No matter what circumstances led up to your arrest for assault in North Carolina, you are facing a very serious criminal offense. Still, a prosecuting attorney must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, you are entitled to your day in court to contest the allegations and present appropriate defenses. In general, the best way to fight assault charges in NC is to develop a strong strategy with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Plus, it may be helpful to review some basic information on state laws on assault and other violent crimes.
The less serious crime of Simple Assault occurs when a person unlawfully touches another individual or shows a threat of violence. This “show of violence” may be charged as simple assault even where you do not make physical contact with the victim. This crime is a Class 2 misdemeanor under North Carolina law, which means you could be sentenced from 1-60 days in prison depending on your criminal history. A judge may also opt for an alternative sentence, such as house arrest or requirement to complete a state-approved course.
However, you may face more serious charges if you:
- Injured someone;
- Used a deadly weapon;
- Engaged in an act of domestic violence;
- Assaulted a state or school worker;
- Assaulted a sports official, such as a coach or referee;
- Engaged in an act of sexual battery; or,
- Are an adult male who attacked an adult female or child under the age of 12 years.
Under these circumstances, the crime is a Class 1 or Class A1 misdemeanor. You face up to 150 days in jail and steep fines.
The stakes are much higher for Felonious Assault, which involves use of a deadly weapon.
- It is a Class C felony to attack another person with a weapon when you have the intent to kill and cause serious injury. Your sentence may include a minimum of 44 months and a maximum of 182 months in prison.
- Class E felony charges apply if your assault with the weapon inflicts bodily injury.
- It is also a Class E felony to use a weapon and attack another person with intent to kill, even if the victim does not die.
Class E felonies carry a sentence from 15 to 63 months incarceration.
Note that all felony offenses, except Class A, require a judge to review your prior criminal history to assess a punishment level. Your sentence based upon the points you accumulation for previous convictions.
Talk to an Assault Charges Attorney About Your Case
North Carolina takes violent crimes very seriously, which is why you need a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. You face incarceration and fines, and the conviction becomes part of your criminal record. For more information, please contact the criminal defense attorneys at Tarlton | Polk in Raleigh, NC. We can schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your legal options and develop a strategy for your case.