Simple assault, the lowest type of assault in North Carolina, is placing someone in fear of battery or a failed attempt at battery. Assault may be considered aggravated depending on the circumstances.

What Is Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated assault is any assault that involves an aggravating factor. In North Carolina, aggravating factors for assault include:

  • Infliction of serious injury
  • Use of a deadly weapon
  • The victim is a child under the age of 12
  • The victim is an officer or employee of the state, a school employee, a public transit operator, or a campus police officer and is acting in the capacity of their job

What Is Serious Bodily Injury?

Serious bodily injury is any physical harm to a victim that seriously interferes with a person’s health or physical comfort. The injury is long-lasting, rather than short-lived.

What Is a Deadly Weapon?

A deadly weapon is any type of instrument that can be used to inflict serious physical harm on a victim. Guns, knives, and clubs are common deadly weapons.

Is Assault Involving Serious Bodily Injury or a Deadly Weapon a Misdemeanor or Felony?

An assault involving a deadly weapon or serious bodily injury is a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is any criminal offense where the sentence is less than one year in county jail. In North Carolina, this crime is a Class A1 misdemeanor.

What Is the Punishment for a Class A1 Misdemeanor in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the punishment for a first conviction of a Class A1 misdemeanor is one to 60 days of an active, intermediate, or community punishment. If the person has been convicted of misdemeanor aggravated assault in the past, then they face a punishment of up to 150 days, depending on how many prior misdemeanor convictions that they have.

An active punishment is time in jail, while intermediate and community punishment typically involve probation. With intermediate punishment, the probation is typically supervised, and the punishment may also involve house arrest, time in jail, and/or mandatory enrollment into a court-administered drug treatment program. Community punishment usually involves either supervised or unsupervised punishment and may also include a fine, confinement in a local confinement center, and/or enrollment in an educational or vocational skills course.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Assault Case?

If you are accused of committing aggravated assault in North Carolina, you need legal assistance if you wish to avoid spending time in jail. Contact a North Carolina criminal lawyer immediately for help with your assault case.