Assault is a common crime that may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. Assault generally means attempting to physically harm another person, and it may be charged even if you did not touch the other person in some cases. Assault is also called simple assault and is generally a less serious crime than assault and battery. If you are charged with simple assault, you will want to take steps to provide the best defense possible. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will assist you in vigorously defending assault charges.
Simple Assault in North Carolina
The generally accepted definition of simple assault is the attempt to physically harm another person. In order to be charged, the defendant must have unlawfully put their hands on someone or threatened to do so. They must have had the immediate ability to carry out the assault. In other words, a person must have been touched or otherwise harmed in the incident. The law does not specifically define assault, although there is quite a bit of case law that helps to define what it is. Simple assault may be upgraded to more serious charges of assault with a deadly weapon, sexual battery, or more.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”
Defenses to Simple Assault
There are a few basic defenses that may fit the details of your specific assault charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney will review the details of the charges with you to help determine the best possible defense.
Self-Defense – Self-defense is one of the most common defenses to assault charges. Self-defense means that the other person was attacking you, and you did what you needed to in order to prevent immediate serious harm or death. You will need to prove that the other person attacked you first.
Misidentification – Sometimes, the person who committed the assault has been misidentified. This can occur when witnesses provide an inaccurate description or when the police arrest the wrong person. To provide a misidentification defense, you will need to argue that the police arrested the wrong person.
Alibi – If you were wrongly arrested and charged, you may defend the charges by proving that you were not at the place where the assault occurred at the time. You will need to provide proof of your whereabouts through some means, such as through an independent witness, surveillance video, or some other means.
Consent – An assault may be negated by proving that you and the other party consented to physically fight each other. For example, if you and the other person both choose to fight, you will need to prove that the other party consented to the event, and therefore, you should not be held responsible.
It is important to immediately defend assault charges. A criminal conviction could result in severe penalties that might include a jail sentence, fines, community service, probation, and more. If you are charged with assault, it is best not to speak to law enforcement until your attorney is present. Your lawyer will gather evidence in your case to help provide the best defense possible. Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a free initial consultation.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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