North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-32.4: Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury (Felony)
Under North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-32.4, the crime of assault inflicting serious bodily injury occurs when the accused intentionally assaults another individual resulting in a substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement, coma, prolonged hospitalization as a result of the assault/injury, etc.
It's important to note, allegations of criminal wrongdoing, especially those involving felony assault charges in NC, deserve the immediate attention of legal counsel.
We believe it prudent NOT to provide a statement or even speak informally with law enforcement officers.
The fact you choose to exercise your Constitutional Rights is not evidence of guilt. Asking for and speaking with a criminal defense attorney cannot be used as evidence against you.
It does not make you “look guilty” to talk to a lawyer. The judge will not be “angry with you” if you remain silent.
It’s not against the law to remain silent. It is against the law to provide untruthful, misleading information to law enforcement acting in the course of a criminal investigation.
Even if you believe you are innocent and wish to explain your side of things, we are resolute in our opinion as defense attorneys that you should talk to a lawyer and not cooperate in an investigation.
To prove a charge under Chapter 14-32.4, the State (the prosecutor) must be able to prove the following elements (beyond a reasonable doubt) to a judge or jury:
- The Defendant assaulted the victim by intentionally (and without excuse or justification) assaults AND
- The Defendant inflicted serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury causes or creates:
- A substantial risk of death
- Serious permanent disfigurement
- A protracted or permanent condition that causes extreme pain
- A protracted or permanent loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ OR
- Prolonged hospitalization
“Without justification or excuse” should only be used in a jury charge where the Defendant is asserting/providing some evidence of justification or excuse, e.g., self-defense.
Assault inflicting serious bodily injury is a lesser included offense of Assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury. It is a separate criminal charge in North Carolina. Such matters can be a bit complex, as such it makes sense to consult with a defense attorney about the unique aspects of your legal matter.1. Examples
Defendant and friend both work at a banking firm together in Charlotte NC. Defendant has a crush on a girl that Defendant and Friend work with. Girl flirts with both of them. Defendant wants to ask Girl out but he is shy and fears rejection. Friend knows Defendant has a huge crush on Girl. Yet Friend asks Girl out on a date and they become romantically involved. Defendant finds out and becomes enraged. Defendant goes to a local Home Depot and purchases a corrosive acid used for melting pipes. During work the next day, Defendant walks up to Friend and throws the acid in Friend’s face. Friend is rushed to the hospital. Friend’s face is horribly disfigured from the acid attack. Defendant can be charged with Assault Inflicting Serious Injury. Acid may also be deemed a deadly weapon, therefore Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury.2. Related Offenses
For other related offenses, please click the following links below:
- North Carolina Criminal Law 14-32(b): Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury
- North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-33(a): Simple Assault Involving Physical Contact
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflict Serious Injury
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon Intent to Kill
If the Defendant can show that he or she acted in self-defense, that may serve as a valid to defense to criminal charges. A conviction for an allegation pursuant North Carolina criminal law chapter 14-32.4 would be inappropriate if the Defendant reasonably acted to defend himself or defend another, as may be legally authorized. Self-defense and the reasonable defense of others can apply to either felony or misdemeanor charges in NC, when legally appropriate.
It’s important to note the Defendant and his or her defense attorney are not required to present evidence. The Defense does not carry the burden of proof The State of North Carolina, in prosecuting criminal charges, must present evidence to the Finder of Fact that proves the accused is guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.4. Penalties for Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury
The crime of assault inflicting serious bodily injury is a Class F felony punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of 59 months in a North Carolina state penitentiary. It is a very serious felony allegation in NC that can carry substantial legal consequences including restitution to the victim. Any conviction for a felony charge can make it difficult to find employment, especially if the charges involve accusations of assaults, assault and battery, domestic violence, and acts of violence.5. Criminal Defense for Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury
If you have been charged with Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury we believe it’s appropriate to immediately consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney. Assault inflicting Serious Bodily Injury, by its very definition under the NC criminal laws, is a very serious violent felony crime that, if convicted, can expose the accused to prison time, probation, and substantial restitution for damages/injuries.
Do not speak to law enforcement or anyone else about the allegations.
That’s true whether you have been arrested or not. Exercise your right under Miranda to remain silent.
Take the fifth, even if law enforcement is in the investigatory stage of the case.
Voluntary statements you give may not be subject to legal protections and therefore could be used against you as evidence of the allegations, even without Miranda warnings.
We believe it imperative that you exercise your right to remain silent and contact an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
The right to remain silent is one of the most valuable, and important, Constitutional Rights you have. Use it!
At Powers Law Firm PA, we can help explain the nuances and complexities of violent criminal offenses in NC.
We provide a zealous defense to criminal allegations.
Our goal is to share helpful information about the defenses to criminal allegations, the best-case / worst-case scenario, and the most appropriate manner in which to proceed.
We’ve found good decisions are often centered on having the most accurate, timely information.
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