There are dozens of different types of assault in North Carolina, and one of the most serious misdemeanor assaults is Assault on a Female. Punishable as a Class A1 misdemeanor, a first time offender with no prior convictions could spend up to 60 days in jail.
In order to be convicted of assault on a female, the State must prove 3 things:
- the offender is male and was at least 18 years old at the time of the incident
- Assault was committed
- The victim was female.
As with all assaults, there is no requirement that physical contact occurred, or that the victim was physically injured. An assault is any overt act by one person that would place any other reasonable person in fear of imminent bodily injury. For example, punching a wall during an argument could be considered an assault, if the victim could reasonably believe that similar force would be immediately used against them.
While a simple assault is a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum active sentence of 30 days for a defendant with no prior convictions, assaulting a female can more than double that sentence. While there is no shortage of scholars who disagree, the North Carolina Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of this offense, holding that even though a male defendant is subject to a greater penalty than a female defendant who commits the same act, the statute does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.
If you have been charged with assault on a female, it would be wise to immediately seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can advise you of your options, in order to help mitigate the severity of the offense. Minick Law’s Criminal Defense Attorney’s are standing by to help you.
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Robert Gilligan is a Waynesville, NC Attorney for the Minick Law firm. He practices Family and Divorce Law, as well as Criminal and DWI defense.