charged with assault or battery

Assault vs. Battery: Differentiating Between Assault and Battery Charges

In Criminal by Greensboro Attorney

No matter which side of the law you’re on, it pays to know the difference between assault and battery charges in North Carolina. If you or someone you know has been a victim of assault, it is essential to know your legal rights to defend yourself against the assailant. On the other hand, if you’ve been charged with assault or battery, it is crucial to know how the law views these crimes to defend yourself against them. 

Keep reading to learn what you must know about assault and battery charges in NC and their differences.

What is the Difference between Assault and Battery in NC?

Assault and battery are both crimes under North Carolina Law. However, they are different types of offenses, so the penalties could also differ. Additionally, within each type of crime, there are different categories depending on the nature of the crime and the extent of injuries caused (if any). 

Whether you are charged with assault or battery, both types of crimes signify that the offending party expressed the desire to inflict harm on another person through violence or the use of force. Therefore, even with no physical harm, any threat could be considered a form of assault. That is the primary difference between these criminal charges.

Types of Assault

There are two classifications for assault cases in North Carolina: simple vs. aggravated assault.

Anyone charged with a simple assault faces a misdemeanor penalty. This crime involves physical contact that results in minor injuries. Even if no physical harm was done, the assailant poses a danger of harm to the victim. Therefore, they could still be charged with simple assault.

On the other hand, an aggravated assault is a felony. It is a physical attack that results in severe bodily injury to the victim. An aggravated assault usually involves a weapon. This case is also classified as such if there is a threat of other forms of crime, such as rape. Simply put, an aggravated assault case is for any attack that involves more violence than a simple assault. 

Types of Battery Charges

Simple battery is a misdemeanor case in North Carolina. A person is charged with simple battery for inflicting harmful contact on another person (the victim). The victim could suffer from bodily injury, but it isn’t too serious or life-threatening. 

Meanwhile, an aggravated battery case involves serious bodily harm or violence. A person could be charged with aggravated battery for inflicting severe injuries and with the intent to cause harm through violence or physical force. 

Assault resulting in minor injuries.

What is the Penalty for Assault in NC?

There are two potential classifications for assault and battery charges in North Carolina: as a misdemeanor or felony case. Either way, the charged party will face severe consequences. 

A simple assault case could result in imprisonment for 30 days or subject to probation for first-time offenders. If you are a repeat offender, you could be fined $1,000 and spend up to 60 days in jail. An aggravated assault case with injury could mean up to 150 days in prison for the assailant or 150 days for the repeat offender. 

If charged with battery, the offending party could face at least 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. In addition, victim restitution and community service might be required depending on the nature of the case. 

What Happens After a Battery or Assault Charge in NC?

A victim of assault can be puzzled about what they should do next. If you are a victim, it is essential to follow the correct procedure to ensure you can gather enough evidence to support the legal charges you will file against the assailant.

The first thing you must do is to immediately seek medical attention. If you cannot get medical attention, call for emergency help so they can rescue you. If not, visit the nearest hospital for medical attention and obtain a medical report of your injuries. You can use the medical report as evidence in the case to support your charges. 

After you obtain medical care and the medical report, you can file the police report for the assault or battery. Having a police record of the incident will help you build the case against your assailant. Police reports can also be used as evidence in court. 

And the next step is to hire an attorney. Make sure to choose an attorney who specializes in assault and battery charges in North Carolina. Their expertise in these types of cases will enable the assailant to be pursued, with their knowledge of similar cases in the past. Their knowledge of the law can work to your advantage so the case can be pursued. 

Attorney who specializes in assault and battery charges.

Can You Drop Assault Charges in NC?

As in many criminal cases, a victim cannot just decide to drop a lawsuit against an assailant. Most assault cases are under ‘state’ prosecution, which means the victim cannot drop the charges on their own account. Instead, the prosecution will decide if they would accept a plea deal from the defense. 

Hiring Legal Defense for Assault and Battery in NC

If you have received an assault and battery charge in North Carolina, you need a good legal defense team. Assault and battery charges differ in their gravity depending on the details of the case. An attorney will help you form a solid defense strategy for your case to ensure you can get the least serious penalty or charge. 

One legal defense you can use in North Carolina is self-defense. However, you must provide enough evidence to support this claim. You could also file for defense if you were falsely accused of the charges and there was no probable cause or motive for the crime. 

Without an attorney, it will be challenging to navigate the complexities of the law, especially since assault and battery charges have varying levels. In addition, the classification of your case could determine how long you’ll be in jail and any other penalties you could face. A skilled attorney can help you avoid the serious consequences of such criminal charges.