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Is It A Crime To Spit On Someone?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | assault and battery

People express their anger or resentment toward another person in many ways. While some may respond with force, others might opt for a less violent but offensive approach, such as spitting. Compared to punching or kicking, spitting does not result in injury, so does it qualify as a crime?

Why is spitting so offensive?

Many people regard spitting as such a disrespectful behavior that they might prefer violence instead. This is because most people find it repulsive and demeaning to be spat on or touched by another person’s body fluids.

And with good reason. Millions of bacteria microbes are present in the human saliva. Plus, saliva can transmit infectious diseases from one person to another.

Spitting on someone could put you in jail

Assault involves injuring someone or attempting to injure someone to make them fear for their safety, while battery involves unwanted physical contact and the use of force.

However, North Carolina law does not explicitly define what assault is. Instead, the state combines battery and assault under the umbrella term of assault, unlike other states that distinguish between the two.

People spit on another person out of spite and without the target’s consent. Victims may argue that being spit on is unwanted touching which falls under battery and, thereby, assault.

Unlawful touching of another person or in a threatening manner, as spitting does, may fall under simple assault. A conviction for simple assault may result in a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in prison.

Spitting on someone is extremely insulting. Even if someone resorted to spitting with the intention of avoiding violence, they may have broken the law by doing so. It would be wiser to find other legal and healthy alternatives to channel their anger.