Child Abuse is usually broken down by the alleged seriousness of abuse. The most severe is usually 1st Degree down to 4th Degree. All of the charges are likely to be felonies except for 4th Degree which is usually a less serious misdemeanor. When considering likely incarceration, please keep in mind the statutory maximum penalty is just one factor to be considered. Other important factors include the injury inflicted, input from the victim or victim's family as well as criminal history of accused. Bottom line, likely incarceration is a case by case analysis that requires much more detail than you have provided. Consult an experienced lawyer and go over the specifis with him/her. Good luck,
In NC there are both misdemeanor and felony child abuse charges. It basically depends how serious the abuse was, i.e., was it just inappropriate spanking, or did the offender cause some type of permanent injury.
It also depends on what type of abuse you mean. It is possible to be charged with misdemeanor child abuse in NC by driving a vehicle intoxicated while a child is in the car.
Most people do not serve active time for the misdemeanor. However, it is not uncommon to pick up a year or two active time in DOC for a child abuse felony if there is any prior record. Even more if the Class C felony is charged.