Assault and Battery in North Carolina: What is it?


Under North Carolina Law, the definition of Assault is not found in the Statutes but, instead, is defined by common law.  Assault is any overt act or attempt, or the appearance of an attempt, with force and violence, to do some immediate physical injury to another person, or places a person in fear of immediate physical injury.  There are a number of accompanying definitions regarding attempted assaults making the offense confusing.


Like assault, Battery is not defined under North Carolina Statutes but by common law as the offensive touching of another without their consent.  In North Carolina, unlike some other states, Assault and Battery are treated the same.

Simple Affray

Also defined by common law, Simple Affray is engaging in a fight with at least one other person using physical force or violence (or any threat to use force or violence) in a public place and causing terror to other persons present.  Simple Affray can be charged against multiple people engaging in a fight and it can also be charged against someone who was no fighting but was inciting someone else to fight.

What is the Punishment for Simple Assault and Battery in North Carolina?

Simple Assault, Simple Assault and Battery and Simple Affray are class 2 misdemeanors and a conviction carries a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and up to a $1000.00 fine.

Aggravated Punishments for Assault

Certain assaults are considered aggravated offenses and carry a higher punishment classification.  An assault, battery or affray committed against a coach or sports official is a class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 120 days in jail and a fine in the court’s discretion.

A person would be guilty of a class A1 misdemeanor if convicted on an assault, assault and battery, or affray if he or she:

(1)      Inflicts serious injury upon another person or uses a deadly weapon;

(2)      Assaults a female, he being a male person at least 18 years of age;

(3)      Assaults a child under the age of 12 years;

(4)      Assaults an officer or employee of the State;

(5)      Assaults a school employee or volunteer when discharging or attempting to discharge his or her duties;

(6)      Assaults a public transit operator when discharging or attempting to discharge his or her duties;

(7)      Assaults a company police officer or a campus police in the performance of that person’s duties; or

(8)      Assaults a transportation company driver providing a transportation company service.

A class A1 misdemeanor conviction carries with it a sentence of up to 150 days in jail and a fine in the court’s discretion.

Also, any person who commits an assault, assault and battery, or affray, and inflicts serious injury upon another person, or uses a deadly weapon, on a person with whom the person has a personal relationship, and in the presence of a minor, is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor and if that person is sentenced to probation, then it has to be supervised probation in addition to any other punishments; and anyone convicted of two or more of these elevated A1 offenses are to receive a minimum 30 day active sentence in addition to any other punishments.

This above information is just touching the surface of the area of law dealing with assaults.  There are many more types of assault and the punishment levels can be even higher.  In fact, based on certain factors, some assaults can rise to the level of a felony.  These are all reasons to take an assault charge seriously and seek legal help in dealing with the situation.

Contact Us Today: Email or Call Now (336) 389-1211.

If you received a charge of Assault, Assault and Battery, or Affray in Guilford County, North Carolina, at either Greensboro or High Point courthouse, please do not delay, contact our office today.  We will help guide you through your particular set of facts and what options may be available.