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Winston-Salem Assault & Battery Attorneys

Assault and battery sound like two separate criminal offenses, but the terms are often used in conjunction in the North Carolina General Statutes. Anybody facing assault and battery charges in North Carolina will want to work with an experienced Winston-Salem assault & battery lawyer because convictions in these cases can carry very steep consequences.

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WInston-Salem Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our clients are people, not case numbers

We treat our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Possible defenses in these cases can include claims of self-defense, defense of other people or property, misidentification by police, or alleged victims consenting to fight you. Anybody who is facing these types of accusations will want to evaluate all of their legal options.

Types of Cases Our Winston-Salem Assault & Battery Lawyer Handles

Assault and battery offenses in the North Carolina General Statutes include:

  • Assault on executive, legislative, or court officer, North Carolina General Statute § 14-16.6 – An alleged offender who assaults any executive officer, legislative officer, or court officer, or assaults another person as retaliation against any executive officer, legislative officer, or court officer because of the exercise of their duties, or an alleged offender who performs a violent attack upon a residence, office, temporary accommodation or transport means of any one of those officers in a manner likely to endanger the officer faces Class I felony punishments. If an offense involves the use of a deadly weapon or the alleged offender inflicts serious bodily injury to any legislative officer, executive officer, or court officer, the offense is punishable as a Class F felony.
  • Assault inflicting serious bodily injury on an unborn child, North Carolina General Statute § 14-23.5 – An alleged offender commits assault inflicting serious bodily injury on an unborn child when they commit a battery on a mother of an unborn child, and the child is born alive while suffering serious bodily harm as a result of the battery. This offense is a Class F felony.
  • Battery on an unborn child, North Carolina General Statute § 14-23.6 – An alleged offender commits battery on an unborn child if they commit a battery on a pregnant woman. This is a Class A1 misdemeanor.
  • Sexual battery, North Carolina General Statute § 14-27.33 – An alleged offender commits sexual battery if they, for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, engage in sexual contact with another individual by force and against the will of the other person; or who has a mental disability, is mentally incapacitated, or is physically helpless, and the alleged offender knows or should reasonably know that the alleged victim has a mental disability or is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless. This is a Class A1 misdemeanor.
  • Maliciously assaulting in a secret manner, North Carolina General Statute § 14-31 – An alleged offender who in a secret manner maliciously commits an assault and battery with a deadly weapon upon a person with the intent to kill the other person, notwithstanding the person so assaulted may have been conscious of the presence of their adversary, faces Class E felony punishment.
  • Felonious assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury, North Carolina General Statute § 14-32 – An alleged offender who assaults another person with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicts serious injury commits a Class C felony. An alleged offender who assaults another person with a deadly weapon and inflicts serious injury or assaults another individual with a deadly weapon with intent to kill commits a Class E felony.
  • Assaults on individuals with a disability, North Carolina General Statute § 14-32.1 – A person with a disability is an individual with one or more of the following issues that substantially impair their ability to defend themself: Any physical or mental disability, including blindness, deafness, decreased use of arms or legs, intellectual disability, or mental illness; or an infirmity. An alleged offender who commits any aggravated assault or assault and battery on an individual with a disability commits a Class F felony. An alleged offender commits an aggravated assault or assault and battery on an individual with a disability if the alleged offender does any of the following: Inflicts serious injury or serious damage to an individual with a disability; Uses a deadly weapon or another means of force that is likely to inflict serious injury or serious damage to an individual with a disability; Intends to kill an individual with a disability. An alleged offender who commits a simple assault or battery upon an individual with a disability commits a Class A1 misdemeanor.
  • Assault inflicting serious bodily injury; strangulation, North Carolina General Statute § 14-32.4 – An alleged offender who assaults another individual and inflicts serious bodily injury commits a Class F felony. An alleged offender who assaults another person and inflicts physical injury by strangulation commits a Class H felony.
  • Misdemeanor assaults, batteries, and affrays, simple and aggravated, North Carolina General Statute § 14-33 – An alleged offender who commits a simple assault or a simple assault and battery or participates in a simple affray commits a Class 2 misdemeanor. An alleged offender who commits any assault, assault, and battery, or affray commits a Class 1 misdemeanor if they commit an assault and battery against a sports official when such official is either discharging or attempting to discharge their official duties at a sports event, or immediately after the sports event at which the official performed official duties. An alleged offender who commits any assault, assault and battery, or affray commits a Class A1 misdemeanor if they inflict serious injury upon another individual or use a deadly weapon; assault a female, with the alleged offender being a male person at least 18 years of age, assault a child less than 12 years old; assault an officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision of the state, when they are discharging or attempting to discharge their official duties; assault a school employee or school volunteer when they are discharging or attempting to discharge their duties, or assault a school employee or school volunteer as a result of the discharge or attempt to discharge their duties; assault a public transit operator, including a public employee or a private contractor who is employed as a public transit operator, when they are discharging or attempting to discharge their duties; assault a company police officer or a campus police officer in the performance of their duties; assault a transportation network company (TNC) driver providing a transportation network company (TNC) service. An alleged offender who inflicts serious injury upon another person or uses a deadly weapon on an individual the alleged offender has a personal relationship with and in the presence of a minor commits a Class A1 misdemeanor.
