“Simple Assault” in Raleigh NC
The laws of North Carolina classify assaults as either misdemeanors or felonies, with the most basic charges being simple assault. Many simple assault charges arise from a misunderstanding, but if certain factors are at play, these charged can be escalated to more serious assault charges.
At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we know how difficult assault laws can be to understand. That’s why we’ve worked to ensure that our clients receive only the best defense from our firm. With an aggressive, skilled assault attorney by your side, you’re sure to get the best outcome of your situation.
How North Carolina Classifies Assault
In the state of North Carolina, assault is defined by one of two definitions. For a longer version of North Carolina’s definition of assault, please click the link to read through Article 8 of North Carolina Criminal Law.
In the first definition, assault means an act or even an attempt to act or seem to be in appearance of an attempt to immediately injure another person. This could be something as simple as touching or a person or even attempting to touch another person. Even if a person reaches out to touch another person and misses, he or she could be charged with assault. In its simplest terms, any form of unlawful touching can be considered assault.
In the second definition, assault is defined as a show of violence. If a person’s mannerisms or actions cause others to fear or to be apprehensive about their safety, then he or she can be charged with assault.
For example, let’s say a person is at a friend’s house party and the friend keeps a gun in the house. The party goer finds the gun and starts playing around with it, pointing it at people and pretending to shoot them. If other party goers actually fear for their safety, they could call the police and press charges.
As in the case above, a joke, however unfunny it may be to other people, can be misconstrued as assault. For this reason, it is vital that you have a skilled defense attorney at your side to fight these charges and clear up this misunderstanding before it gets out of hand.
The most basic form of assault, simple assault is classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor. Class 2 is considered the second least serious of misdemeanor offenses, but nevertheless, if you are charged with simple assault, you should still seek legal representation.
Simple assault can fall into either of the two definitions listed above. As it’s the least serious of all assault charges, the unlawful touching or show of violence should not result in any real injury to another person. The problem with simple assault is the prosecutors can easily escalate the situation and raise the simple assault up to a more serious charge.
Several factors can change a simple assault charge to a more serious offense. If a person is at a basketball game, for example, and threatens to hit the referee for a “bad call,” then that person may receive a class 1 misdemeanor charge rather than a simple assault. It is also considered a class A misdemeanor for an adult male to hit or assault a female adult.
If a deadly weapon is used during an assault, the charge will also go up and can even escalate to a felony. Class E felonies in North Carolina are defined as an assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill. A crime with those three factors, plus an actual injury, may result in a class C felony charge.
Assault law in North Carolina is not always black and white. Talk to an experienced attorney about your charges and fully understand what they mean and how you can defend yourself.
Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley
Though they may be called simple, there’s nothing truly simple about simple assault. If convicted, a person can face jail time as well as fines. The charge will also go on the person’s record, which could make it difficult to get and hold down a job or enroll in a higher education institute.
Don’t let these charges control the rest of your life. Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley and see what his firm can do for you.
Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who has been working tirelessly to see that justice is served for his clients. His experience as a Raleigh defense attorney ensures your rights are protected, minimizes your penalties, and can help find alternative forms of sentencing.