Although commonly used in conjunction with each other, assault and battery are two separate charges. However, both charges come with significant penalties that can include excessive fines and jail or prison time. They can also have long-lasting impacts, such as difficulty securing employment, housing, or additional educational opportunities.
To avoid the lasting effects of these charges, consult the criminal defense attorneys at Doug Edwards Law. We can put our experience and knowledge to work for you. With our help, we can review the details of your case and determine the best defense for it. While we ultimately seek your acquittal, we can push for a full dismissal of charges or a reduction of charges.
Assault and battery are two separate charges. Assault is defined as a threat of violence or physical harm directed at another person who reasonably believes the threat to be true. There is no actual physical contact between the victim and the accused potential assailant in the case of assault. Battery occurs when there is unwanted physical contact with another individual. It is a safe assumption that if a person commits battery, they also commit assault. However, if a person commits assault, they do not necessarily commit battery.
The most common forms of these charges include:
While these represent the basic charges a person could face, the circumstances of each individual case will determine any additional charges that may be added. Each charge will carry various penalties.
Mitigating factors that could play a role in charges and potential penalties include:
Other assault and battery charges include:
While these do not represent all the charges a person could face, they show the variety and range of potential charges a prosecutor will attempt to use against a suspect.
Assault and battery charges in North Carolina can be considered either misdemeanors or felonies. For individuals without any prior convictions, many less serious misdemeanors, such as simple assault or simple battery, could result in as little as 30 days in jail, fines up to $1000, victim restitution, or community service. If a person has a conviction or faces subsequent assault and battery convictions, the penalties could increase, including a rise in jail time to 60 days.
Misdemeanor-level aggravated or sexual assault and battery is considered a Class A1 or Class 1 offense. A conviction may result in penalties that include up to 150 days in jail, extensive fines, and even supervised probation.
If charged with felony assault or battery, the crime likely involved the use of a deadly weapon. The penalties faced if convicted are determined by whether the jury believes there was intent to kill the victim with the weapon. Penalties could include up to 8 years in prison and extensive fines, among others.
Choosing the right defense for your assault and battery case can help you avoid long-term penalties that can go beyond prison time or fines. Relying on the advice of an expert defense attorney, common options to choose from include:
In addition to these defenses, an attorney could seek to have the case dismissed. They might be able to prove that there was a lack of evidence or that the prosecution failed to meet the burden of proof.
Facing criminal charges of any kind can be difficult and confusing, often leaving you with more questions than answers. If you have been charged with assault and battery, you should have a team on your side that has the answers to guide you in the right direction. At Doug Edwards Law, we are the team that you need. We know every case is different. We will take the time to understand yours so we can build the right defense to help. Contact our offices today.