Under the criminal statutes of Nevada, assault and battery are two separate and quite different criminal offenses. You can face charges of either one or both simultaneously depending on the circumstances of your case.
Whether you are facing one or the other or even charges of both assault and battery, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help, ensuring your rights are protected at every stage of the criminal justice process and helping you to understand exactly what’s going on.
Nevada Assault Laws
Assault is a serious criminal charge. Although it is typically charged as a misdemeanor, you may still spend time in jail if convicted. Also, being convicted of assault can have a lasting impact on your life, as you can carry the charge on your record for years to come.
You could be facing charges of assault if it’s believed you:
- Unlawfully attempted to use physical force against someone, or
- Intentionally placed someone in fear of immediate physical harm.
Notice, you don’t have to hurt anyone or even touch them to be found guilty of assault. This misdemeanor offense carries a potential 6 month jail sentence and fines.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a separate criminal charge and involves the commission of assault, as defined above, while using a deadly weapon. Again, no physical contact is necessary. This is a felony charge and carries as much as 6 years in prison.
Ref: NRS §200.471
Nevada Battery Laws
Battery, unlike assault, does involve a use of force. However, you don’t have to hurt someone, merely intend to hurt them. According to the laws, battery is defined as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person.”
In general, if no weapon is used, battery is a misdemeanor punishable by 6 months in jail. However, if any substantial injury occurs or if the battery involves strangulation, it can be charged as a Class C felony and carry up to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.
Battery with a deadly weapon is a separate criminal charge. This is a very serious offense that is classified as a Class B felony. It carries a potential 2 to 10 year prison sentence and fines reaching $10,000.
Even more serious, if a deadly weapon is used and injury occurs, the sentence can reach 15 years.
There are situations in which both assault and battery charges can carry even harsher penalties. These include cases where the alleged victim is a police officer, a firefighter, medical professional, or other state employees.
Ref: NRS §200.481
Sometimes called “fighting words”, if you provoke someone into committing an assault you can face a fine. You might do this by angering them with words, gestures, or signs.
Ref: NRS §200.490
There are many assault offenses under Nevada law, and many circumstances which can drastically change the potential sentence you might be facing. If you are facing any of these charges, let us put you in touch with a local defense attorney today.