What’s the Difference Between Assault and Battery in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, you commit an assault offense when you attempt/threaten to unlawfully touch someone. Battery, however, occurs when you intentionally touch someone without their permission or consent. The two crimes are often associated with each other, but they are technically two different actions by the accused.
Speaking to an assault lawyer is the best way to understand the charges you’re facing. On your own, you may not know what charges your actions make you liable for. You may not be able to assess possible defenses, or discover ways to get those charges reduced. At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we can help fight any accusations of assault or battery you face in the Charlotte area. Our experienced lawyers know the law, and we will fight for you throughout every step of your case.
The Difference Between Assault and Battery
The main difference between assault and battery is whether or not the offender touched the victim. Assault is the threat of an unwanted or illegal touching or creating fear that the offender will harm the victim. However, battery is actually harming or committing an unwanted touching of the victim. You do not actually have to touch the victim’s body, but may touch an extension of their person, such as something they’re holding. The crime of sexual battery is a separate issue that involves unwanted contact that was for sexual gratification, and if convicted, you will be required to register as a sex offender.
While this describes the technical difference between assault and battery, North Carolina law (NCGS 14-33) uses the term “assault” for all of these situations. You may be charged with a simple assault if you threaten someone or if you touch them in an unwanted and/or threatening manner. If you use a gun or knife to threaten or actually harm another person, your charge may include assault with a deadly weapon.
Assault and battery charges are classified as misdemeanors or felonies. The specific punishment you face depends on the details of your case. If you’re found guilty of a misdemeanor assault offense, then you could be sent to jail for a certain period of time. If you’re found guilty of a felony, however, you face a much longer term of prison.
To learn more about the penalties you face as the result of an assault and battery charge, contact an attorney at our firm today for help.
Understanding Assault in North Carolina
You can face a variety of penalties for assault, depending on the specifics of your cases. The consequences for both assault and battery charges get worse based on a number of factors, including:
- If the victim was a female
- If the victim was less than 12-years-old
- If the victim was an emergency or medical worker
- If the victim was a government employee or official
- If the victim was a campus employee or official
- If there was a minor present
- If you used a deadly weapon
- If you pointed a gun at the victim
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Assault and Battery Charges Today
Since an assault case is affected by so many details, you need to retain the help of an attorney as soon as possible. Facing charges for assault and battery is a daunting task. You’ll want someone to make sure that your side of the story is being told. With the knowledge of the lawyers at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys on your side, your case is in good hands. Call (980) 237-4579 today, or schedule a free consultation using our online form.