Domestic violence is a serious issue across the country. Many men and women are emotionally and physically injured by family members, spouses, and romantic partners. The abuse can range from harassing phone calls to assault by strangulation, which is often an indicator that abuse can become deadly if law enforcement does not intervene. Accusations of any form of domestic abuse should be taken seriously. However, the police and prosecutors need to be careful not to wrongly charge individuals with domestic violence crimes such as assault on a female.
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we have represented many individuals wrongly accused of domestic violence who were charged with a crime. Our Charlotte violent crime attorneys are here to fight against these false allegations and help you avoid a conviction. To speak with us about the charges against you and your legal rights and options, contact us through our online contact form, or call (980) 237-4579. We offer free and confidential consultations.
Have You Been Charged With Assault on a Female?
The specific crime of assault on a female is found in North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) 14-33(c)(2). The law states you can be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor if you commit assault, assault or battery, or affray as a male person over the age of 18 years against a female.
An assault on a female charge is a specific assault crime. However, under NCGS 14-33(a), simple assault or assault and battery is charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor. By creating a specific crime for when an adult man assaults a woman, legislators were able to punish it more severely. A Class A1 misdemeanor is the highest level of misdemeanor offenses, and if you are convicted, you will face a more severe punishment.
Is Assault on a Female a Felony in Charlotte, NC?
The specific crime of assault on a female is a class A1 misdemeanor. However, the statute specifically states that if you can be charged with a higher offense class for your conduct, you can and should be.
Therefore, if you are a man over the age of 18 years and you are accused of assaulting a woman, you may or may not face a class A1 misdemeanor. If you are found to have committed an assault inflicting serious bodily injury, then under NCGS 14-32.4, you will be charged with a class H or class F felony. Assault by strangulation is a Class H felony, while assault in any other form that results in serious injuries is a class F felony.
Under the law, serious bodily injuries are those that generate a risk of death, cause serious permanent disfigurement, a coma, a permanent/protracted condition that causes extreme pain, a permanent/protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body part or member, or harm that results in extended hospital stays.
Other forms of assault are also felonies, including charges for assaulting a pregnant woman that results in injury to the fetus. Under NCGS 14-23.5, the injury to the unborn child is a separate assault offense charged as a class F felony.
Penalties for Assault on a Female
Misdemeanor assault on a female is punished based on North Carolina’s Misdemeanor Punishment Chart. The chart uses the class of the misdemeanor and your prior conviction level to determine the duration of your sentence.
For an A1 misdemeanor conviction, you may be sentenced anwhere from one to 150 days in jail.
You should never assume that a judge will be lenient when determining your sentence and place you on probation. You should work with an experienced defense attorney who will present the case in your best light and pursue a strategy that calls for the judge to mitigate the consequences, if you are in fact convicted at trial. With a Charlotte criminal defense lawyer’s help, the judge may be more inclined to sentence you to a minimum amount of time in jail.
Interference With a 911 Communications
If you are accused of assault on a female because of an argument you had with your girlfriend or wife, and during that argument you allegedly interrupted a call or other communication to 911 or local police, then you may also be charged with the crime of interfering with emergency communication.
Under NCGS 14-286.2, if you intentionally interfere with an emergency communication, knowing that the communication is an emergency communication, and you are not making the communication yourself, you will be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO)
Another issue you may face in connection with assault on a female allegations is a restraining order, known as a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) in North Carolina. If you receive notice of a DVPO hearing, contact Randall & Stump, PLLC right away. Our domestic violence lawyers regularly defend against protective orders containing false allegations, which could ruin your reputation, cause you to lose employment, and possibly complicate your relationship with your children.