Wake County Assault Lawyer: Information About Assault Against a Pregnant Mother

In 2011, North Carolina became one of 35 states to recognize unborn children as separate victims in crimes perpetrated against their mothers.  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act created new homicide and assault crimes aimed at the protection of unborn children.  These crimes include Murder of an Unborn Child, Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child, Battery on an Unborn Child, and Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury on an Unborn Child.

N.C. General Statute § 14.23 defines an “unborn child” as “a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”  The statute further provides that, except as to Murder of an Unborn Child, none of the offenses require proof that the defendant knew or should have known the woman was pregnant or that the defendant intended to cause death or injury.

Battery of an Unborn Child – N.C. General Statute § 14-23.6(b)

A person is guilty of this offense when he or she:

(1)    Commits a battery

(2)    On a pregnant woman.

This offense only applies to a battery, meaning an actual striking, of a pregnant woman.  Again, no proof is required that the defendant knew or should have known the woman was pregnant or that the defendant intended to cause injury to the unborn child.  Battery of an Unborn Child is a Class A1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 150 days imprisonment.  Furthermore, a person convicted of this offense and may still be convicted of any other offense (like Assault on a Female, for example) based on the same conduct.

If you’ve been charged with Assault & Battery, Assault on a Female, or Battery of an Unborn Child in Wake County, contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation with our experienced attorneys.


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.