Assault

Not all violent crimes in North Carolina involve actual acts of physical violence. People may be charged with assault simply for threats or shows of force that make alleged victims feel as though they are at risk of physical harm.

There is a number of assault offenses listed under Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Even cases of so-called “simple assault” can still carry significant terms of imprisonment, and convictions can have extremely damaging long-term effects for alleged offenders.

Raleigh Assault Lawyer

If you were recently arrested for allegedly committing this type of crime, you should obtain experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Coolidge Law Firm is committed to seeking the best possible outcomes to these types of cases, whether it is negotiating a reduction of charges through a plea bargain or fighting for a complete dismissal of charges at trial.

Our Wake County assault attorneys aggressively defend clients all over the greater Raleigh area, including Wake Forest, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Cary, and Apex. We will provide a thorough review of your case to help you understand all of your options when you call our firm today at (919) 239-8448 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


Wake County Assault Information Center


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North Carolina Assault Charges

There are three different types of assault crimes listed under North Carolina General Statute § 14-33. These are all classified as Class 2 misdemeanors:

  • Simple Assault — This may be the threat of physical harm to another person or physical contact that does not necessarily result in injury
  • Simple Assault and Battery — When battery is added to an assault charge, it is usually because an alleged victim sustained some type of injury as a result of the alleged offender’s actions
  • Simple Affray — This is an altercation between two or more people in a public place that either escalates or has the potential to escalate into a more violent situation.

The criminal history of the alleged offender and/or any injuries suffered by the alleged victim can result in more serious charges. These may include:

  • Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury, North Carolina General Statute § 14-32.4(a) — It is a Class F felony if an alleged offender assaults another person and inflicts serious bodily injury, which is defined as “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization.”
  • Assault Inflicting Injury by Strangulation, North Carolina General Statute § 14-32.4(b) — It is a Class H felony if an alleged offender assaults another person and inflicts physical injury by strangulation.
  • Habitual Misdemeanor Assault, North Carolina General Statute § 14-33.2 — It is a Class H felony if an alleged offender commits simple assault, simple assault and battery, or participates in a simple affray, causes physical injury, and has two or more prior convictions for either misdemeanor or felony assault in the prior 15 years.

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Assault Penalties in Raleigh

The punishments of alleged offenders are decided by judges using North Carolina’s “structured sentencing” system. This method of sentencing takes into account the nature of the crime an alleged offender has been charged with as well as his criminal history.

In both misdemeanor and felony cases, an alleged offender may receive one of three types of sentences. An active punishment involves incarceration in prison or jail, an intermediate punishment is a sentence of supervised probation that may involve a period or periods of confinement, and a community punishment is any sentence other than an active punishment.

With a Class 2 misdemeanor, alleged offenders are classified into one of three prior conviction levels based on their criminal histories:

  • Prior Conviction Level I — An alleged offender with no prior convictions can be sentenced to a community punishment of between one and 30 days.
  • Prior Conviction Level II — An alleged offender with one to four convictions can be sentenced to a community, intermediate, or active punishment of between one and 45 days.
  • Prior Conviction Level III — An alleged offender with five or more convictions can be sentenced to a community, intermediate, or active punishment of between one and 60 days.

Felony cases are much more complex, as points are assigned to the alleged offender’s criminal history and there are six different prior record levels. Additionally, there are three sentence ranges for each class of felony: the mitigated range is used for cases with mitigating factors, the aggravated range is used for cases with aggravating factors, and the presumptive range is used for cases with an equal amount of or no mitigating factors and aggravating factors.

For Class F and Class H felony assault cases, the possible sentences may be: (NOTE: Nine months of post-supervision release must be added to the end number for each of these sentencing ranges).

 

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 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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Wake County Assault Defenses

These types of offenses can often stem from police misunderstanding certain situations and simply pressing charges based upon initial observations or just one party’s version of events. It is critical for an alleged offender to work with a lawyer who will fully investigate every aspect of this type of case as part of developing the strongest possible defense.

Having a strong criminal attorney can expose weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. Some of the possible defenses that may be used against assault charges include, but are not limited to:

  • Self-defense
  • Lack of evidence
  • Defense of property
  • Defense of another person
  • Mistaken identity

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Find the Best Assault Lawyer in Raleigh

Have you been charged with committing one of these types of crimes in North Carolina? Coolidge Law Firm will fight to achieve a resolution to your case that involves the fewest possible immediate and long-term penalties.

Our firm helps clients throughout Wake County, including students attending such area schools as William Peace University, Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Shaw University, Meredith College, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. Let our Wake County assault attorneys review your case by calling (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free consultation.

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