Assault is one of the most common reasons people in Charlotte and Concord get arrested. Under North Carolina law, assault is defined as an attempt or threat of violence, with an actual intention to carry it out, regardless of whether physical contact took place. Thus, while simple assault is considered a violent crime, there is no legal requirement that anyone was actually hurt. There are several different levels of assault, the least serious being simple assault. However, even a simple assault conviction can have life-changing consequences.
Assault crimes are taken very seriously in North Carolina, and if you are facing these charges, it is essential that you have a Charlotte simple assault attorney to protect your rights. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated team of Charlotte criminal defense attorneys take great pride in aggressively representing the interests of clients charged with simple assault, aggravated assault, and other violent crimes. We have more than 25 years of experience obtaining successful outcomes for our clients and look forward to seeing what we can do to help you.The Definition of Simple Assault in North Carolina
North Carolina’s simple assault law is unique in that the offense is not defined by statute but instead by the common law. Over the years, courts have determined that assault involves the unlawful touching of another person or an attempt to do so. However, to be convicted, you must actually be capable of committing the physical assault. Assault and other violent crimes are taken very seriously in North Carolina, and it is important that you have a Charlotte simple assault attorney to represent you if you have been accused of these charges.How Serious Are Assault Charges?
Simple assault is generally considered a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, there are situations where an assault crime is graded as a Class 1 misdemeanor or a Class A1 misdemeanor, such as if the assault was committed against:
- a "sports official" at any sports event;
- a person under the age of 12;
- a woman, and the defendant is a male who was at least 18 years old;
- a school employee or school volunteer; or
- a state employee or officer.
Simple assault is also considered a Class A1 misdemeanor if the crime involved the use of a deadly weapon or resulted in another person suffering serious injury. Note, however, that if the alleged victim experienced “serious physical injury,” you’ll likely face felony assault charges.Defenses to Charlotte Simple Assault Charges
There are many defenses to assault; however, determining which defense fits your situation best should be left to an experienced Charlotte simple assault lawyer. In many cases, arguing self-defense is a good choice; however, to use this defense successfully, your belief that you were threatened must have been reasonable, and the force you used must have been proportional to that which was about to be used against you.
Additionally, depending on the situation, you may be able to rely on the following defenses to simple assault:
- Fabrication – the alleged victim made up or exaggerated the allegations.
- Misidentification – the alleged victim mistakenly identified you as the person who assaulted them.
- Lack of Intent – the prosecution’s evidence that you displayed an intent to commit the assault was insufficient.
- Lack of Injuries – For more serious assaults, challenging the fact that the alleged victim suffered “serious injury” can reduce the seriousness of the offense.
If you were recently arrested for assault in Charlotte, reach out to the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, for immediate assistance. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we will ensure that you have someone to fight aggressively for you at every step of the process, starting from the moment you bring us onto your case. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients and make ourselves available to answer your questions and address your concerns whenever they come up. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 704-405-2850, or connect with us through our secure online contact form.