Assault Charge Lawyer in Charlotte, NC
According to the North Carolina criminal laws, assaults are viewed as serious violent crimes. You do not have to physically touch someone, though, to be charged with assault in Charlotte, North Carolina, and even found guilty. If you are facing the possibility of a criminal record for assault or time in prison, you need the best possible assault charge lawyer on your side who can help to get the best outcome for you.
Even if you were just defending yourself in a brawl, you might have let your anger take over. Whatever the case may be and whatever the situation was, your side of the story must be heard, and everyone deserves fair treatment under the law.
Even with an assault attorney on your side, criminal courts can be intimidating. You may feel as though you have already been judged, and your reputation, and even your life, may well be on the line.
Laws and Penalties Regarding Assault in Charlotte, North Carolina
There is a myriad of different classifications and levels of assault in this state. A great deal of the distinction involves who was hurt, how severely they were hurt, and how.
- Misdemeanor Assault
If an assault occurs that is not considered as one of the more serious types of assault under North Carolina law, it is typically classed as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Such assaults usually include verbal assaults, fights, and minor physical contact.
A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 120 days of jail time. If you have a criminal history, and depending on what it is, your assault charge lawyers might be able to have your sentence suspended so that you rather serve time on probation instead of in prison.
- Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon
A deadly weapon is usually considered a tool or weapon that has the potential to cause death. This could include a strangulation device, a vehicle, a firearm, and other objects that could cause such harm. Under this offense, there are a number of situations that qualify and each has their own potential sentence and classification.
For an assault in Charlotte, North Carolina that occurred with intent to kill and resulting in seriously bodily injury, you will be charged with a Class C felony. These felonies are punishable by up to 44 – 92 months imprisonment if you are a first-time offender. The sentence may be longer if you have prior convictions.
If the assault happened without the intent to kill but still resulted in seriously bodily harm, it is considered a Class E felony and is punishable by 15 – 31 months imprisonment if you have no prior convictions.
If the assault occurred with the intent to kill but did not result in seriously bodily harm, it is also considered a Class E felony in this state and is also punishable by 15 – 31 months in prison for a first-time offense.
It must be noted that there are circumstances within your case that could automatically elevate the seriousness of your charge. Aggravating circumstances include assaults done on people such as the elderly, handicapped, and firemen. Furthermore, an assault in Charlotte, N.C. committed at a school, on public transportation, or at a public event might be viewed as more serious.
Domestic Simple Assault in North Carolina
Assault and Battery Charges
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, it is not unusual for an assault and battery or simple assault to have taken place. There are a variety of layers of assault and battery and they may sometimes occur between people who have, or had, a relationship of some type. The differences between the different kinds of assault tend to depend on fact, and often, an assault defense lawyer will use the words “battery” and “assault” interchangeably.
A simple assault is a Class 2 misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days in prison. This kind of assault occurs when someone commits assault on someone else. Interestingly, physical contact does not have to be made for an assault to have taken place.
Under the umbrella of simple assault, there are two kinds of assault:
- Assault by overt attempt or act – this occurs when you do or attempt to do something that puts the other person in fear of being physically harmed, even if no physical harm was actually done. This is an easy type of assault in Charlotte to identify since it typically involves one person physically striking another person. Provided the aggressor does indeed intend to make good on the attempt, it is considered that an assault has occurred. For example, if you are punched in the face, the person who punched you has committed an assault. If a person attempts to punch you in the face and misses, it is still considered assault. Other examples include throwing things, biting, kicking, and scratching.
- Assault by show of force – this kind of assault involves someone showing you that they are able to harm you; you truly thinking it is going to happen; and you, in response to this, do something you would normally do as a result of feeling threatened. For example, if someone bucks their head at you and in response you jerk you head back in fright, knocking your head on a wall or a door, an assault charge lawyer may argue that an assault occurred by the other person.
If you commit assault and battery or a simple assault, your assault attorney will explain that it is a Class 2 misdemeanor. In many instances, the best form of defense is self-defense, and this means that statements to the police, or anyone for that matter, may be detrimental to your criminal defense case.
Threatening or Attempting Violence with the Intention of Carrying It Out
Assault in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the most common causes of arrest. In the state, assault is viewed as a violent crime and is defined as a threat or attempt of violence with the intention to carry it out, regardless of whether or not physical contact took place. Essentially, the accused has to be capable of assault so as to be charged with the offense.
There are a wide variety of different levels of assault that can have a significant impact on the punishment is you are convicted by trial. However, if you are convicted of an assault, you are going to face severe consequences and will need the assistance of an experienced assault lawyer. In Charlotte, assault is a crime that is taken seriously.
Assault on a Female
When a female is assaulted, it is considered a Class A1 misdemeanor that is punishable by a sentence of no more than 150 days imprisonment. When it comes to domestic households, this can be a common charge, since often, verbal arguments between people involved in a relationship can result in physical confrontations. For men, in particular, this can be problematic, since the laws afford females additional protection as it relates to being the victim of an assault.
In order to meet the elements of assault on a female, an adult male who is eighteen years or older must have committed battery or assault on a female.
Often, people wonder how a statute such as this can pass constitutional agreement since it has a propensity to punish men more severely than women for the same adverse conduct. For instance, when one female assaults another female, she may only be found guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor such as simple assault, and will face a maximum of 60 days in jail. However, if a man does the exact same thing to a woman, he is subject to harsher punishment along with a higher-class charge.
