What is assault with a deadly weapon: A complete guide

An incident of an assault with a deadly weapon takes place when a person attacks someone with a deadly weapon in rage. In some jurisdictions, Aggravated assault is explained as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm. For instance, Anne and Sara had a heated argument at a party and all of a sudden Sara grabbed a lacrosse stick and beat Anne across the back repeatedly, breaking several ribs. You can classify this act as an assault with a deadly weapon. Let’s explore further the concepts, and what legal attorneys have planned for such assaults.

  • What’s in the guide?
  • An excerpt- Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Laws against assault with a deadly weapon
    • First-degree assault
    • Second-degree assault
    • Third-degree assault
  • Deadly weapon – What it is?
  • Assault with a deadly weapon NC (North Carolina)
  • Intention to kill and a serious injury
    • Serious Injury
    • Intent to kill
  • Crimes that involve an intention to kill or serious injuries
  • Crimes that cause serious injuries and are committed with the intention to kill
  • A criminal defense attorney for legal representation

An excerpt: Assault with a deadly weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon occurs at times when a person is put in danger of a bodily injury. It is not necessary sometimes that harm occurs. As for the deadly weapon, surely it can be nothing else other than knives or firearms, but sometimes objects with a less deadly appearance can possess the ability to harm. These non-deadly objects may include a pencil, a rock, a bottle, and even a toy car. Moreover, an unloaded gun can fall into the category and can put you undercharge as it also tends to ignite fear.  In addition to non-deadly weapons, we can count hands and feet but of course, biting and kicking can cause harm to an individual would be enough for a charge of assault with a deadly weapon as these actions can cause serious bodily injuries.

Laws against assault with a deadly weapon

You need only one unfortunate event where you could see yourself behind the bars facing criminal charges. An assault with deadly weapon charges is even sufficient to make you frightened if you’re accused of only trying to provide a bodily injury to someone.

Prosecutors most of the time can be lenient on you if the accusation is minor, but you will be in hard hands if you are accused of using a lethal weapon. In these kinds of circumstances, prosecutors may drag your case until you get the severe possible felony charges.

If you are having allegations of attempting to harm an individual using a gun or a deadly weapon, you will likely receive first, second, or third-degree charges. Either you have been arrested with the weapon or indicted for the same, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer who would help you to protect your rights.

First-degree assault

First-degree assault charges can be charged on you if you intend to provide a deadly bodily injury:

  • Assault someone with a deadly weapon or a firearm or use of your force to produce great harm to another individual that may cause death
  • Administer, arrange, or transmit such substances that on taking could cause harm like poison, HIV, or any other noxious substances
  • Assault to provide great bodily injury

Second-degree assault

Under RCW 9A.36.021, you can also be charged for second-degree assault with a deadly weapon that shows the intention of harming someone more than a first-degree charge,

if you:

  • Intend to harm an individual with your reckless substantial actions;
  • Unlawfully and intentionally use deadly weapons to harm an unborn child by inflicting injuries upon mother;
  • Intentionally inflict bodily harm by causing and administrating obnoxious  activities and noxious substances;
  • Intent to commit more than one assault in a certain time/spot;
  • Knowingly inflict injuries that are designed to provide torture and harm;
  • Assault up to suffocation

Second-degree assault is usually considered a Class B felony. Nonetheless, if a piece of evidence shows that the assault involves a sexual motivation, then you may be charged with a Class A felony.

Third-degree assault

Third-degree assault charges can be charged under RCW 9A.36.031, if you have committed several assaults on the members of professionals like court officers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, transit operators, or school bus drivers.

A third-degree assault can also be charged if your criminal negligence caused harm or death to another person using another deadly weapon or instrument. This is usually a Class C felony.

Technically, third and second-degree assault charges are less than first-degree assault charges, however, one should not take them lightly. You should consult a lawyer when you are accused of any first, second, or third-degree assault charges immediately.

Deadly weapon: What it actually is?

