Assault charges may follow an incident in which one person allegedly causes harm to another. Any charges that involve an act of violence against another person can result in serious penalties. If you are dealing with accusations of assault or battery, it is in your interests to take your situation seriously and move forward with developing a strong defense strategy as soon as possible.
Assault and battery charges often go together, but they are two separate things. The first step in any good defense plan is to know what you are up against and understand the charges brought by the prosecution. No matter the details of your individual situation, you have the right to a presumption of innocence and to fight for a beneficial outcome to your case.
What is assault?
Assault is more than just one person causing harm to another. In fact, you could face assault charges even if there was just the attempt to cause harm and no injury actually happened. Typically, assault charges involve violent or harmful actions committed with the intent of causing harm to another person. No contact is necessary for the filing of an assault charge.
The difficult aspect of prosecuting a crime related to assault is that it requires proving that the defendant acted with the intent to cause harm. You have the right to challenge the evidence against you, including whatever is supposed to prove your intentions during the alleged assault.
What is battery?
Battery involves actual physical contact between two people. It is the intentional touching of another person without his or her consent. The contact must be harmful or grossly offensive to the victim. Intent to do harm is not a prerequisite for battery charges. You could face battery charges even if you did not mean to cause harm to another person; you only have to intentionally touch him or her.
Battery charges can follow an incident involving everything from a minor injury to grave physical damage. Regardless, battery is a serious criminal charge in North Carolina and can result in serious penalties.
It is in your interests to vigorously defend yourself against assault or battery charges, particularly if you are facing both at the same time. While the case against you may seem serious, a conviction or guilty plea is not your only option. Starting with an assessment of your case, you can start working on your defense options as soon as possible. After an arrest, you may feel overwhelmed, but you do not have to face these charges alone.