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Wilmington, NC Aggravated Assault Lawyer

Violent Crimes Topics

Never treat assault allegations lightly. They are violent crimes and carry a serious mark on your record potentially affecting employment, promotions, child custody, government benefits, etc. Your situation could be made even worse if certain factors apply. For instance, if you are charged with causing someone serious injury or a deadly weapon was used, you will face more severe aggravated assault charges. The consequences of aggravated assault are also much harsher, with possible incarceration and long periods of probation.

Your best option when charged with a violent crime or felony assault is to invoke your right to remain silent. Never speak with the police or answer any questions about what happened. Instead, contact aggravated assault defense lawyer Thom Goolsby and let him speak for you. These are fact-based cases, and you need someone who will fight for you in and out of court.

Call (910) 763–3339, send a text, or reach out online for a free consultation. Attorney Thom Goolsby will discuss your situation, deal with law enforcement for you and clearly explain what comes next.

NC Aggravated Assault Law

Simple assault is defined by North Carolina General Statute (NCGS) §14-33(a) as a Class 2 misdemeanor. Prosecutors do not have to prove someone was harmed to convict you of simple assault. Threatening behavior that places someone in fear of imminent harm is enough.

If convicted of simple assault, simple assault or battery, or a simple affray, then you face a few months of penalties, which may include some jail time, probation, community service, anger management classes, among other consequences.

The North Carolina criminal code describes aggravated assault under several statutes. This means various offenses are considered aggravated or felonious assault. No matter how it is charged, if aggravating factors apply, you will face a higher misdemeanor or felony. The penalties are also much more likely to result in incarceration and probation, not to mention a permanent criminal record.

To learn more about the differences between simple and aggravated assault in North Carolina, call attorney Thom Goolsby as soon as possible.

Types of Aggravated Assault

NCGS §14-31 Maliciously Assaulting in a Secret Manner

If you secretly and malicious commit assault and battery with any deadly weapon by waylaying another person, with the intent to kill, you will be charged with a Class E felony.

NCGS §14-32 Felonious Assault with a Deadly Weapon

If you assault a person with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill, and you inflict serious injury, you will be charged with a Class C felony. If you assault another person with a deadly weapon and inflict serious injury, you will be charged with a Class E felony. If you assault someone with a deadly weapon and the intent to kill, you will be charged with a Class E felony.

NCGS §14-32.1 Assault on Individuals with a Disability

If you commit an aggravated assault or assault and battery on a person with a disability, you can be charged with a Class F felony. Your actions will be considered an aggravated assault if you use a deadly weapon or other means of force likely to cause serious injury or damage; inflict serious injury or serious damage, or intend to kill someone with a disability.

NCGS §14-32.4 Assault Inflicting Serious Injury/Strangulation

If you assault someone and cause serious bodily injury, which is any injury that creates a substantial risk of death, causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or long-term condition that results in extreme pain, a permanent or long-term loss or impairment of a bodily function or organ, or prolonged hospitalization, then you will be charged with a Class F felony. If you assault someone and inflict physical injury by strangulation, you will be charged with a Class H felony.

NCGS §14-33(c) Misdemeanor Assaults, Batteries, and Affrays

You can be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor if you commit an assault, assault and battery, or affray and you inflict serious injury or use a deadly weapon; are a male over 18 years old and assault a female; assault a child under 12; assault a state officer or employee; assault a school volunteer or employee; assault a public transit operator; or assault a company or campus police officer.

NCGS §14-33.2 Habitual Misdemeanor Assault

If you are charged with assault and you caused someone physical injury, or you are accused of assaulting someone by pointing a gun, and you have two or more prior misdemeanor or felony assault convictions from within the last 15 years, then you can be charged with a Class H felony.

NCGS §14-34 Assaulting by Pointing a Gun

If you point a gun at another person, whether in jest or otherwise, and whether the gun is loaded or not, you can be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor.

If you are charged with any level of felony or misdemeanor aggravated assault, call an aggravated assault defense attorney as soon as you can. An experienced and skilled lawyer should represent you.

