Regardless of the circumstances that led to your arrest on assault charges, you are facing big trouble. Like other states, North Carolina takes a harsh approach to assault charges, but the laws are especially complex in this state. Although you will have a chance to defend yourself, you should understand that prosecutors typically pursue convictions for violent crimes aggressively.
Your best bet to avoid a conviction and serious consequences is to seek counsel from an experienced attorney. This allows you to discuss your circumstances candidly with someone whose only interest is advocating for you and your rights.
Unlike many other states, the penalties for assault and/or battery convictions in North Carolina can vary greatly. Courts review each case individually to determine the appropriate sentence based on the specifics of the alleged assault. Other factors such as the defendant’s prior criminal record will likely also play a role in the sentence a court delivers. Assault and battery can thus be either a misdemeanor offense or a felony.
As you might expect, felony assault convictions result in more severe penalties than misdemeanors do. For example, in assault cases involving deadly weapons that result in serious injuries, a judge may hand down a minimum sentence of imprisonment for 44 to 98 months. If the court decides that you intended to kill your alleged victim, you can be sure that your sentence will be particularly harsh.
Although most defendants feel that the situation is hopeless, remember that the prosecutor has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, you can mount a successful defense in the face of assault charges. Your chances of overcoming the charges against you are significantly better if you act quickly and secure a skilled defense lawyer.