  • Habitual misdemeanor assault, North Carolina General Statute § 14-33.2 – An alleged offender commits the offense of habitual misdemeanor assault if they violate any of the provisions of North Carolina General Statute § 14-33 and cause physical injury and have two or more prior convictions for misdemeanor or felony assault, with the earlier of those two prior convictions happening no more than 15 years prior to the date of the current violation. This offense is a Class H felony.
  • Assaulting by pointing gun, North Carolina General Statute § 14-34 – An alleged offender who points a gun or pistol at any individual, either in fun or otherwise, whether the gun or pistol is loaded or not loaded, commits a Class A1 misdemeanor.
  • Assault with a firearm or other deadly weapon upon governmental officers or employees, company police officers, or campus police officers, North Carolina General Statute § 14-34.2 – An alleged offender who commits an assault with a firearm or another deadly weapon on an officer or other employee of either the state or a political subdivision of the state, a company police officer, or a campus police officer while they are in the performance of their duties commits a Class F felony.
  • Assault with a firearm on a law enforcement, probation, or parole officer, or on a member of the North Carolina National Guard, or on a person employed at a State or local detention facility, North Carolina General Statute § § 14-34.5 – An alleged offender who commits an assault with a firearm on a probation officer, parole officer, or law enforcement officer while they are in the performance of their duties commits a Class D felony. An alleged offender committing assault with a firearm upon a member of the North Carolina National Guard while they are in the performance of their duties commits a Class E felony. An alleged offender committing assault with a firearm on a person employed at a detention facility operated under the jurisdiction of either the state or a local government while they are in the performance of their duties commits a Class D felony.
  • Assault or affray on a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, medical responder, and hospital personnel, North Carolina General Statute § 14-34.6 – An alleged offender commits a Class I felony if they commit an assault or affray causing physical injury on any of the following persons while they are either discharging or attempting to discharge official duties: An emergency medical technician or other emergency health care provider; A medical responder; Hospital personnel and licensed healthcare providers providing or attempting to provide health care services to patients; A firefighter; Hospital security personnel. An alleged offender commits a Class G felony if they violate inflict serious bodily injury or use a deadly weapon other than a firearm. An alleged offender commits a Class E felony if they use a firearm.
  • Certain assaults on a law enforcement, probation, or parole officer, or on a member of the North Carolina National Guard, or on a person employed at a State or local detention facility, North Carolina General Statute § 14-34.7 – An alleged offender commits a Class F felony if they assault a law enforcement officer, probation officer, or parole officer while the officer is discharging or attempting to discharge their official duties and inflicts serious bodily injury on the officer. An offense is a Class F felony if the alleged offender assaults a member of the North Carolina National Guard while they are discharging or attempting to discharge their official duties and inflicts serious bodily injury on the member. An alleged offender commits a Class F felony if they assault a person employed at a detention facility operated under the jurisdiction of either the state or a local government while they are in the performance of their duties and inflict serious bodily injury on the employee. An alleged offender commits a Class I felony if they do any of the following: Assault a probation officer, parole officer, or law enforcement officer while they are discharging or attempting to discharge their official duties and inflict physical injury on the officer; Assault a person employed at a detention facility operated under the jurisdiction of either the state or a local government while they are in the performance of their duties and inflict physical injury on the employee; Assault a North Carolina National Guard member while they are discharging or attempting to discharge their official duties and inflict physical injury on the member.
  • Assaulting a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal, North Carolina General Statute § 14-163.1 – An alleged offender who knows or has reason to know that an animal is an assistance animal, law enforcement agency animal, or a search and rescue animal and willfully kills the animal commits a Class H felony. An alleged offender who willfully causes or attempts to cause serious harm to the same animal commits a Class I felony. An alleged offender who willfully causes or attempts to cause harm to the same animal commits a Class 1 misdemeanor. An alleged offender who willfully taunts, teases, harasses, delays, obstructs, or attempts to delay or obstruct the same animal in the performance of its duty commits a Class 2 misdemeanor.
  • Assault on emergency personnel, North Carolina General Statute § 14-288.9 – An alleged offender who commits an assault causing physical injury upon emergency personnel commits a Class I felony. An alleged offender who commits an assault upon emergency personnel with or through the use of any dangerous weapon or substance commits a Class F felony.

