Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What Constitutes the Offense of Assault

In North Carolina, there are three different kinds of assault, each with its own kind of punishment. For anyone facing an accusation of assault, it’s important that you first know under which part of the statute you will likely be charged.


An assault is where there is show of force or an attempt to commit physical injury to another. The actions of the aggressor indicate the imminent and immediate threat of violence.

Assault & Battery

More than a pending threat, assault and battery is when such unwanted physical contact is actually perpetrated on another. 


When a fight or scuffle involves two or more people in a public place, this is considered an affray. In such examples, it is likely that others will feel threatened for their own safety, or may even be unwittingly drawn into the altercation.

Degrees of Offense

Most “simple” assaults are considered a Class 2 misdemeanor when the victim incurs only minor injuries. For those who do not have a previous record, they may be sentenced to probation and up to 30 days in jail.  However, for those with previous records the jail sentence could be up to 60 days of incarceration.

Furthermore, if someone is seriously injured as a result of an assault, or if the assaulted person is a law enforcement officer, a handicapped person or a female, these are considered  Class A1misdemeanors and the punishment can vary from probation to several months in jail plus a fine, though judges have some discretion. Lastly, in North Carolina, an assault could also be charged as a felony if significant lasting bodily injury occurs, or if a criminal defendant has a record of assaults. Therefore it’s important to request the services of a competent local North Carolina assault lawyer.

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