*Ensure to check what particular laws presides over your state, as state laws differ on some grounds!
Although statute does not define “assault,” common law provides a clear understanding of what constitutes assault in North Carolina. According to common law, it is any overt act or attempt, or the unmistakable appearance of a shot, with force or violence, to immediately physically injure another person, with the show of power or threat of violence being sufficient to put a reasonable person in fear of immediate physical injury. For this definition, assault is an act of force or violence that causes people to fear that they may suffer direct damage.
Attack in the presence of a minor differs from other types of assault (such as simple assault or attack on a female). For assault on a minor to be a felony, it must result in severe injury or the use of a deadly weapon, and a personal relationship should exist between the parties. Assault on a minor a felony in the fact of a minor is punishable by up to one year in prison.
For assault in the fact of a minor to be a felony, the defendant must commit an assault, battery, or an affray inflicting significant injury or employing a lethal weapon on someone with whom the defendant has a personal relationship while also being in the presence of a juvenile to be charged with assault.
Statute provides that a personal relationship includes current or former spouses, persons of the opposite sex who live or have lived together, parties related as parents and children, parties who have a child in familiar, current or former household members, and persons of the opposite sex who are or have been in a dating relationship with one another. The presence of a minor encompasses any period during which a little one was in a position to witness the attack.
(1) A person commits the offense of assault on a minor if they commit an offense under Section 45-5-201 and the victim is under the age of 14 at the time of the offense, and the offender is 18 years of age or older.
Unless otherwise provided in subsection (2)(b) or (2)(c), a person found guilty of assault on a juvenile is sentenced to imprisonment in state prison for a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding $50,000, or to both imprisonment and a fine.
(2) If the victim is under the age of 36 months at the time of the act, a person guilty of assault on a minor is subject to the following penalties:
(b) shall be sentenced to not more than ten years in state prison or a fine of not more than $50,000, or both, for a first offense under this paragraph (2)(b);
The person who violates this subsection (2)(b) a second or subsequent time shall be imprisoned in state prison for 20 years or fined not more than $50,000, whichever is greater.
A person guilty of assault on a minor resulting in significant bodily injury to the victim, if the victim is under the age of 36 months at the time of the act, is subject to the following penalties:
(2)(c) provides that, for a first offense, the defendant shall be imprisoned in state prison for a term not to exceed 20 years or fined not more than $50,000, or both; and
The person who violates this subsection (2)(c) a second or subsequent time shall be imprisoned in state prison for 40 years or fined not more than $50,000, whichever is greater.
In addition, an offender found guilty under subsection (2)(b) or (2)(c) must pay for and complete a counseling assessment with a focus on violence, controlling behavior, dangerousness, and chemical dependency, and must follow all recommendations for counseling, referrals, attendance at psychoeducational groups, or treatment (including any indicated chemical dependency treatment) made by the counseling provider, including any stated chemical dependency treatment.
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Child abuse in the first degree is a felony offense.
A person is guilty of first degree assault on a child if they do any of the following: cause grievous bodily harm, assault the child with a firearm or other lethal weapon, or by any other means that is likely to result in serious physical injury or death; expose the youngster to poison, HIV, or any other harmful material, or punish the child; assault the youngster and cause severe bodily harm to them.
Second-degree assault on a child is also a serious crime. It includes intentionally abusing a youngster and inflicting significant physical harm on them without their consent; causing substantial bodily harm to an unborn child by intentionally and unlawfully inflicting injury on the mother.
Assaulting on a minor with a lethal weapon
Torture is defined as intentionally inflicting bodily injury that is intended to cause such anguish or agony as to be the equivalent of that produced by torture, even strangulation or suffocation.
Assault on a child in the third degree is committed when someone, through criminal carelessness, does any of the following: intentionally inflicts bodily injury on another person using a weapon or other object that is likely to cause physical harm, or causes bodily harm that is accompanied by significant pain that lasts for some time long enough to result in substantial suffering.
Consequences of a criminal conviction
Child abuse in the first degree is classified as a Class A felony, and it can result in a sentence of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
Second-degree assault on a child is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000, or penalized by both jail and fine.
Third-degree assault on a child is a Class C felony that can result in up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted.
It would be best to remember that these are the maximum penalties available for conviction and that few people receive the maximum sentence. Offenders are typically sentenced within the parameters of the Standard Sentencing Range defined by Washington state law. According to the Standard Sentencing Range, the number of counts (criminal events) of which an accused is found guilty, the degree of assault on a minor on a felony committed in each of those counts, and the offender’s prior criminal history determine the sentence in each case.
However, regardless of what law may say, it’s no excuse to commit these heinous offences!