crime occurs when a defendant commits an assault on another resulting in serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury refers to bodily injury that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, permanent severe pain, impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ, prolonged hospitalization, or a substantial risk of death.
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon: A person is guilty of this offense if he or she commits an assault on another with a deadly weapon. Whether a weapon is considered deadly depends on its nature and size, how it is used, and the strength of the defendant compared to the victim. Examples of deadly weapons include the following: pistols; knives; cars; fire; firebombs; dogs; rocks; box cutters; broken glass bottles; and belts with a metal buckle. In addition, a defendant’s hands and feet are considered deadly weapons in extreme cases.
- Habitual Misdemeanor Assault: A person commits the offense of habitual misdemeanor assault if that person assaults another and has two or more prior convictions for either misdemeanor or felony assault, with the earlier of the two prior convictions occurring no more than 15 years prior to the date of the current violation. Habitual Misdemeanor Assault is a Class H felony, which carries a maximum possible punishment of 25-42 months in prison.
Felony Assault Cases:
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury: A person is guilty of this offense if he or she commits an assault on another with a deadly weapon and inflicts serious injury on the victim.
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill: A person is guilty of this crime if he or she commits an assault on another with a deadly weapon and with the intent to kill the victim. Intent to kill the victim can be inferred from the circumstances of the assault. For instance, intent to kill may be found by the mere use of a deadly weapon, the nature in which the assault was carried out, or by looking at the extent of the injury.
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill, Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury: A person is guilty of this crime if he or she commits an assault on another with a deadly weapon, with the intent to kill the person, and inflicts serious injury on the victim.
Kidnapping can be charged in the first or second degree in North Carolina, based on the following circumstances:
- First Degree Kidnapping: This crime occurs when a defendant confines, restrains, or removes, from one place to another, a person, without the person’s’ consent (or, if the person is under the age of 16, without the consent of the person’s parent or guardian) for one of the following purposes: holding the victim hostage; holding the victim for ransom; using the victim as a shield; facilitating the commission of a felony; facilitating flight following the commission of a felony; doing serious bodily harm to the victim or any other person; terrorizing the victim or any other person; holding the victim in involuntary servitude; trafficking another person; or subjecting or maintaining the victim for sexual servitude. To be guilty of this offense, the defendant must also fail to release the victim to a safe place, seriously injure the victim, or sexually assault the victim.
- Second Degree Kidnapping: This crime occurs when a defendant confines, restrains, or removes, from one place to another, a person, without the person’s consent (or, if the person is under the age of 16, without the consent of the person’s parent or guardian) for one of the following purposes: holding the victim hostage; holding the victim for ransom; using the victim as a shield; facilitating the commission of a felony; facilitating flight following the commission of a felony; doing serious bodily harm to the victim or any other person; terrorizing the victim or any other person; holding the victim in involuntary servitude; trafficking another person; or subjecting or maintaining the victim for sexual servitude.
If you are accused of committing an assault against a person with whom you have or had a personal relationship, your offense may be characterized as a domestic violence charge. A personal relationship includes:
- Current or former spouses
- Persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together
- Persons who are related as parents and children, including others acting “in loco parentis” (in place of the parent) to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren
- Persons who have a child in common
- Persons who are current or former household members
- Persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one where the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.
If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, you will likely be ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim. A judge can also order you to stay away from your home if you share a residence with the alleged victim, even if you own the home. If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, you may be ordered to complete a state-certified batterer’s intervention program, anger management classes, and/or parenting classes. The attorneys at Tarlton Polk are experienced in navigating domestic violence cases and can ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.