A fight that gets out of control or a false accusation of assault and battery could develop into a criminal situation that follows you for years to come. At Powers Landreth, our lawyers know what it’s like for those who have been accused and we use that experience to develop a defense strategy and take action immediately when you have been accused of assault, battery, or any related charges.
Being accused of assault and battery can be confusing or overwhelming. The right legal representation often proves a valuable asset to anyone defending themselves against these serious crimes. There are three misdemeanor assault and battery crimes in North Carolina. These include:
- Assault and battery; typically involving someone else sustaining physical injuries.
- Assault or the attempt to commit assault and battery; showing a force indicating that such an act is imminent.
- Affray: a fight between two or more individuals in a public place that is designed to scare others.
No matter how it started or ended, you can benefit from the guidance provided by a Charlotte NC assault defense lawyer. Walking through the basics of the allegations and gathering evidence to help protect your interests are both crucial early on while the facts of the case are still fresh in your mind. Your lawyer may be able to identify mistakes made by the police that could result in reduced or dropped charges, but you must take action quickly.
Worrying about your future when you’ve been accused of assault is natural. The police are not necessarily looking out for you and the only person who may be in your corner is your Charlotte assault defense lawyer. This is a person you need to hire as soon as possible. Your lawyer will play an important role in helping to protect your freedom and your reputation, so it should be someone you trust.
Understanding Simple Assault, Assault and Battery and Affray
In the majority of cases, assault and battery, assault and affray are categorized as class 2 misdemeanors. This means that the victim has suffered minor injuries. When there are no prior convictions, a defendant may be eligible to receive probation and a sentence of between one and three days in jail. However, the consequences can be higher if there are previous convictions on the person’s record.
This sentence could even be as long as 60 days and a judge can impose fines of up to $1000. However, North Carolina may more seriously punish some offenses in several situations. These include cases in which the accused used a deadly weapon, domestic violence, serious injury, sexual battery, sports officials and offenses against particular victims.
Since there’s so much on the line for you based on how your crime is classified, your attorney should be brought into the fold early on to clarify this information and to help you figure out next steps. The more charges or allegations involved, the more important it is that you have an aggressive attorney uncovering every opportunity to fight for you.
A class A-1 misdemeanor charge may apply if an assault inflicts serious injury. This refers to any injury that might need medical attention. This broad category can be confusing for someone accused of assault who believes that an alleged victim is blowing things out of proportion.
Using A Deadly Weapon
Any item that might be used to kill someone can lead to an assault with a deadly weapon charge as a class A-1 misdemeanor. Some of the most common types of weapons used in these charges are knives and guns.
Another class A-1 assault and battery misdemeanor allegation is domestic violence. This occurs when an assault happens in front of a minor child and the minor must have been in a place to observe their assault. The term personal relationship is a crucial component of these allegations. This is defined to include children, spouses, former spouses, individuals living together as a family and grandchildren.
The class A-1 misdemeanor sexual battery refers to any physical contact or sexual contact carried out for sexual purposes by force and against the victim’s will. This also refers to any contact of a sexual nature with a victim who is physically helpless, incapacitated or mentally disabled.
Offenses Against Particular Victims
An offense can be elevated from the basic status to more serious charges, warranting punishment as a class A-1 misdemeanor if the victim is:
- A woman and children under the age of 12.
- A private, public or charter school employee or volunteer on school property while transporting children to/from a school or at a school event.
- Public transit operators, state officers or employees, private and campus security officers, if they are acting in their employment and official capacity.
Assaulting any sports official during the course of a sports event is a class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina. Sports officials include umpires, referees and coaches and a game is any organized sporting event including little league and professional sports.
Punishments for Misdemeanors, Assault and Battery Charges
Class A-1 misdemeanors are typically punished by supervised probation, a jail sentence of up to 60 days or probation. A judge can additionally impose a fine at his or her discretion. The sentence can be increased up to 150 days of prison time if there are prior convictions. A class 1 misdemeanor is punished by between 1 and 45 days in jail and probation.
The sentence can also be up to 120 days behind bars if the defendant has previous convictions on his or her record and a fine can imposed at the court’s discretion. An assault conviction could lead to time in jail or probation depending on the circumstances of your case, but regardless of the type of charges you are facing, the right Charlotte defense attorney can make a big difference for your ability to successfully defend yourself and put this issue behind you. Do not hesitate to get help from a knowledgeable criminal defender in the Charlotte area immediately.