Getting an assault or battery charge can happen easier and quicker than you would think. Something as simple as touching another person can result in being charged with assault. There are several charges for assault and battery in North Carolina. The most common are:
- Simple assault — Usually charged when there are no injuries and the accused did not use a weapon. There is no requirement for actual physical contact.
- Simple battery — This charge centers around unwanted physical contact and typically includes minor injuries.
- Assault on a female – This is charged when a male, over the age of 18, has unwanted physical contact with a female.
- Assault inflicting serious injury — This type of battery typically involves the use of a deadly weapon to harm another person. The battery may be aggravated if the alleged victim is a child, mentally disabled person, an elderly individual, or other vulnerable individual.
- Sexual assault and battery — This crime involves using force or a deadly weapon to have unwanted sexual contact. This does not require that sexual intercourse occur. Touching a body part for the purpose of being aroused is sufficient. This is frequently seen in cases that involve domestic violence.
- Habitual Misdemeanor Assault – Habitual misdemeanor assault can be charged if a person violates any of the provisions of G.S. 14-33 (misdemeanor assaults and batteries) and causes physical injury, or G.S. 14-34 (assaulting by pointing a gun) and has two or more prior convictions for either misdemeanor or felony assault within 15 years of the incident
Penalties for misdemeanors and felonies
In North Carolina, a person charged with assault and battery charges could face either a misdemeanor or felony charge. For a simple assault or battery, with no prior convictions, the sentence can be up to 30 days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, probation, restitution to the victim, and/or community service. With a prior conviction, penalties can include 60 days in jail. The penalties for an assault inflicting serious injury, sexual assault, or battery, which are often considered Class A1 or Class 1 misdemeanors, may include supervised probation, up to 150 days incarceration and large fines.
Felony charges for an assault or a battery can occur if the assault or battery is committed with a deadly weapon. The penalties for a conviction vary widely and often depend on whether a judge or jury believes the alleged offender had the intent to kill the victim. Prison sentences range from 15 to 98 months, in addition to fines, probation, and other penalties.
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