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Your Legal Rights Are My Business

On television, we often hear words like assault and battery used interchangeably.  Because of this, there can be some confusion about what these terms actually mean. North Carolina law tends to lump Assault and Battery together, however, the punishments are based on the degree of the assault.

What is Considered an Assault?

An assault in North Carolina is a reasonable threat of bodily injury that instills fear of harm in the victim.

What is Considered a Battery?

A battery is the actual physical contact with another person. 

Types of Assault Charge

  • Misdemeanor

    • Simple: A simple assault is the least serious of the assault charges.  It includes not just striking or hitting someone but putting them in immediate fear of being struck or touched.

    • Assault on a Female: This is a simple assault that is alleged to have been committed by a male over the age of 18 years old against a female.

    • Simple Affray: This is a mutual combat type situation.  Think of your typical bar room brawl.

    • Assault with a Deadly Weapon: This is generally the use or display of a weapon during the assault.  Guns, knives, bats, toasters, and just about anything else can constitute a Deadly Weapon.

  • Felony

    • Assault with a Deadly Weapon with the Intent to Inflict Serious Bodily Injury: North Carolina lists various types of assaults with a deadly weapon inflicting injury cases that increase the punishment from a Misdemeanor to a Felony. 

      • Serious Injury: An injury that potentially requires medical attention. 

      • Serious Bodily Injury: bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization.

      • With Intent to Kill: This is an assault that given the manner in which it was performed the law presumes that there was a greater intent then to merely inflict harm.  Rather the intent was to kill.

    • Assault by Strangulation: Generally, there has to be some type of injury during the commission of this assault.  Strangulation isn't defined under the statutes, however, case law has interpreted strangulation to be any obstruction of another person's airway.

Do I Need a Lawyer for my Assault Charge?

Absolutely! As a general rule, anytime you're charged with a criminal charge you need an attorney.  A good criminal defense attorney can help get your charges dismissed, reduced, or get you a "Not Guilty" verdict at trial.  Call Mike today to set up your consultation.

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