Possible Criminal Penalties in Winston-Salem

There are three types of possible penalties for a misdemeanor conviction. They include:

  • Active Punishment – A jail sentence the alleged offender serves in a local or state jail or another confinement facility.
  • Intermediate Punishment – An intermediate punishment may involve a judge sentencing the alleged offender to supervised probation with possible house arrest provisions, electronic monitoring, drug treatment court, and brief periods of time in a jail or other confinement facility.
  • Community Punishment – Community punishment usually forgoes all jail time and instead involves a fine, probation, and or community service.

Sentences in North Carolina are also based on prior conviction levels, with the three levels being:

  • Level I – No previous convictions.
  • Level II – One to four previous convictions.
  • Level III – Five or more previous convictions.

After a judge reviews an alleged offender’s prior convictions, sentences can include:

  • Class 3 Misdemeanors – Up to 30 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment and a $200 fine.
  • Class 2 Misdemeanors – Up to 60 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment and a $1,000 fine.
  • Class 1 Misdemeanors – Up to 120 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment and a fine with no statutory maximum that is at the judge’s discretion.
  • Class A1 Misdemeanors – Up to 150 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment and a fine with no statutory maximum that is at the judge’s discretion.

When it comes to a felony, a court must determine an alleged offender’s prior criminal record level. Every prior conviction gets points as follows:

  • Every prior Class A felony conviction – 10 points
  • Every prior Class BI felony conviction – 9 points
  • Every prior Class B2, C, or D felony conviction – 6 points
  • Every prior Class E, F, or G felony conviction – 4 points
  • Every prior Class H or I felony conviction – 2 points
  • Every prior misdemeanor conviction – 1 point

Record levels are then determined as follows:

  • Level I – 0 to 1 point
  • Level II – 2 to 5 points
  • Level III – 6 to 9 points
  • Level IV – 10 to 13 points
  • Level V – 14 to 17 points
  • Level VI – 18 or more points

The court can then either sentence an alleged offender within a presumptive range, aggravated range, or mitigated range. Felonies can result in the following prison sentences (fines are at a judge’s discretion):

  • Class I felony – Up to 12 months
  • Class H felony – Up to 25 months
  • Class G felony – Up to 31 months
  • Class F felony – Up to 41 months
  • Class E felony – Up to 63 months
  • Class D felony – Up to 160 months
  • Class C felony – Up to 182 months
  • Class B2 felony – Up to 393 months
  • Class B1 felony – Up to life without parole
  • Class A felony – Up to death or life with or without parole

Imprisonment and fines are the obvious consequences, but there can be other consequences to both misdemeanor and felony convictions in North Carolina. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) or “green card holder” may see negative impacts on their immigration status, but even United States citizens can still have to deal with the loss of a professional license, possible termination of child custody rights, and forfeiture of their gun rights.

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

Misdemeanors and felonies can both involve mitigating or aggravating factors that might impact the possible punishment a court imposes. Aggravated and mitigated sentences are established under North Carolina General Statute § 15A-1340.16, and mitigating factors include:

