A former NFL quarterback was recently shot multiple times during the course of an argument with his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.
Antony Wright was found at a suburban home in Conford, North Carolina with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. He was transported to a local hospital and underwent emergency surgery for life-threatening injuries.
The Concord Police Department has issued a warrant of arrest for Wright’s alleged assailant under charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill.
So, what’s next for the assailant?
Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious criminal charge, resulting in significant prison time and a criminal record that will haunt you for years to come.
Still, charges never equate to a conviction. Below, we review how North Carolina defines assault with a deadly weapon, and defense strategies that can be used to help your case if you’re facing this quite-serious charge.
How North Carolina Defines Assault with a Deadly Weapon
To find you guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You committed an assault against the victim
- You did so willfully or with intent to cause the victim bodily harm
- You committed the assault in possession of either a deadly weapon or firearm
- You used force likely to cause severe bodily injury or death
Accordingly, most defense strategies center on the commission of the offense itself, or on the elements specific to assault with a deadly weapon.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Defenses in North Carolina
Fortunately, assault with a deadly weapon is often difficult to prove definitively. Depending on the specifics of your case, your attorney may use one of the below defense strategies.
It Was Self-Defense
If you were acting in self-defense, this act is not considered assault. To prove self-defense, you must be able to demonstrate that:
- You reasonably believed you or a third party were under immediate danger of serious bodily injury or death
- You reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary to repel the attacker
- You did not use more force than was necessary to defend against this danger
I Have an Alibi
If you can produce a credible alibi, ideally supported by credit card statements, surveillance footage or other hard evidence, it’s possible to argue that you were not present at the scene of the crime when the alleged assault took place.
It Was Factually Impossible
Your attorney may argue that it is factually impossible that your action meets all the elements of the crime. Your attorney may use this as a defense if:
- You did not possess a deadly weapon
- You did not have the capability to inflict any type of injury
- You acted involuntarily or by accident, and did not intend to harm the alleged victim
It’s a Question of Credibility
Assault cases often fall to the statements of the defendant, alleged victim or witnesses of the alleged offense. However, victim and witness statements are notoriously inaccurate, and may lead to a false conviction.
In some cases, your attorney may be able to challenge the witness’s or alleged victim’s memory of events. Your attorney may also challenge the sobriety of the witness or alleged victim, and whether he or she may have used any drugs or alcohol on the day of the incident.
Your first step to developing a sound defense strategy is by working with an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your case, they may be able to get your charges dropped or reduced, or win an acquittal at trial.