If you are accused of physical assault and battery against someone with whom you have been in a dating relationship with, or a member of your family or home, you need a domestic violence attorney who can offer experienced, knowledgeable counsel and aggressive defense. Charges related to domestic crime can not only lead to lengthy jail or prison sentences, they can severely damage you professionally, affect your ability to live in your own home, or see your children.
At Sandman, Finn, & Fitzhugh, we will fight on your behalf to defend against allegations of physical assault. With over 50 years of combined legal experience, including experience serving at the District Attorney’s office, we have the insight to know how to effectively challenge false allegations, interview witnesses, and do everything in our power to win your case.
What Is an Assault?
In North Carolina, the terms assault and battery are used interchangeably. Most people think of an assault charge as a charge that only comes after someone is punched or struck and injured. While that may be true, a battery is actually just the application of force, even if the force is slight, and even if the victim is not injured.
An assault in North Carolina does not ever require the victim to be touched. An assault occurs when the person charged commits some act which would put a normal person in fear of bodily harm. As an example, if a rock was thrown at a victim’s head and the victim ducked out of the way, the crime is not avoided just because the victim is quick. The crime occurred when the act, the throwing of the rock with intent to harm, was completed.
Pointing a gun or waving a knife are all forms of an assault where no touching or injury occurred. The list goes on and on and is only limited by one’s imagination. In both domestic violence cases and non-domestic crimes, an action is considered assault if it is deemed threatening or meant to intimidate another person.
An assault and battery would be considered domestic violence if it was committed against a family member, romantic partner, or someone with whom you live, and depending on the severity of the injury, a person could be facing very serious felony charges.
Types of Assault Charges Related to Domestic Violence
There are several different charges of assault in North Carolina.
Types of Assault
Simple Assault is a charge leveled when an assault of battery occurs, but there is no injury. A simple assault is a Class 2 misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Assault on a Female (AOF) occurs if a male over the age of 18 is charged with assaulting a woman, such as in a domestic violence case. A conviction for AOF is a Class A1 misdemeanor which can lead to 150 days in jail.
Additional Types of Domestic Violence Related Assaults
From the Class 2 misdemeanor of simple assault, charges can be increased, and the punishments rise depending on the presence of an additional factor. Some of those factors can include the presence or severity of any injury, the use of a weapon, the age of the victim, or the presence of a sexual offense element. Examples of possible additional charges are:
- Assault on a child under 12
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Assault inflicting injury
- Assault with a deadly weapon inflicting injury
- Assault by strangulation
- Assault on a disabled person
- Sexual battery
Civil Punishments for Physical Assault in Domestic Violence Cases
If you are accused of committing physical assault against your spouse, romantic partner, family member or someone with whom you co-habitate, criminal punishments are a serious concern, but civil punishments are also a very real possibility. These penalties can include:
- Being forced out of your house.
- Losing custody and/or visitation rights.
- Additionally, being accused of violating a protective order, which is a Class A1 misdemeanor and can be punished by up to 150 days in jail.
The damage from an assault conviction can damage your reputation and stand in the way of getting a job, finding housing, or applying for assistance.
Contact Our Raleigh Domestic Violence Attorneys Today
If you are accused of committing assault and battery against a loved one or someone in your home, you need an experienced, aggressive domestic violence defense attorney fighting on your behalf to protect your future and your good name. Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today by calling us at (919) 887-8040 or filling out our contact form to get started.