What You Need to Know About Assault on a Female If You’ve Been Charged With This Offense in Charlotte

top charlotte criminal defense attorneyAssault on a female is a serious misdemeanor offense in North Carolina and carries more severe penalties than simple assault and battery. If you have been arrested and charged with this crime, you need to treat your situation very seriously. You may face a jail sentence and fine and will have a permanent criminal record if you are convicted.

What Is the Crime of Assault on a Female?

North Carolina General Statute § 14-33(c)(2) specifies when the offense of assault on a female has been committed. Under this law, an individual who commits an assault, assault and battery, or affray is guilty of a Class A-1 misdemeanor if he is a male over 18 years old and assaults a female, and there is no other law that provides a greater punishment. Although this crime can be committed in a domestic situation, this is not always the case. However, if the man and woman are in a relationship, assault on a female can be charged with other domestic violence crimes.

In order to understand when this crime is committed, it is important to know what the crimes of assault, battery, and affray are. Under North Carolina law, these crimes are defined as:

  • Assault. An assault is the intentional attempt to injure another individual through the use of violence or threatening someone with bodily harm when the perpetrator has the immediate capacity to carry out the threat. The assailant does not have to touch the victim for this crime to be committed.
  • Battery. Unlike assault, battery involves some physical contact with the victim and is the intentional, offensive touching of another person without their consent.
  • Affray. This crime is committed when there is a fight between two or more individuals in a public place that causes some individuals to be fearful.

Does the Female Have to Be Injured for Assault on a Female to Be Charged?

No. The female does not have to suffer any injuries for a male to be charged with this offense. It is sufficient for the prosecutor to prove that the accused attempted to inflict an injury on the victim or put her in fear of being hurt.

What Punishments Could You Face for Assault on a Female?

Assault on a female is a Class A1 misdemeanor—the most serious misdemeanor offense in North Carolina. Under our state’s complicated sentencing system, your punishment will depend on a number of mitigating and aggravating factors, such as your prior criminal convictions, age of the victim, and seriousness of the injuries inflicted.

There are three levels of punishment in our state: active, intermediate, and community punishment. Here are the sentences you may face if convicted of assault on a female:

  • Active. If you are sentenced to active punishment, you could face a jail sentence of 1 to 150 days. Depending on the facts surrounding the assault, you could be incarcerated for up to 60 days—even if this is your first offense.
  • Intermediate. If this is your first offense, your intermediate punishment would be for a maximum of 60 days, but this could be increased to up to 150 days if you have other misdemeanor convictions. You could be placed on supervised probation for your entire sentence or could have a split punishment, where you are sentenced to jail for a period of time before being placed on supervised probation.
  • Community. A community sentence is the least serious punishment you could face. You could be placed on supervised or unsupervised probation and may also be required to perform community service, complete a substance abuse sentence, or be placed on house arrest.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charlotte

If you are facing an assault on a female charge in Mecklenburg County, you may have strong defenses that can result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. However, you will need the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney to mount an aggressive defense strategy and be at your side during your criminal case. To learn about our extensive experience defending clients facing these charges and how we can assist you, call our Charlotte office to schedule a free consultation today.