When does assault and battery become a felony?

| May 18, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

The phrase “assault and battery” appears very frequently in crime dramas. In fact, individuals tosses this phrase around so commonly in colloquial use that many people are unaware of what this crime actually is.

The definition of assault and battery differs depending on where you are in the country. In the state of North Carolina, “assault and battery” is actually one specific crime, and not two separate ones. According to FindLaw, North Carolina has a complex sentencing formula when determining whether or not assault and battery is a misdemeanor or a felony.

Misdemeanor assault and battery

Generally speaking, the crimes of simple assault, simple assault and battery and simple affray are Class 2 misdemeanors in the state of North Carolina. It is possible for the courts to raise the charges to an A1 misdemeanor in some cases.

These include the accused inflicting serious injury on another person or using a deadly weapon during the alleged event. If the accused is a male over the age of 18 and the victim is a female, the courts will also raise the severity to an A1 misdemeanor. If the victim is a child under the age of 12, an officer of the law or employee of the state or a school employee, the courts will also raise the severity of the misdemeanor.

Felony assault and battery

North Carolina courts will increase the charge to a felony if the accused commits assault using a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting serious injury. This is a Class C felony and carries a minimum prison sentence of 44-98 months.