North Carolina Assault Charge
In general, assault in North Carolina is defined as performing an intentional act that gives another cause to think you are about to cause physical harm. Whether you actually do cause physical harm is beside the point. The mere move or threat to cause physical harm is enough to warrant assault charges in most cases.
For example, waving a knife at someone or threatening someone with your fists are both examples of assault. It is important that the victim in such crimes is aware that the assault is taking place. For example, if you point a gun at someone from a distance without his or her knowledge, this technically is not assault. However, if you point a gun at someone who is aware of it, then you have committed assault, regardless of whether the gun was loaded.
Under North Carolina assault law, there are multiple ways you can be charged with assault. Some are:
· Threatening someone with imminent bodily injury;
· Intentionally causing bodily injury;
· Intentionally causing physical contact when the person knows such contact will be considered offensive.
As you can see, there is a broad range of actions that can warrant North Carolina assault charges. Causing physical harm, threatening physical harm, and making contact that implies a threat can all get you in trouble.
In general, there are two categories of defenses against assault charges. The first is to attempt to dispute the evidence presented by the prosecution. This type of defense will rely on the facts of your case and your ability to refute the evidence, including witness testimony.
The other type of defense, and the one most choose to rely on in assault cases, is known as an affirmative defense in North Carolina. This means that you do admit to committing the actions alleged by the prosecution. However, you present evidence to back up a claim that your actions were legally justified.
One type of actionable defense used in assault cases is self-defense. Self-defense is the act of using force or threatening force to defend oneself or another person who is in danger of being imminently harmed by someone else.
For the self-defense claim to work in North Carolina, you must have had a justified reason for using reasonable force. If you use a gun in a fist fight, a self-defense claim will likely not work. Also, if you provoked the other person into acting, a self-defense claim will likely not work.
For more information on assault charges in North Carolina, including Simple Assault and Assault on Female, please contact Wilson Williams Law at 1-800-208-6409. We handle Wake County assault charges and Durham County assault charges.