Penalties for Aggravated Assault

An aggravated assault sentence in North Carolina depends on the class of the offense, your criminal record, and the judge’s discretion.

If you are convicted of a Class A1 misdemeanor, you face between one and 60 days, one and 75 days, or one and 150 days of community, intermediate, or active punishment depending on your prior convictions.

If you are convicted of felony assault, the potential for incarceration is more complicated. You can be placed into one of six prior record levels. Depending on the class of the felony and your record, the North Carolina felony punishment chart provides a presumptive minimum range of imprisonment as well as mitigated and aggravated ranges.

For example, when someone is convicted of a Class F felony, the presumptive range of incarceration is 13-16 months, 15-19 months, 17-21 months, 20-25 months, 23-28 months, or 26-33 months. This does not account for aggravating factors, which can increase the penalty.

A judge can also sentence you to the maximum term of imprisonment for aggravated assault. For a Class F felony, a minimum of 16 months in prison has a maximum of 29 months. A minimum of 33 months has a maximum of 49 months in prison.

The Criminal Defense Process for Aggravated Assault

If you are arrested for aggravated assault in North Carolina, you will be taken and booked into jail. It is at this point the police may want to question you. Your response should be to remain silent and politely request an attorney. You must say this aloud. Tell the police you are invoking your right to remain silent and that you want an attorney. Then, contact aggravated assault lawyer defense Thom Goolsby right away.

Soon after your arrest, if you are not released from jail, you will go to your initial court appearance. At this point, you will hear the charges against you, reminded of your right to an attorney, and asked to enter your initial plea.

For you to be released, the magistrate may set a bail bond for felonious assault. You should talk with a lawyer about whether you are bound by an unsecured, secured, or cash bond, and depending on which, how much you need to pay to be released.

Once released from jail, your attorney will help you prepare to fight the charges. Plenty of things can happen during the pre-trial stage, including pursuing a motion to dismiss or filing motions to suppress inadmissible evidence. If the case moves forward, Attorney Thom Goolsby will prepare your defense strategy for trial. Your case can still be resolved before going to court, but this allows your attorney time to review the evidence, interview witnesses, and develop a plan that puts you in the best possible position.

You may have acted in self-defense, in defense of another, or your actions did not meet the necessary level of intent. In any event, Attorney Thom Goolsby will aggressively present your case and demonstrate there is not enough evidence to convict.

Let a Wilmington, NC Aggravated Assault Attorney Defend You

An aggravated assault charge drastically increases your chances of spending time behind bars, not to mention having a violent conviction attached to your record. To avoid or minimize these risks, you need a veteran defense attorney. With nearly three decades of legal experience in New Hanover County, Thom Goolsby has tried hundreds of criminal cases and knows how to win in and out of Wilmington courtrooms.

Contact Goolsby Law Firm online, call (910) 763–3339, or send a quick text. Initial consultations are free, confidential, and Attorney Thom Goolsby will be in touch right away.


“I lost my carry concealed permit due to the misapplication of the law by law enforcement. My guns were taken from my home, and my permit was suspended. Thank you Thom Goolsby for standing up for the Second Amendment and my gun rights. You corrected the mistake of law enforcement, and I got my permit back. I appreciate your skill and advocacy.”

- Criminal Defense Client

“Thank you for walking me through the process for getting my open container and underage possession of alcohol charges dismissed. You arranged for a very simple deferred prosecution. It was easy to comply, and my record is now clean. I appreciate your excellent help!”

- Criminal Defense Client

I am so happy I hired him. I was charged with drug and paraphernalia possession. As a college student, I could not have these convictions on my record. I am so thankful I had Senator Goolsby representing me. He went into court, worked out a wonderful solution, and my charges were dropped.

- Criminal Defense Client

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    Like any quality criminal defense attorney, Thom Goolsby may be in court when you first call, but leave a voice mail or send a text. We’ll get with you as soon as possible, so we can go over what happened, evaluate the case, and explain what comes next.