Generally, assault is classified in one of two ways in North Carolina.

The first way is through an overt act or attempt that would put a reasonable person in immediate fear of physical injury.

The second way is through an obvious show of violence by an ability to inflict injury that would put a reasonable person in fear of immediate fear of physical injury. As such, a person can be guilty of assault without actually touching another person.

Generally, a person is guilty of battery when they have intentionally touched or harmed a person in an unlawful manner. However, the various statutes regarding assault use the terms “assault” and “battery” interchangeably and therefore can be easily confusing.

Misdemeanour Assault with a Deadly Weapon


Listed below are the elements and punishments of the various assault crimes that an individual can be charged with in North Carolina. In order to be convicted of any of these crimes, the State must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Simple Assault

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Commit an assault on another

Punishment

If a person is found guilty of simple assault, they have committed a Class 2 misdemeanor under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-33(a).

Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Commit an assault on another and
  2. Inflict serious bodily injury

Serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization.

Punishment

If a person is found guilty of assault inflicting serious bodily injury, they have committed a Class F felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-32.4(a).

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Commit an assault on another
  2. With a deadly weapon

A deadly weapon is any item that under the circumstances could be likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. Although there is no concrete list of all the items that would be classified as a deadly weapon, generally, guns and knives are classified as deadly weapons.

Punishment

If a person is found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, they have committed a Class A1 misdemeanor under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-33(c)(1).

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