If you are facing misdemeanor assault charges in North Carolina, or a more severe felony offense charge for assault with a deadly weapon, our Raleigh criminal defense attorney can help.
Having had successful outcomes in cases similar to yours, your criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of J.M. Kotzker understands the complex issues associated with an assault charge, and how the circumstances surrounding an assault case can be further complicated when the accused allegedly used a deadly weapon.
During your free consultation, we will review your case and work hard to get your charges lessened or even dismissed. We do not want to see your rights violated or for you to be taken advantage of by the criminal justice system, so we have everything you need to know to get started fighting your criminal charges. Our shared goal is to avoid a lengthy prison sentence or the risk of a felony charge on your permanent criminal record.
What Is Considered Assault In North Carolina?
Simply put, assault is classified as a physical attack on another person. In North Carolina law, there are many types of assault that can occur, with some charges having more severe punishments than others. There are specifications of the types of offenses that fall under the umbrella term of “assault.”
The following types of assault outlined by North Carolina general statutes are:
- Simple assault: A verbal or physical attack on someone without injury.
- Simple affray: A physical altercation with someone taking place in a public space and resulting in injury.
- Domestic violence: A physical attack on your spouse or partner that can result in either a felony or misdemeanor offense, depending on the circumstances surrounding the assault.
- Assault with a serious injury: A misdemeanor assault where the victim needs medical attention due to an injury caused by the assault.
- Assault with a deadly weapon: A misdemeanor offense where the victim was attacked with an object or weapon that could inflict harm.
- Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill: An attack on another person by use of an object or weapon. If serious harm has been inflicted on the victim or there was an alleged intent to kill, this felony offense can carry severe punishments.
- Strangulation assault: A felony charge where strangulation occurred.
- Sexual battery: Sexual conduct with an individual who did not consent or was unable to consent to unwanted sexual contact carries misdemeanor assault charges.
What Constitutes Assault With A Deadly Weapon?
When one person inflicts physical injury on someone by using a weapon, it is a serious offense that can carry a prison sentence and remain on your permanent record, making it difficult for you to secure employment and housing in the future once a background check is performed.
When you are charged with assault with a deadly weapon, it is the burden of the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was intent to kill and that the assault intended serious injuries imposed on the victim. Your defense attorney will provide aggressive representation that employs proven strategies to create reasonable doubt within elements of the crime to give the defendant- you, the best possible chance of avoiding conviction.
It’s important to understand what constitutes an assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious harm. Additionally, it’s vital to work with a criminal defense lawyer who has experience in getting charges reduced or thrown away in order to protect your future.
What is a Deadly Weapon?
When an object or weapon is used to inflict bodily injury, an assault with a deadly weapon occurred. A “deadly weapon” refers to anything that might be used to commit murder. For example, a knife, gun, baseball bat, or another blunt object would all be considered deadly weapons inflicting serious injury.
What is Serious Injury?
Serious injury is classified as the type of injury for which the victim must seek medical attention. Assault with a deadly weapon causing a serious injury is a class E felony charge and comes with a longer sentence than a simple assault charge.
A serious injury by use of a deadly weapon charge includes circumstances that result in the following:
- Long-term or permanent pain
- Long-term or permanent impairment to a body part or organ
Intent To Kill
If it is alleged that you had the intent to kill the assault victim, you will be charged with a class C felony. The intent to kill is determined by the particular facts and circumstances of a case. If you have a history of threats, intimidation, previous assault and battery charges, or other verbal or physical altercations with the accusor, those instances will be into account.
If the prosecution can prove that the alleged victim feared for his or her life and believed you intended to cause serious injury or potential death, it can help strengthen their case. In turn, your criminal assault lawyer will work tirelessly to get your assault with a deadly weapon charges reduced, but if the case does go to trial, we will build a case that suggests a reasonable doubt toward the intent to kill.
Is Assault With A Deadly Weapon A Felony Or Misdemeanor?
In North Carolina, simple assault is classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor offense. However, as the severity of the assault escalates in seriousness, so do the criminal charges and so do the penalties.
Misdemeanor Assault With A Deadly Weapon
Once a deadly weapon is present or used, an assault charge escalates to a Class A1 misdemeanor, despite whether or not the person attacked is seriously injured. If you’ve committed assault, assault and battery, or an affray, and inflicted harm using a weapon or blunt instrument, it is important to secure legal representation with experience in representing clients who are charged with misdemeanor offenses.
Penalties For Misdemeanor Assault With A Deadly Weapon
A Class A1 misdemeanor charge is the most severe misdemeanor class charge in North Carolina. Misdemeanor assaults with a deadly weapon can be sentenced to a minimum of one day in jail and up to a maximum sentence of 150 days in jail.
Some of the additional potential penalties for misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge include:
- Satellite based monitoring
- Additional consequences based on circumstances related to your case.
Felony Conviction For Assault With A Deadly Weapon
If your assault charge with a deadly weapon includes the felony charge of the weapon inflicting serious injury or the intent to kill, there are more severe consequences.
Penalties For A Felony Conviction
The intent to kill is a Class C felony assault with a deadly weapon charge. If convicted, the prison term sentence can be anywhere between the minimum sentence of 44 months and the maximum sentence of 231 months.
The infliction of serious injury by assault with a deadly weapon is a Class E felony charge. If convicted, you face between the minimum sentence of 15 months and the maximum sentence of 88 months of imprisonment.
Sentencing will take into account any prior convictions or if this was a first-time offense.
Additional penalties may be ordered by the judge, such as:
- Court costs
- Additional consequences based on circumstances related to your case.
Can An Assault With A Deadly Weapon Charge Be Dropped?
We have had the success of getting assault with a deadly weapon assault charges dropped, so it is possible. During your initial free consultation when you and your criminal charges attorney discuss the specific details of your case, we will consider the best strategy for your legal defense in order to attempt to get your assault charges dropped.
Some potential strategies for getting your assault charge dropped or reduced might be:
- Lack of intent to kill
- Lack of serious injury
- Lack of possession of a deadly weapon
- A false accusation by the accusor
Once you and your defense lawyer go over the case and strategies for your defense, both parties will have a better picture of the legal battle you will face ahead.
Contact The Law Office Of J.M. Kotzker If You’re Facing Deadly Weapon Assault Charges In NC
Have you been accused of assault with a deadly weapon? Do you potentially face the severe felony charge of having the intent of inflicting serious injury or death? Do not hesitate to contact The Law Office Of J.M. Kotzker, P.C.
Our Raleigh assault with deadly weapon attorney has over 30 years of experience working with cases similar to yours. We understand how to investigate assault with deadly weapon charges and fight to get the charges reduced or extinguished.
Call us now at [phone] or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation. We represent clients throughout Wake County, including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, and Garner.