It is worth noting that in the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in the case of Sate v. Gurganus, 1979, it was found to be constitutional. Ever since then, courts in the state have continued to uphold it under the policy of stare decisis. This refers to situations where a court has already determined a legal point, later courts tend to follow in their footsteps and derive at the same outcome. All the same, it is important to have an experienced assault attorney on your side.
But, there are a few other criminal charges that may arise when the victim of an assault is a woman, and in some instances, even fellow women can be charged and convicted, depending on both the circumstances and the facts. For instance, if a person assaults a pregnant woman, he or she may be found guilty of battery on the unborn child, which is a Class A1 misdemeanor and is also punishable by a maximum of 150 days jail time. Contrary to the elements of assault on a female, even other women may be properly charged with this type of crime.
Depending on how severe the injury that was inflicted on the unborn child is, the defendants, regardless of gender, may also be found guilty of a number of other charges. For instance, assault that inflicts serious bodily injury on an unborn child is viewed as a Class F felony and it is punishable by up to 33 – 49 months in jail. This particular felony requires that the unborn child is born with a seriously bodily injury that is a result of the assault.
The most noteworthy charge in terms of pregnant women is murder of an unborn child. This type of assault in Charlotte, N.C. is a Class A felony which is also the most severe Class of Felony in existence in North Carolina. A Class A felony is punishable by life imprisonment without the change of parole.
Both voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter of an unborn child, though, tend to put the child in the place of the mother and concentrate on whether the acts that led to the unborn child’s death, if those acts were committed against the mother, would have also resulted in her death. Involuntary manslaughter of an unborn baby is considered a Class F felony which is punishable by up to 33 – 49 months in jail, whereas voluntary manslaughter of an unborn baby is considered a Class D felony which is punishably by up to 128 – 166 months in the Department of Adult Corrections.
The legislatures in North Carolina have determined that women should be afforded greater protection from assaults in most instances, but even more so unborn babies and their mothers.
An Overview of Charges, Classes, and Jail Time in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Simple Assault – Class 2 misdemeanor – 60 days in jail
- Assault with a deadly weapon – Class A1 misdemeanor – 150 days in prison
- Assault inflicting serious injury – Class A1 misdemeanor – 150 days in jail
- Assault with a deadly weapon and intent to kill inflicting serious harm – Class C Felony – 146-188 months imprisonment
- Assault with a deadly weapon and the intent to kills – Class E felony – 50-72 months in prison
- Assault with a deadline weapon inflicting serious harm – Class E felony – 50-72 months jail time
- Assault inflicting seriously bodily harm – Class F felony – 33 – 49 months in jail
The Castle Doctrine
The law that is colloquially referred to as the Castle Doctrine came into effect on December 1, 2011. It relates to the law of self-defense and it was expanded to the benefit of the potential crime victim. It has always been set out that deadly force may be used as a way of preventing forcible entry in a person’s home. Under the Castle Doctrine, self-defense is extended to the workplace and motor vehicles. The most noteworthy change is that the new law creates a belief of truth in so far as a legal occupant of the workplace or a motor vehicle can be assumed to be in fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury. This means that the burden may shift to the state to show that the victim did not have fear, instead of having to force the defendant to prove their fear. If you were involved in an assault in such instances, our assault lawyers can help you navigate your defense case.
When Should You Contact Assault Attorneys?
Knowledgeable assault defense lawyers have ample experience with cases of assault in Charlotte, N.C. They understand how to present a case in the best possible way to the prosecutor and judge, and can defend you against your charges, often getting those charges dismissed or reduced before going to trial. If you are facing charges of assault, you need to speak to an assault defense attorney with the right experience who can protect your rights.
If you have been charged with an assault, it is important not to discuss the situation with anyone other than your assault charge lawyer.
Often, these types of charges tend to result from a misunderstanding. Think about the below examples:
- You and your spouse’s argument escalates to the point of becoming domestic assault charges, such as assault on a female.
- You are a fan leaving a Panthers game and you push your way into the street and are arrested for being disruptive and intoxicated.
- You strike another person in self-defense
- A patron is involved in a fight at a bar. He elbows someone approaching from the rear, without realizing it was actually the responding police officer. The patron is charged with assault on an officer or for resisting arrest.
- You try to break up a physical fight but are seen to be a participant and you are charged with assault.
- A suspect who is unfamiliar with the arrest process and seems confused is wrongly charged with resisting arrest.
If you have been charged with assault of the below types of crimes or incidents, it is important to talk to experienced assault lawyers:
- Domestic assault
- Assault on a female
- Resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer
- Sexual assault
- Child abuse
- Harassing phone calls
- Assault with a deadly weapon
Contact an Assault Attorney in Charlotte at Remington & Dixon Today
Our Charlotte Assault Defense Attorneys can assist you with your assault charges and ensure that you have the right criminal defense team on your side to fight aggressively for you at trial. It is also important to have an attorney on your side to efficiently represent you and who will work tirelessly to defend you against your charges or seek any possible advantages. At Remington & Dixon, we are committed to fighting for the best possible case outcome and protecting your rights throughout the criminal defense process.