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How Does North Carolina Define Assault and Battery?

On a general level, assault involves a threat of force that will likely result in physical harm. Battery involves unwanted or harmful physical contact.

Under Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes, there is a difference between simple and serious cases of assault and battery. The following includes an explanation of simple assault and battery crimes in North Carolina; however, anyone facing these charges should contact an attorney for professional assistance.

What are Simple Assault and Battery Crimes in North Carolina?

North Carolina recognizes three different varieties of simple assault and battery – assault, assault, and battery, as well as affray.

  •       Assault is a threat of force that indicates physical harm will follow. Also, a failed attempt to commit assault and battery also qualifies as an assault.
  •       Assault and Battery is a combination of threat and action that results in physical injury to another person.
  •       Affray is a public altercation between multiple individuals that is severe enough to frighten bystanders.

Generally speaking, simple assault and battery crimes are punishable as Class 2 misdemeanors. The harm or injury to victims is generally minor, leading to diminished penalties. In addition, Class 2 misdemeanors in North Carolina can result in jail times and fines. The judge has the discretion to adjust penalties up or down, depending on the circumstances.

What are Serious Assault and Battery Crimes in North Carolina?

North Carolina recognizes a handful of aggravating circumstances that may escalate a simple assault and battery to a more serious offense. The following subsections explore several categories of serious assault and battery crimes in North Carolina.

Serious Injury

This situation concerns assault and battery crimes that result in serious injury to the victim.  North Carolina law does not specify an exact definition for serious injury. relevant factors in determining whether an injury is serious include, but are not limited to, pain and suffering; loss of blood; hospitalization; and time lost from work. State v. Tice, 191 N.C. App. 506, 509 (2008); State v. Morgan, 164 N.C. App. 298, 303 (2004).

Deadly Weapons

This situation concerns the use of a deadly weapon while committing assault and battery crimes. To emphasize, any weapon or object that can be used to kill another person can be considered a deadly weapon.

The cases of serious assault and battery crimes above both represent Class A1 misdemeanors. The penalties for Class A1 misdemeanors in North Carolina include jail time, fines and probation. The sentencing judge has the discretion to adjust the penalties to fit the individual circumstances of the crime.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are dealing with criminal charges for assault and battery or other crimes, the process can be downright overwhelming. To make sure you adhere to every requirement, it can be advantageous to seek legal assistance from a trusted criminal defense attorney. Don’t hesitate to contact Tarlton Polk Law for professional help with your case.

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