A Shelby County man was recently arrested after a 7-hour standoff with local police. According to reports, the 33-year-old man was involved in an altercation with his grandfather that turned violent. As the grandfather drove away, the young man fired several gunshots in the direction of the car.
At least one of the bullets struck the grandfather, causing him to lose control of the car and crash into a nearby church. After a lengthy standoff with police, the young man gave himself up and was arrested. The man is facing criminal charges for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
What is Assault?
In North Carolina, the crime of assault can be defined in one of two ways. First, assault can mean making unlawful physical contact with another person. Physical contact is unlawful if it is harmful, offensive, or made without the other person's consent. Second, assault can mean performing a “show of violence” against another person. A show of violence means making threats of violence in an effort to intimidate someone.
Assault With a Deadly Weapon
The crime of assault is aggravated when a person uses a deadly weapon to commit the crime. Since the likelihood of causing serious injury or death is much greater, the penalties imposed can be harsher.
North Carolina defines assault with a deadly weapon to mean:
- Assaulting another person
- With a deadly weapon, and
- With the intent to kill and/or inflict serious bodily injury.
What is a Deadly Weapon?
North Carolina does not explicitly define what a “deadly weapon” is. However, courts will generally consider a deadly weapon to include any item or object that can be used to cause great bodily harm or death. This can include items that have a relatively innocent primary purpose. High heels, hand tools, and pillows are all items that, when used for malicious purposes, could have the ability to inflict serious injury or death.
Penalties for Assault With a Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon is a felony in North Carolina. However, the type of felony that can be charged will depend on:
- The defendant's intent when committing the crime, and
- Whether the victim was harmed.
Assault with a deadly weapon will be a Class E Felony, punishable by 63 months in prison, when:
- The defendant acts with the intent to kill or seriously injure a victim.
Assault with a deadly weapon will be a Class C Felony, punishable by 182 months in prison, when:
- The defendant acts with the intent to kill and inflicts serious injury, or
- The defendant acts with the intent to kill.
Fight Criminal Charges in North Carolina
If you have been arrested for assault in North Carolina, call Caulder & Valentine for immediate assistance. Our criminal defense attorneys can help you fight any criminal charges that the state may decide to file. Fighting today will help protect your future. We offer a consultation to new clients, so do not hesitate to call us now.