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Differences Between “Sexual Assault” and “Assault on a Female” in North Carolina

Both sexual assault and assault on a female are serious crimes in North Carolina. Here, we discuss the major differences between the two crimes and the consequences a defendant might face if charged with either. 

Sexual Assault 

In general, sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact for which consent is not given. In North Carolina, there are four main types of sexual assault, each of which is a felony:

  • First Degree Rape: vaginal intercourse by force, without consent, and with a weapon. 
  • Second Degree Rape: vaginal intercourse by force, without consent (or with a victim the perpetrator knows is mentally disabled, incapacitated, or physically helpless). 
  • First Degree Sexual Offense: sexual acts (other than vaginal intercourse) by force, without consent, and with a weapon. 
  • Second Degree Sexual Offense: sexual acts (other than vaginal intercourse) by force, without consent (or with a victim the perpetrator knows is mentally disabled, incapacitated, or physically helpless).

Assault on a Female 

Assault on a female is a specific type of assault. It is defined as:

  • an assault, battery, or affray
  • by a male over the age of eighteen-years-old
  • against a female. 

Assault on a female, while not a felony, is still a serious crime. It is charged as the highest level of misdemeanor offenses, and you should consult an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney if charged with assault on a female. 

What Are the Main Differences Between Sexual Assault and Assault on a Female?

As you can see, sexual assault and assault on a female are two entirely different charges in North Carolina. The main differences include: 

  • sexual assault involves unwanted sexual contact, while assault on a female does not
  • sexual assault is a felony, while assault on a female is a misdemeanor 
  • the victim in an assault on a female must be a female, whereas the victim in a first-degree sexual offense or second-degree sexual offense does not have to be a female 
  • the only person who can be charged with an assault on a female is a male over the age of eighteen, while there is no such gender or age restriction on a defendant charged with sexual assault 

Consult a Criminal Defense Attorney for Assault Charges

If you have been charged with either sexual assault or assault on a female, Cotten Law can help. Jeremy has represented tens of thousands of clients charged with offenses such as yours and has hundreds of stellar reviews online. Our offices serve clients in central North Carolina including Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties. Give our office a call or click over to our main page to chat live with an assistant 24 hours a day.

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