A deadly weapon according to RCW 9A.04.110 definition is:

  • Any loaded, unloaded, or explosive firearms;
  • Any weapon, device, article, instrument, or substance and vehicle which falls under the circumstances of how it is used to attempt an assault, or if the object is substantially capable of causing bodily harm or death.

Under any circumstance, if you are found having a gun in your possession during an assault, this will accuse you of assault with deadly weapon charges. This is because the law didn’t specify where the gun had to be loaded or not.

Other deadly weapons from knives to all other mundane objects that can be used to threaten and assault another individual fall under the deadly weapon category. For example, a hockey stick or a tennis bat is substantially sports equipment, however, they can be constituted as a deadly weapon if used in physical assault.

If you are indicted with deadly weapon assault charges when there’s no weapon involved, you must contact your criminal defense attorney as early as you can.

Assault with a deadly weapon NC (North Carolina)

Assaults with an instrument that falls under deadly weapons are considered felony crimes in North Carolina. No matter if the weapon is intended to kill or to impose bodily harm. All other assault crimes without the involvement of a deadly weapon are a misdemeanor.

Intention to kill and a serious injury

North Carolina, realizes criminal assaults with two levels along with a deadly weapon. One that involves an intention to kill or intend to cause serious injuries, and the second involves both the intention to kill and the serious injury.

Serious Injury

A serious injury in the North Carolina statute is not defined, but precisely it is the injury that causes someone to have medical help or instant medication. Usually, the assault victim is not likely required to seek medical care, it sometimes involves the condition that attracts a doctor’s attention.

Intent to kill

Every circumstance that surrounds a victim of assault reflects that the person intended to kill the victim of assault. These circumstances may include the presence of deadly weapons, toxic chemicals, harmful objects, and criminal minds. Other than these circumstances, an assailant can establish the intention by threatening the victim with animosities and the facts for which the assault has been started in the first place.

Crimes that involve an intention to kill or serious injuries

Assault with a deadly weapon and severe crimes are always coupled with either the intention to kill or to cause serious injuries on another individual.

In NC these crimes fall under Class E felony charges and are punishable by N.C. Gen Stat. Ann. § 14-32, subd. (a) and (b).

Based on the severity of the criminal execution, you can be charged with a Class E felony in NC to serve 15-30 months behind bars. Judges can also convict you by ‘presumptive sentence’ which can last up to 20-25 months along with the charges of Class E felony. A presumptive sentence is imposed on a person when the judge presumes that a shorter/ longer imprisonment is warranted. However, the judge or the trial bench has to specify the reasons behind presumptive sentences.

If the defendant has previous felony convictions and a criminal record, the jury is more deviated towards convicting presumptive sentences. These sentences can be up to 63 months if the existing felony charges are for the intention to kill someone or assault with a deadly weapon in NC.

Crimes that cause serious injuries and are committed with the intention to kill

(N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-32, subd. (c).)

According to criminal activities NC chapter 14, assault with a deadly weapon can result in serious injuries and involves the intention to kill and is considered a Class C felony.

Class C felony crimes are punishable for detention up to 44-98 months but that too depends on the complexity of the case. For Class C felony crimes, the presumptive sentence can range up to 58-73 months detention. If the defendant has prior felony convictions, the presumptive sentences will retain the defendant in prison for up to 182 months.

In addition to that, having a presumptive sentence or a felony charge in your record means that you will get additional charges if you are convicted for any crime in the future. A serious conviction can also affect your future convictions. It’s like the harder prior conviction is the longer a presumptive sentence can be.

A criminal defense attorney for legal representation

Undoubtedly, a charge of an assault with a deadly weapon is a quite serious charge. A significant conviction can lead you towards prison time and the potential criminal record as well. In case you are accused of having a deadly weapon with the intention to kill or for the assault with a deadly weapon, you should consult a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights according to the state criminal laws and prepare your defense with the best possible outcomes.

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