In North Carolina, assault is broad category that encompasses many, many different criminal charges. These charges range from felonies to misdemeanors. Assault in North Carolina is governed by North Carolina General Statute. This blog will explore some of the more common misdemeanor assault charges in North Carolina. If you are looking to learn about felony assault charges in North Carolina, check out our blog on felony assault in North Carolina here.
Let’s start exploring some of the various types of misdemeanor assault in North Carolina.
Simple Assault, Battery, or Affray
Simple assault is the least serious assault charge in North Carolina. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Any person who commits a simple assault, or a simple assault and battery, or participates in a simple affray (public fighting) is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Aggravated misdemeanor forms of Assault, Assault and Battery, or Affray (public fighting)
It is a Class 1 misdemeanor if a person commits an assault, assault and battery, or affray under the following circumstances:
- Assault and battery against a sports official when the sports official is discharging or attempting to discharge official duties at a sports event (or immediately after the sports event at which the sports official discharged official duties.)
It is a Class A1 misdemeanor if a person commits an assault, assault and battery, or affray under the following circumstances:
- Assault on a female – a male over 18 assaults a female
- Assault on a child under age 12 (assault is committed by an adult)
- Assault on a government official while the official is discharging his duties
- Assault on a school employee or volunteer while the employee or volunteer is discharging her duties
- Assault inflicting serious injury (but not “serious bodily injury”)
- Assault with a deadly weapon (see below)
Assault by pointing a gun
Assault by pointing a gun is a Class A1 misdemeanor. A person can be charged with this crime in North Carolina if they point a gun (loaded or unloaded) at another person. It does not matter if the act was intended as actual threat or just for “fun”.
Assault with a deadly weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon is another assault charge in North Carolina. This offense has both misdemeanor and felony versions. The misdemeanor version of this offense is a Class A1 misdemeanor. In this version (misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon) a deadly weapon is used but the assault neither results in serious bodily injury nor was carried out with intent to kill.
What is a deadly weapon?
- In North Carolina, a “deadly weapon” is basically anything that could be used to kill someone. A gun, knife, car, ax, baseball bat (or other blunt object) could all be considered to be deadly weapons.
In addition to misdemeanor assault charges, North Carolina recognizes many types of felony assault charges. We explore these types of assault charges in our Felony Assault in North Carolina Blog.
If you have are facing an assault charge in North Carolina, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your options. The criminal defense lawyers at Gilles Law can provide you with insight into your charges. Call us today at 980-272-8438.