Violence towards women is highly frowned on, no matter where you are. However, NC assault on a female is serious with equally serious legal consequences. If you are faced with this particular charge, knowing how to handle this case and why you need to hire an attorney is essential.
What are the Elements of an NC Assault on a Female?
NC Criminal Law details the various elements of an NC assault on a female case. An assault is a misdemeanor charge with the same penalties as a class 1 offense. The state, via the office of the District Attorney, is the one to prosecute this case and must offer proof for any criminal charge.
The following are the critical elements involved in an assault on a female case in North Carolina:
- A defendant assaulted a victim
- A defendant acted with intent
- A lack of lawful excuse for the assault
- A female victim was involved
An “attempted assault” is also recognized by the North Carolina Law. It refers to an attempt by a person (the defendant) to use violence or force that could injure another person (the victim). Even if no physical harm occurred, someone could still be charged with an assault in North Carolina. The law recognizes multiple types of assault, especially toward female victims.
What is Assault on a Female in NC?
Assault on a female in NC law specifies the nature of the crime committed towards a female victim. This law states that anyone who commits an act of violence against a female is guilty based on the Class 1 misdemeanor classification, especially if the defendant is a male and over 18 years of age.
Most cases of assault on a female occur in a domestic situation, but they can also happen elsewhere. But when there is a domestic relationship between the defendant and the female victim, the former could face additional charges on top of the assault charges.
The penalties for NC assault on a female vary according to the classification of the case.
If the charge is listed as an “assault,” it does not always involve physical violence. Instead, it could mean that the defendant threatened the victim using violence or a deadly weapon to submit them to an act or to inflict pain or injury. Even if the assailant did not touch the victim, they could still be charged with assault.
On the other hand, a “battery” charge is when there was an intent to hurt or cause injury to the victim. Therefore, battery charges always involve physical contact and are intentional.
Finally, “affray” is when a fight occurs between two individuals (a male and a female). During the fight, the female victim is hurt, or the assailant causes fear in the victim.
Does an Assault Charge Constitute an Injury?
No. Even if a female is not injured during an attack, they could still file an assault charge against the defendant. As long as the prosecutor can demonstrate there was intent to inflict harm or injury, the victim could pursue an assault charge.
What is the Penalty for Assault on a Female in NC?
The penalties for assault on a female in North Carolina are the same as any Class 1 misdemeanor charges. It is the highest misdemeanor charge in the state’s sentencing structure. The specific penalties that a defendant will face vary according to several factors, such as prior criminal convictions of the defendant, the victim’s age, and the extent of the injury.
As such, the penalties for this type of assault charge could be one of three levels.
- Active Punishment
The first penalty for assault on a female charge in NC is called active punishment. The defendant could face 60 to a maximum of 150 days in prison. The actual sentence depends on the details of the assault case, regardless of whether you’re a first-time offender or not.
- Intermediate Punishment
The intermediate punishment sentences the defendant to 60 days in prison. But if there are other misdemeanor convictions in their record, the sentence could go up to 150 days. The defendant will undergo supervised probation as they serve their sentence.
- Community Punishment
Community punishment is the least serious penalty for assault on a female in North Carolina. The defendant is under probation (supervised or unsupervised) and will be asked to perform community service. Depending on the circumstance around the case, the defendant must also undergo house arrest or substance abuse treatment.
Domestic Violence Offense in NC
Assault on a female in NC is considered a domestic violence offense when it involves a female victim with whom the assailant is in a relationship, whether married or living together. It is a grave crime in North Carolina. The law recognizes domestic violence against a female in the following cases:
- Romantic partners
- Siblings or parents
Assault on a female in NC is considered a felony when a credible threat or physical harm is caused to the other person. For example, the victim suffered a life-threatening injury, or there was an intent to kill. Sexual assault is also considered a felony in NC, even those with whom the female has a personal relationship.
Meanwhile, stalking and harassment could also result in felony charges, especially if it causes emotional distress to the victim.
Criminal Defense for Assault on a Female in NC
A criminal charge in North Carolina can have serious and long-term consequences. As mentioned, NC assault on a female is a Class 1 misdemeanor. You could go to jail if you don’t have an excellent defense in this type of case, and the sentence could be worse if you have previous criminal convictions.
Each case is different. That’s why you need an experienced attorney with experience in assault cases who can help you craft a solid defense strategy to help reduce your sentence or have the case dropped altogether. If you are investigated for an assault on a female charge, speak to your lawyer right away. Remember your Fifth Amendment rights; don’t be compelled to speak without legal counsel. If you do, whatever you say can be used against you.
If you don’t have a lawyer, you must look for an experienced assault charge attorney in North Carolina. Choose a lawyer with a proven track record to help with your case.