  • The alleged offender committed the alleged offense under coercion, duress, threat, or compulsion that was not sufficient to constitute a defense but significantly reduced culpability.
  • The alleged offender was a passive participant or played a minor role in the commission of the alleged offense.
  • The alleged offender was suffering from a mental or physical condition that was insufficient to constitute a defense but significantly reduced the alleged offender’s culpability for the alleged offense.
  • The alleged offender’s age, immaturity, or limited mental capacity at the time of commission of the alleged offense significantly reduced the alleged offender’s culpability for the alleged offense.
  • The alleged offender made substantial or full restitution to the alleged victim.
  • The alleged victim was more than 16 years of age and was a voluntary participant in the alleged offender’s conduct or consented to it.
  • The alleged offender assisted in the apprehension of another felon or testified truthfully on behalf of the prosecution in another felony prosecution.
  • The alleged offender acted under strong provocation, or the relationship between the alleged offender and the alleged victim was otherwise extenuating.
  • The alleged offender could not reasonably foresee that the alleged offender’s conduct would cause or threaten serious bodily harm or fear, or the alleged offender exercised caution to avoid such consequences.
  • The alleged offender reasonably believed that the alleged offender’s conduct was legal.
  • Prior to an arrest or at an early stage of the criminal process, the alleged offender voluntarily acknowledged wrongdoing in connection with the alleged offense to a law enforcement officer.
  • The alleged offender has been a person of good character or has had a good reputation in the community in which the alleged offender lives.
  • The alleged offender is a minor and has reliable supervision available.
  • The alleged offender has been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • The alleged offender has accepted responsibility for the alleged offender’s criminal conduct.
  • The alleged offender entered and is currently involved in or successfully completed a drug treatment or alcohol treatment program following an arrest and prior to trial.
  • The alleged offender supports the alleged offender’s family.
  • The alleged offender has a support system in the community.
  • The alleged offender has a positive employment history or is gainfully employed.
  • The alleged offender has a good treatment prognosis, and a workable treatment plan is available.
  • Any other mitigating factor that is reasonably related to the purposes of sentences.

Aggravating factors include:

  • The alleged offender induced others to participate in the commission of the alleged offense or had a position of leadership relating to other participants.
  • The alleged offender joined with more than one other person in committing the alleged offense and was not charged with committing a conspiracy.
  • The commission of the alleged offense was for the benefit of, or at the direction of, a criminal gang as defined by North Carolina General Statute § 14-50.16A(1), with intent to either further, promote, or assist in criminal conduct by gang members, and the alleged offender was not charged with committing a conspiracy.
  • The alleged offense was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or effecting an escape from custody.
  • The alleged offender was hired or paid to commit the alleged offense.
  • The alleged offense was committed to disrupt or hinder the lawful exercise of any governmental function or the enforcement of laws.
  • The alleged offense was committed against or caused serious injury to a present or former Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety employee, law enforcement officer, jailer, emergency medical technician, fireman, ambulance attendant, social worker, justice or judge, clerk or assistant or deputy clerk of court, magistrate, juror, prosecutor, or witness against the alleged offender, while they were engaged in the performance of official duties or because of the exercise of their official duties.
  • The alleged offense was committed against or proximately caused serious harm as defined in North Carolina General Statute § 14-163.1 or death to a law enforcement agency animal, assistance animal, or search and rescue animal as defined in North Carolina General Statute § 14-163.1, while engaged in the performance of the animal’s official duties.
  • The alleged offense was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.
  • The alleged offender knowingly created a considerable risk of death to more than a single person by means of a weapon or device that would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person.
  • The alleged offender held public elected or appointed office or public employment at the time of the alleged offense, and the alleged offense was directly related to the conduct of the office or employment.
  • The alleged offender is a firefighter or rescue squad worker, and the alleged offense is directly related to their service as a firefighter or rescue squad worker.
  • The alleged offender either was armed with or used a deadly weapon at the time of the alleged crime.
  • The alleged victim was very young, very old, mentally or physically infirm, or disabled.
  • The alleged offender committed the alleged offense while on pretrial release on another charge.
  • The alleged offender has, during the 10-year period prior to the commission of the most recent alleged offense, been found by a court to be in willful violation of conditions of probation that were imposed pursuant to a suspended sentence or was found by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission to be in willful violation of a condition of parole or post-release supervision imposed pursuant to their release from incarceration.
  • The alleged offender involved a person under the age of 16 in the commission of the crime.
  • The alleged offender committed the alleged offense and either knew or reasonably should have known that a person under 18 years of age who was not involved in the commission of the alleged offense was in a position to see or hear the alleged offense.
  • The alleged offense involved an attempted or actual taking of property of great monetary value or damage causing great monetary loss, or the alleged offense involved an unusually large quantity of contraband.
  • The alleged offender took advantage of a position of trust or confidence, including a domestic relationship, to commit the alleged offense.
  • The alleged offense involved the sale or delivery of a controlled substance to a minor.
  • The alleged offense involved the manufacture of methamphetamine and was committed where a person under 18 years of age lives, was present or was otherwise endangered by exposure to the drug, its ingredients, its by-products, or its waste.
  • The alleged offense is the manufacture of methamphetamine and was committed in a dwelling that is one of four or more contiguous dwellings.
  • The alleged offense for which the alleged offender stands convicted was committed against an alleged victim because of the alleged victim’s race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin.
  • The alleged offender does not support the alleged offender’s family.
  • The alleged offender has previously been adjudicated delinquent for an alleged offense that would be either a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, or E felony had it been committed by an adult.
  • The serious injury inflicted upon the alleged victim is permanent and debilitating.
  • The alleged offense is a violation of North Carolina General Statute § 14-43.11 (human trafficking), North Carolina General Statute § 14-43.12 (involuntary servitude), or North Carolina General Statute § 14-43.13 (sexual servitude) and involved multiple alleged victims.
  • The alleged offense is a violation of North Carolina General Statute § 14-43.11 (human trafficking), North Carolina General Statute § 14-43.12 (involuntary servitude), or North Carolina General Statute § 14-43.13 (sexual servitude), and the alleged victim suffered serious injury as a result of the alleged offense.
  • Any other aggravating factor that is reasonably related to the purposes of sentencing.

