ASSAULT & BATTERY CHARGES IN NC
Depending on the type of changes you are facing, you need good legal counsel to clear your record.
AFTER AN ASSAULT
WHAT ARE MY LEGAL OPTIONS?
Assault and battery are criminal attacks under the law in North Carolina. However, many victims do not realize that they can also pursue monetary damages against the perpetrator in a separate, civil action. This can be the case even if you did not suffer physical injuries. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an assault and/or battery, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the offense to understand your options. The attorneys at Plumides, Romano & Johnson, PC will provide a free consultation to analyze the particulars of your case and aggressively pursue civil justice on your behalf.
Being the victim of an assault or battery can be a terrifying experience, particularly if it was an aggravated assault. You may have physical injuries that keep you out of work, require surgery, or necessitate prolonged medical care, all at very high financial cost to you. In extreme cases, you may even have permanent disfigurement or loss of movement or bodily function. Besides any physical injuries, however, psychological injury may take even longer to heal. You may need continued therapy or counseling and even then, live in fear as you move forward with your life.
That is precisely the purpose of personal injury lawsuits: to compensate victims for their economic costs, like medical bills and lost wages, and to compensate for the intangible psychological pain and suffering they experience. Below are some commonly asked questions about assault and battery civil suits.
CRIMINAL CHARGES WEREN'T FILED?
Depending on how long ago the attack happened, you may still be able to file charges. As soon as you are in a safe location and have received necessary medical attention, document your injuries via photographs if they are visible. If you can safely do so, get contact information for anyone else who witnessed the attack—maybe your neighbor heard it happening, even if they did not see anything, or maybe there were passerby who saw what happened.
Even if there were no criminal charges filed against your assailant, you still may have a claim for personal injury. Regardless, it is vitally important to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the attack so that valuable evidence may be gathered.
What if the charges are dropped, or they are found not guilty?
The outcome of the criminal case does not depend on the likelihood of success of a potential civil case against your attacker. A lower standard of proof is used in civil cases than for criminal cases.
What do I have to show to successfully sue my attacker?
This is the same as any other type of personal injury case. You must be able to show:
• Duty of care: This is an easy one in assault and battery cases. Any person owes other parties the standard of not committing criminal acts against them (except in rare cases like self-defense).
• Causation: You have to show that the assailant’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries, and without their actions, those injuries would not have occurred.
• Damages: This element means that you were injured in some way. Again, this does not have to be physical injury.
• Breach of the duty of care: Again, this is a pretty easy one. A person breaches the duty of care they owe you when they commit a criminal act against you, especially when it is an intentional act like assault or battery.
If the attacker was charged with a criminal offense, they may be ordered to stay away from you as one of their conditions of release if they are given bail. However, you may want to pursue a restraining order against them, which can have more teeth and cause more immediate protective action if they try to harass or otherwise contact you after the offense.
If you had a domestic relationship with your assailant, you may need to pursue a 50B, or domestic violence protective order against that person. This type of restraining order can order the abuser to leave the home they share with you and have no further contact with you, or they will face separate criminal charges for violating the order. Emergency protective orders can be granted even in the middle of the night, as there are magistrates who work night shifts to grant them.
If you did not have a domestic relationship with the perpetrator, you can also pursue a 50C, or civil restraining order against them that likewise can order them to have no direct or indirect contact with you at the risk of being jailed for contempt of court.
If you are on a shared computer, take care to view these websites in private/incognito browsing mode if necessary so that evidence of it will not be left behind.
ASSAULT & BATTERY VICTIMS
Victims looking to apply for an emergency protective order can find resources to do so here. Victims of domestic violence in the greater Charlotte area can find more resources here. If you are not in the Charlotte area, please go here to find help. If you are on a shared computer, take care to view these websites in private/incognito browsing mode if necessary so that evidence of it will not be left behind.
North Carolina Collision Against Domestic Violence https://nccadv.org/get-help