When you are charged with assault on a female, you should be worried about harsh legal consequences and a tarnished reputation that come with a conviction. Don’t risk your future by failing to take the charges seriously or trying to handle the allegations or criminal charges yourself. Instead, schedule a free initial consultation with our criminal defense attorneys by calling (980) 237-4579 today.
Our assault lawyers at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys have helped clients get assault on a female charges dismissed in the past. Our lawyers have more than 35 years of legal experience and will use their skills and knowledge to help guide you through the North Carolina criminal justice system.
Should You Hire a Lawyer?
People have mixed reactions to being charged with a misdemeanor. Some people are immediately scared and assume there’s little they can do to fight the charges. Others have heard misdemeanors are less serious crimes and aren’t as worried as they should be. The truth is between these two views.
If you are charged with any crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony, you should take it seriously. Even with misdemeanors, you face jail time, probation, court costs, fines, and other criminal penalties, if you are convicted. The collateral consequences can be devastating, too. A conviction can make it difficult to continue your education, get financial aid, find a good job, be approved for rental housing, and much more.
Never assume you can’t defend yourself successfully. Police officers and prosecutors only need probable cause to pursue charges. But probable cause is nowhere near enough to convict you. It’s up to the prosecution to prove you committed every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Throughout the criminal court process, you can and should work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to ensure your rights and freedom are protected.
Why You Should Work with Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys
When so much is on the line, you don’t want to hire just any lawyer. When you are being investigated or charged with a violent crime, such as assault on a female, you want an attorney who has experience defending against violent crimes and winning favorable results for their clients. Our team at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, has more than three decades of combined experience and a record of getting results.
Attorney Samuel J. Randall is one of only 53 Board Certified Specialists in both State and Federal Criminal Law by the North Carolina State Bar. Attorney Ryan D. Stump previously worked with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, which gives him insight into how the government prosecutes criminal cases. Attorney Anthony T. DelNero also has experience as a former prosecutor in the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, where he routinely handled a wide range of misdemeanor offenses.
Assault on a Female Charges in North Carolina
The criminal charge of Assault on a Female is found in North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) 14-33(c)(2). Under the law in North Carolina you will be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor if you commit an assault on a female as a male over the age of 18 years.
An Assault on a Female charge is a specific assault crime. Under NCGS 14-33(a), simple assault or assault and battery is typically charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor. By creating a specific crime for when an adult man assaults a woman, legislators made it clear that such an offense should be punished more severely. A Class A1 misdemeanor is the highest level of misdemeanor offenses, and if you are convicted, you will face more severe penalties, and possibly an active sentence in jail.
At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we have represented countless individuals wrongly facing domestic violence charges like assault on a female. Our Charlotte violent crime attorneys are here to fight against these false allegations and help you avoid a conviction. We know how devastating these accusations can be, which is why we are here to fight the charges and help you protect your reputation.
Is Assault on a Female a Felony in Charlotte, NC?
No, the crime of Assault on a Female is a class A1 misdemeanor. However, depending on the facts and circumstances in the case, you can face higher felony level charges. North Carolina’s assault statute specifically states that if you could be charged with a higher offense class for your conduct, the prosecutor can and should charge you with the higher offense.
If you’re a man over the age of 18 years and are accused of assaulting a woman, you will face a class A1 misdemeanor, at a minimum. 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.
What Are Serious Bodily Injuries?
Under North Carolina law, serious bodily injuries are those that cause a:
- Risk of death,
- Serious permanent disfigurement,
- Permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain,
- Permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body part or member, or
- Extended hospital stay.
Related Assault Crimes
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.
Because assault crimes can be charged as various misdemeanors and felonies, it’s important to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will scrutinize the facts of your case and measure them against the charges. If you are facing overly harsh charges, we can pursue good-faith negotiations with the prosecutor and seek to have the charges reduced.
Penalties for Assault on a Female
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 with:
- No Prior Convictions: Between one and 60 days of community, intermediate, or active punishment
- One to Four Prior Convictions: Between one and 75 days of community, intermediate, or active punishment
- Five or More Prior Convictions: Between one and 150 days of community, intermediate, or active punishment
You should never assume a judge will be lenient when determining your sentence and place you on probation. Judges have discretion in whether to give you jail time, probation, or other forms of community punishment. You should work with an experienced assault 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 convicted at trial. When an experienced attorney mounts your defense, the judge may be more inclined to sentence you to a minimum amount of time in jail or none at all.
Defending Against Assault on a Female Charges in Charlotte
Never give up hope against assault charges. There are ways to defend against these accusations, which could lead to an acquittal or a lenient punishment. Our team at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, scrutinizes the evidence in assault cases to look for weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and possible defense strategies.
Possible defenses against assault on a female include:
- Self-defense or defense of others: There might be evidence that the woman involved in the altercation attacked you or others first. We can argue self-defense or defense of others if we show you were in fear of being hurt, and your response was proportional to the threat.
- Lack of unlawful touching or attempt: We might argue that no assault, assault or battery, or affray took place at all. We can put forth evidence that you neither touched the woman nor tried or threatened to.
- False accusations: When you have a contentious relationship with an ex-romantic partner, they might level false allegations of violence against you. We might put forth evidence that the alleged victim’s accusations are false and based on wanting revenge or to harm your reputation.
- Consent: You might have evidence that the woman involved in your case consented to the behavior she now alleges was assault.
- Lack of sufficient evidence: Always remember, it is the prosecution’s job to prove you committed this offense beyond a reasonable doubt. We will always point out to the judge and jury when the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to reach that high bar.
Common Issues Related to Assault on a Female Charges
Domestic violence accusations often involve more than one legal issue. You might face multiple criminal charges or civil law matters, like a restraining order. No matter how complex the case may seem, we are here to help you with all of the cases arising out of the allegations being made against you.
Interference with a 911 Call
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 emergency communication to 911 or local police, then you may be charged with the crime of interfering with emergency communication.
Under NCGS 14-286.2, if you intentionally interfere with an emergency communication, knowing it is an emergency communication, and you are not making it yourself, you will be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor.
Restraining Orders in North Carolina
Another issue you might 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, Criminal Defense Attorneys 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.
While you are retaining an attorney to handle the DVPO, do not violate the order. If you have been ordered to have no contact with another person, whether in person, over the phone, or electronically, you should follow those instructions. Violating a restraining order, even if you believe it’s based on lies or exaggerations, will not look good before the judge.