Winston-Salem Courts

In North Carolina, the district court hears criminal cases involving misdemeanors and infractions, while the superior court handles felony cases. For Winston-Salem, the district and superior courthouse are the Forsyth County Courthouse, located at:

200 N Main St.
Winston Salem, NC 27101
(336) 779-6300

Forsyth County is District 22, but other nearby courts include:

District 22b Davidson County District Court Thomasville
22 Randolph Street
Thomasville, NC 27360
(336) 474-3185

District 18 Guilford County District Court High Point
505 East Green Drive
High Point, NC 27262
(336) 801-5252

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Winston-Salem Assault & Battery Lawyer

Are you facing assault or battery allegations in Winston-Salem or a nearby area of North Carolina? Make sure you talk to Graystar Legal attorney as soon as possible for legal assistance fighting the criminal charges and achieving the most favorable possible outcome.

Our firm can conduct our own independent investigation into the incident that led to your charges and then work to get a reduction in or dismissal of the charges. Contact us online to set up a free consultation so we can further discuss your case.

FIRST OFFENDER PROGRAM

FIRST OFFENDER PROGRAM

If this is your first offense

you may be eligible for the First Offender program. This program may help you avoid a conviction and have your charges dismissed and possibly expunged from your record.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between assault and battery?

North Carolina defines an assault as a person attempting or threatening to unlawfully touch someone, while battery is when a person intentionally touches someone without their permission or consent. While the two offenses are often associated with one another, they are actually two different actions.

What is a domestic assault and battery?

A domestic offense involves a domestic dispute, usually meaning the victim was a family member or member of your household.

What happens if the alleged victim does not want to press charges?

An alleged victim expressing a desire to drop a criminal case does not necessarily mean that the district attorney or other prosecutor assigned to the case is just going to abandon it. Charging decisions remain completely up to the prosecutor, but a victim’s desire can be a motivating factor in reducing or dismissing the charges.

We’re with you every step of the way.

investigation

1
1

Arrest

Defendant is charged.
Bond is set after the arrest and can be reviewed at any court hearing.
2
2

first appearance

If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.
3
3

Probable cause hearing

Felony cases only.
Possible Grand Jury indictment.
4
4

Trial

Misdemeanor cases are generally tried in District Court. Felonycases are presented in Superior Court.
5
5

Sentencing

If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.
outcome

Entry of plea

Plea negotiations and guilty pleas can happen any time before a verdict.

CONSEQUENCES of a criminal conviction

Top-Rated Criminal Defense

Serving the GreensboroWinston-SalemLexingtonHigh Point Piedmont Triad Area

Here are the areas we serve and the criminal courts where your charges will be heard. The best thing you can do now is speak with a lawyer and get a free consultation.

Graystar Legal

Graystar Legal

  • 224 S. Cherry Street, Suite C
    Winston Salem, NC 27101
  • 336-715-7250

GOING TO COURT?

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Davidson County Courthouse - Thomasville Branch

Davidson County Courthouse - Thomasville Branch

  • 22 Randolph St,
    Thomasville
    NC 27360

Davie County
Courthouse

  • 140 S Main St,
    Mocksville,
    NC 27028

Davidson County
Courthouse

  • 110 W Center St,
    Lexington,
    NC 27292

Forsyth County
Courthouse

  • 200 N Main St,
    Winston-Salem
    NC 27101

Guilford County
Courthouse

  • 201 S Eugene St,
    Greensboro,
    NC 27401
Guilford County Courthouse - High Point

Guilford County Courthouse - High Point

  • 201 S Eugene St,
    Greensboro,
    NC 27401