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Assault vs. Affray: What's the Difference?

Assault vs. Affray: What’s the Difference? If you've been charged with assault or affray in North Carolina, it's important to understand the differences between these charges.

In this article, we will explain the distinctions between assault, affray, battery, and habitual misdemeanor assault.

We'll also discuss why it's important to have legal representation for criminal charges like these.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you defend your case!

What is Assault?

Under the Common Law, Assault is defined as intentionally or recklessly causing another person to fear imminent physical harm.

Interestingly, the North Carolina General Assembly has not specifically set forth a definition for Assault or Simple Assault or Battery.

In fact, North Carolina General Statute Section 14-33 refers only to the offenses as "Misdemeanor assaults, batteries, and affrays. . ."

In North Carolina, simple assault is a Class 2 misdemeanor, with the potential for up to 60 days in jail.

Simple Assaults and Batteries can become a higher level, aggravated misdemeanors, depending on the victim, the type of injury inflicted, and/or the use of a weapon.

For example, the following criminal charges in North Carolina can classified as Class A1 Misdemeanors and carry a maximum period of punishment in jail of up to 150 days:

  • Assault on a child who is under 12 years old
  • Assaults a female - Assault on a Female - AOF
  • Assault Inflicting Serious Injury
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon - AWDW

"It's important to understand, certain assaults may be classified as a felony, depending on the nature and circumstances of the allegations."

- Danny Glover, OBX Criminal Lawyer

What is an Affray?

An affray is a public fight between two or more people.

Affray is a type of criminal charge from the Common Law related to "Disturbing the Peace."

What is Sexual Assault?

In North Carolina, an affray is a Class 3 Misdemeanor and can result in up to 20 days in jail if convicted.

It's important to note that, unlike Assault, the State does not need to show that a victim was put in fear of imminent physical harm in order to prove an Affray.

"The State must only show that two or more people were fighting in public and created a disturbance, which alarmed others in the vicinity."

- Danny Glover, Outer Banks Lawyer

What is a Battery?

Battery is a term used to describe physical contact that is unwanted or offensive.

In North Carolina, Battery can be classified as either a Simple Assault (Class 2 Misdemeanor) or an Aggravated Assault (Class A1 Misdemeanor).

Aggravated assaults may include assaulting a child under the age of 12, assault on a female, misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury, and AWDW - assault with a deadly weapon.

What is Assault on a Female in North Carolina?

Assault vs. Affray: What’s the Difference? Assault on a female is defined as any physical made with the intention of intimidating, threatening, or causing harm.

It is a Class A1 misdemeanor and carries potential penalties including up to 150 days in jail and/or fines up to $500.

The court may also issue protective orders for the victims of assault on a female to ensure their safety and the safety of others.

It is important to remember that an individual does not need to be physically injured in order for an assault on a female charge to be filed.

What is a 50B or "DVPO" - Domestic Violence Protective Order?

A 50B or "DVPO" (Domestic Violence Protective Order) is an order issued by a North Carolina court in response to domestic violence situations.

This order can be used to protect alleged victims of abuse and/or their children from further harm.

A 50B may include provisions such as no contact orders, temporary custody arrangements, and other restrictions designed to keep the defendant away from the victim.

What is Domestic Violence?

A 50B order is a civil court order, and violation of its provisions can result in criminal charges.

It is important for those who are facing assault on female charges to get legal representation as soon as possible so their rights and interests can be protected.

A criminal defense attorney with substantial courtroom experience can explain the charges against you, give you the best-case and worst-case scenarios, and help ensure your rights are upheld.

If you have been charged with assault on a female on the Outer Banks, criminal defense lawyer Danny Glover Jr. is available for legal consultation.

Can You Go to Jail?

Yes, you can go to jail for violating the law regarding assaults in North Carolina.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, certain aggravated assaults may be considered a Class A1 misdemeanor that carries potential penalties, including one-hundred fifty (150) days in jail.

The severity of any sentence depends on the nature of the assault and any prior convictions, as determined as part of a PRL - Prior Record Level.

If you have been charged with assault, we believe it is critical to contact an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

What is Habitual Misdemeanor Assault in North Carolina?

Habitual Misdemeanor Assault (HMA) is a Class H felony in North Carolina, and can be charged if a defendant:

  • Violates any provisions of NCGS 14-33 and causes bodily injury OR
  • Violates NCGS 14-34 - Assault by Pointing a Gun AND
  • Has two or more convictions for any combination of Misdemeanor Assault or Felony Assault AND
  • The earlier of the two (2) prior convictions took place no more than fifteen (15) years prior to the offense date of the current alleged violation.

Habitual Misdemeanor Assault is a Class H Felony in North Carolina.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

In many situations, it is advisable to seek the help of a lawyer for legal advice or assistance.

You may need a lawyer if you are in need of specialized legal knowledge, such as when dealing with criminal charges and a possible criminal record.

The consequences of a criminal conviction can be severe and long-lasting, and you should always consider consulting with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.

How Much are Legal Fees for Criminal Charges?

Legal fees for criminal charges can vary dramatically, depending on the type of criminal charges and the severity of the case.

At the Glover Law Firm, we ordinarily charge a flat rate fee for criminal charges.

As you might understand, legal fees for a speeding ticket are less than those for serious felony or DWI - Driving While Impaired charges.

At the Glover Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing compassionate, effective legal representation.

We want to help.

Call now to schedule a meeting with Danny Glover: (252) 299-5300.

We Can Help

Assault vs. Affray: What’s the Difference? If you have been charged with an Assault, Affray, or some type of Assault and Battery in North Carolina, it's a good idea to have experienced legal representation on your side.

OBX Criminal Lawyer Danny Glover understands the complexities of the North Carolina justice system, and is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive defense services.

He is here to help you in your case and will fight for your legal rights.

Call now: (252) 299-5300.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Client Reviews
"I highly recommend working with Glover Law Firm. I live outside of the state and had a traffic citation in NC that would have required me to return to the state for court. Glover Law Firm was able to represent me for my court date such that I did not need to appear, and they facilitated a very positive outcome for me. I felt that the fee I paid Glover for their services was completely fair and reasonable for the time and money I saved." Bondwc WC.
"Danny Glover is the most meticulous and detailed lawyer I know. As a DWI Services provider in NC, I've had nothing but the best feedback from my clients about his legal services. If you want to feel like you matter but also get professional legal services, Danny is your go to." Anna Coker
"I hired Danny Glover to represent my daughter in a traffic violation. He did an amazing job at handling her situation quickly. I can't say enough about the way he generally care for his clients. If I ever need legal help or advice again, Danny Glover is who I would call." Leigh H.
"I have used Danny Glover on numerous SERIOUS felony charges and also traffic misdemeanor charges for the last 15 years. He has beat or gotten every single charge I've had reduced or dismissed the man is a beast! Top Notch!" Shane Howard
"Danny Glover is by far the best lawyer that I have had represent me. I can only give 5 stars but he deserves more than that. His staff was extremely personable and professional. If you have a traffic citation in an area covered by Mr. Glover, you would be a fool not to hire him and his staff to represent you." Sean M.