Handling a charge of assault in North Carolina can be a daunting process. Dallas prosecutors will not treat your case lightly, so you must not. Regardless of how minor or severe you believe your case to be, an assault conviction can have lifelong effects even outside of probation, fines, and incarceration.
Everyone deserves the right to be innocent until proven guilty and to have legal counsel to guide them through the legal process. The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford has provided the highest quality legal counsel for over two decades, protecting our client’s rights and ensuring they are ready for every step of the courtroom process. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony in Dallas, NC, we have an impressive history of getting charges reduced or even dismissed when the situation allows. These positive outcomes are likely not possible for law firms with less tenacity and experience than ours.
Assault is defined as a reasonable threat of bodily injury that causes fear of harm in the victim. It is listed as both a crime and tort, meaning it can result in both criminal and/or civil liability. Assault charges are typically misdemeanors, but there are instances where assault charges can become felonies. It is important to note that North Carolina does not distinguish between assault and battery. Assault does not require touching, while battery requires actual contact between the victim and the perpetrator, but the charges frequently overlap and are often dually charged as assault.
There are three general types of assault charges in North Carolina: assault, assault and battery, and affray. The many different types of assault are based on these, but with aggravating factors that can result in enhanced sentencing and penalties.
Assault charges with aggravating factors include the following:
The criminal penalties that can be levied against someone accused of assault depend entirely on the circumstances around the crime. If the crime is being charged as a misdemeanor, your prior convictions will factor into the sentencing. The presumptive range of misdemeanor incarceration includes:
The sentencing grid is much more complicated if the assault is being charged as a felony. Based on your prior convictions, you will be assigned points that will be used to assign a prior record level. The higher the level, the more severe the punishment will be. The range for felony punishment starts at four months and extends to life without parole or even death in the most severe of felony charges.
A: In some types of criminal cases, the victim of the crime can request that the charges be dropped and allow the offender to avoid penalties. However, if assault charges have been brought, they were brought by prosecutors, and the victim will not be able to drop the charges. The prosecution has sole discretion on how the case will progress.
A: The punishment for assault depends on many factors, including the gender of the victim, the severity of the injuries caused, and the criminal record of the accused. If the crime is being charged as a misdemeanor, the potential incarceration time ranges from one to 150 days. The penalty for a felony assault conviction ranges from a four-month sentence to life in prison. There may also be civil penalties, like a restraining order.
A: Not only can an assault conviction result in both criminal and civil penalties, but it can also have lifelong effects on your ability to get a job, find housing, etc. Even a simple assault charge can have debilitating effects on your quality of life. Speaking with a lawyer about your case can help you find the defense that is likely to end up with the most favorable outcome. They will also competently navigate through the complicated legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
A: Many potential defenses can be used in an assault case. Common defenses include acting in self-defense of yourself or others, lack of unlawful touching, insufficient evidence, or a false accusation. Effectively using these defenses requires a skilled attorney with experience in the court where your case will be heard.
The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford is dedicated to helping you triumph in your case by identifying the best potential resolution and aggressively fighting for that outcome. If you or a loved one is facing misdemeanor or felony assault charges, your greatest odds of effectively navigating these charges begin with contacting us for a consultation.