North Carolina recognizes several types of offenses involving assault and battery which can be confusing to someone not intimately familiar with the criminal statutes. This is especially concerning if the police have charged you with assault, assault and battery, affray or another related offense.
According to North Carolina law, there are several classes of misdemeanor assaults and violent crimes that are very closely related. Assault and battery is conduct that is knowingly and purposefully injurious to someone else. Assault is either the attempt to commit an assault and battery or behavior that is in line with a show of force that would put a reasonable person in fear of an imminent assault and battery. Finally, affray is a mutual fight between two or more parties in a public place that is likely to frighten a third party.
Simple and aggravating factors
The statute classifies the vast majority of assaults as Class 2 misdemeanors which carry a potential sentence of probation or a jail sentence of up to 30 days. Based upon prior history, you might face a sentence of up to 60 days in jail or a fine of $1,000. An experienced criminal defense attorney might be able to assess your case and best advise you on the penalties you might be facing.
Potentially aggravating factors raise the gradation to Class 1 or Class A1 misdemeanors. These factors include assaults and batteries:
- Resulting in serious bodily injury
- Committed upon a government, transportation or school employee
- Committed upon a child under 12
- Involving use of a deadly weapon
Much as these aggravating factors exist, there are also a number of mitigating factors and defenses to prosecution that you could take advantage of. Consultation with a defense attorney is the best way to determine the appropriate path forward.