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Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Simple assault is typically a misdemeanor offense in North Carolina, but criminal charges can often be enhanced to felony offense if an alleged offender utilizes a deadly weapon in the commission of an assault. State law does not provide a statutory definition of what constitutes a deadly weapon, but courts in North Carolina have long interpreted the term as meaning any object capable of causing death.

Many simple assault cases turn into assault with a deadly weapon when prosecutors feel there is enough evidence to merit the enhanced charges, but felonious assault with a deadly weapon charges require the alleged victim to have suffered a serious injury or the alleged offender to have had intent to kill. It can be exceptionally difficult for any prosecutor to prove an alleged offender’s intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

Attorney for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Raleigh, NC

If you were arrested for an alleged assault with any kind of deadly weapon in the Research Triangle, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. The Coolidge Law Firm aggressively defends individuals charged with all kinds of violent crimes in Holly Springs, Knightdale, Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, and many surrounding areas of Wake County.

David Coolidge is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh who also represents students at such local colleges as North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Duke University, and Meredith College. Call (919) 239-8448 today to have our attorney review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Crimes in North Carolina


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Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges in Wake County

Chapter 14, Article 8 of the North Carolina General Statutes establishes several different kinds of assault offenses. Some of the assault crimes involving deadly weapons that alleged offenders may be charged with include:


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Assault with a Deadly Weapon Penalties in Raleigh

North Carolina utilizes a “structured sentencing” system when deciding the punishments for convicted offenders. Under this sentencing model, the nature of the alleged crime and the alleged offender’s criminal history play important factors in determining that person’s possible sentence.

Depending on the level of felony offense, judges may sentence offenders to one of three types of punishments. An active punishment involves a prison or jail sentence, an intermediate punishment involves a sentence of supervised probation that may also include other special conditions (such as special probation, drug treatment court, house arrest with electronic monitoring, community service, substance abuse assessment, or others), and a community punishment is any sentence other than an active punishment, assignment to drug treatment court, or special probation.

In felony cases, the felony punishment chart also includes a “prior record level” in which an alleged offender’s prior criminal record factors into the level that person is classified under. The table also provides three different sentencing ranges for each slot: a mitigated range is used for cases with mitigating factors, an aggravated range is used for cases with aggravating factors, and a presumptive range is used for cases with an equal amount of or no mitigating factors and aggravating factors.

If an alleged offender is convicted of one of the assault with a deadly weapon offense listed above, that person would be subject to the following possible sentences:

 

Prior Record Level I
(0-1 point)

Prior Record Level II
(2-5 points)

Prior Record Level III
(6-9 points)

Prior Record Level IV
(10-13 points)

Prior Record Level V
(14-17 points)

Prior Record Level VI
(18+ points)

Class C

Active

Active

Active

Active

Active

Active

Aggravated

73-92 months

83-104 months

96-120 months

110-138 months

127-159 months

146-182 months

Presumptive

58-73 months

67-83 months

77-96 months

88-110 months

101-127 months

117-146 months

Mitigated

44-58 months

50-67 months

58-77 months

66-88 months

76-101 months

87-117 months

Class E

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Active

Active

Active

Active

Aggravated

25-31 months

29-36 months

33-41 months

38-48 months

44-55 months

50-63 months

Presumptive

20-25 months

23-29 months

26-33 months

30-38 months

35-44 months

45-50 months

Mitigated

15-20 months

17-23 months

20-26 months

23-30 months

26-35 months

30-40 months

Class F

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Active

Active

Active

Aggravated

16-20 months

19-23 months

21-27 months

25-31 months

28-36 months

33-41 months

Presumptive

13-16 months

15-19 months

17-21 months

20-25 months

23-28 months

26-33 months

Mitigated

10-13 months

11-15 months

13-17 months

15-20 months

17-23 months

20-26 months

Class H

Community, Intermediate, or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Active

Aggravated

6-8 months

8-10 months

10-12 months

11-14 months

15-19 months

20-25 months

Presumptive

5-6 months

6-8 months

8-10 months

9-11 months

12-15 months

16-20 months

Mitigated

4-5 months

4-6 months

6-8 months

7-9 months

9-12 months

12-16 months


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North Carolina Assault with a Deadly Weapon Resources

North Carolina Division of Public Health | Injury and Violence Prevention Branch — The North Carolina Injury and Violence Prevention Branch collects and analyzes injury data, implements programs to prevent injuries and violence, and coordinates and assists groups working to prevent injury and violence to address the problem comprehensively. Visit this website to learn more about some of the branch’s surveillance and prevention activities. You can also review various kinds of data, find reports, and learn more about different types of prevention.

Injury and Violence Prevention Branch
5505 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27609

State v. Strickland, 290 N.C. 169 (N.C. 1976) — On June 17, 1976, the Supreme Court of North Carolina ruled that a plastic bag used with the intent to suffocate another person to death constituted a deadly weapon. The Court wrote, “A deadly weapon is not one which must kill but one which under the circumstances of its use is likely to cause death or great bodily harm.” The Court cited State v. Smith, 187 N.C. 469, 121 S.E. 737 (1924), a case in which the Supreme Court of North Carolina wrote:

Any instrument which is likely to produce death or great bodily harm, under the circumstances of its use, is properly denominated a deadly weapon. S. v. Craton, 28 N.C. p. 179. The deadly character of the weapon depends sometimes more upon the manner of its use, and the condition of the person assaulted, than upon the intrinsic character of the weapon itself. S. v. Archbell, 139 N.C. 537; S. v. Sinclair, 120 N.C. 603; S. v. Norwood, 115 N.C. 789.

Where the alleged deadly weapon and the manner of its use are of such character as to admit of but one conclusion, the question as to whether or not it is deadly within the foregoing definition is one of law, and the Court must take the responsibility of so declaring. S. v. Sinclair, supra. But where it may or may not be likely to produce fatal results, according to the manner of its use, or the part of the body at which the blow is aimed, its alleged deadly character is one of fact to be determined by the jury. S. v. West, 51 N.C. 505; Krchnavy v. State, 43 Neb. 337. A pistol or a gun is a deadly weapon (S. v. Benson, 183 N.C. 795); and we apprehend a baseball bat should be similarly denominated if viciously used, as under the circumstances of this case. S. v. Brown, 67 Iowa 289; Crow v. State, 21 L.R.A. (N.S.), 497, and note.


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The Coolidge Law Firm | Raleigh Assault with a Deadly Weapon Defense Lawyer

Were you recently arrested in the greater Research Triangle area for an alleged assault with a deadly weapon? Do not say anything to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact the Coolidge Law Firm today.

Raleigh criminal defense attorney David Coolidge fights to protect the rights of people all over Wake County, including Wendell, Zebulon, Morrisville, Raleigh, Rolesville, and Wake Forest as well as students at such institutions of higher learning as Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech), William Peace University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). You can have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (919) 239-8448 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


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David Coolidge
David A. Coolidge
is heading up our team as criminal defense attorney and graduate at the top of his class from Duke University School of Law ...
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Steven P. MacGilvray
Steven P. MacGilvray is an Associate Attorney at Coolidge Law Firm, focusing primarily on Criminal Defense. Mr. MacGilvray graduated from Regent University School of Law ...
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Brent Blakesley
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