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Las Vegas Assault Attorney

Last Modified: December 18, 2023

Assault & Battery Defense In Clark County

Many people think of assault and battery as the same offense, but the fact of the matter is, these are separate offenses with their own consequences. Regardless of the differences between the two, both carry serious penalties and can permanently alter your life if convicted. Luckily, an assault and battery charge does not equal a conviction and there are various defenses that can be utilized to mitigate potential penalties or have the charges dropped altogether. NRS 200.481 provides that a person commits the crime of battery by using willful and unlawful force or violence upon the person of another. By comparison, assault, as defined by NRS 200.471, is the unlawful attempt to use physical force against another person or an action that intentionally places another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm. Because assault and battery require different elements and seek to punish different harms, convictions for both crimes do not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. See State v. Carter, 79 Nev. 146, 149 n.3, 379 P.2d 945, 947 n.3 (1963) (“. . . the charge of assault with a deadly weapon does not necessarily include a battery.”)The first step to building your defense is to hire an experienced Las Vegas assault and battery defense attorney who understands these types of cases and has a proven track record of successful outcomes. The Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers has represented many clients facing assault and battery charges and has the legal resources needed to secure the best possible result. For more information about how we can help, contact our office today for a consultation.

Assault vs Battery Charges in Nevada

Assault charges in Las Vegas require for there to be an intention to cause harm qualifies as an assault charge. Furthermore, assault involves threats that make a person feel less safe and fear for their well-being. However, in order for an assault charge to be valid, the threat must coincide with action, such as raising a fist or holding an object. On the other hand, if an individual actually injures a victim, the charge becomes battery. Essentially, physical contact of any kind constitutes battery. Battery charges in Nevada also include sexual crimes like rape or child molestation.

Regardless of if you’ve been charged with assault or battery, it’s important to understand that both crimes can be felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the nature of the offense. If you’re facing these charges you must consult with an experienced Las Vegas battery defense attorney as soon as possible. If convicted, your life can be altered forever. There are many different types of offenses that you can be charged with including the following:

  • Simple battery (misdemeanor battery)
  • Domestic battery
  • Battery with a deadly weapon
  • Battery with substantial bodily harm

As mentioned earlier, battery is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. However, under the Nevada state law, NRS 200.481, certain professionals are specifically protected and a battery offense made against these protected classes of people will enhance the penalties for battery and can make the charges against you much worse. Those special professionals that are protected under this law include:

  • Police officers
  • Firefighters
  • Corrections Officers
  • Taxicab drivers
  • Health care providers
  • School employees
  • Judges

Battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 200.481(1)(a). The classification of the offense—whether it is a misdemeanor, a category C felony, or a category B felony—depends on additional facts identified in § 200.481(2). The facts that determine whether the battery is a felony and, if so, the category of felony, include how the battery was committed (with or without a deadly weapon, or by strangulation); whether the battery was committed upon a person in a protected class of employment (a law enforcement officer, for example); the extent of any physical injury to the victim; and the defendant’s status as a probationer or prisoner. § 200.481(2). If the battery does not involve any of those facts, the offense is a misdemeanor. § 200.481(2)(a). But, for example, if the battery results in substantial bodily harm to the victim, the offense is a category C felony. § 200.481(2)(b)

It’s very important that you contact a skilled Las Vegas assault lawyer if you’ve been accused of battery against any of the above professionals. Due to the enhanced penalties of a battery charge on protected professionals, you must take every opportunity to limit the consequences handed down in court. Without aggressive representation, you could face the maximum penalties for this crime which can significantly alter your life. To learn more about how we can help, contact Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers today for a consultation.

Misdemeanor Assault Penalties In Nevada

According to NRS 200.471, assault is an attempt to cause physical injury to another person. The statute of Nevada defines an assault as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury upon the person of another. For example, swinging with the intent to punch someone but missing. Assault can also be categorized as any intentional act or threat of action that reasonably causes a person to feel afraid of impending violence. It’s important to understand that words alone do not constitute assault, however, if an offender combines threatening words with a threatening action like raising a fist, they may be charged with assault.

Additionally, domestic assault is a misdemeanor unless this is the defendant’s third domestic violence conviction within the last 7 years, in which case it becomes a Category C felony, and a skilled Las Vegas assault and battery attorney will be needed in order to have a chance of mitigated penalties. The penalties for standard misdemeanor assault are a range of jail time and fines. But each case is different, and the specific circumstances of your assault and battery charge can impact the consequences handed down. Those convicted of standard misdemeanor assault will face up to 6 months in jail, community service, and up to $1,000 in fines. However, if the misdemeanor assault was committed against a protected class member like a police officer, then the defendant could face up to 364 days in jail, community service, and a fine of up to $2,000. Misdemeanor domestic assault charges are punishable in a similar manner but depend on whether it is a first or second offense. The penalties for each of these offenses are found below:

1st Misdemeanor Domestic Assault Offense

  • 2 days to 6 months in jail
  • 48-120 hours of community service
  • $200-$1,000 in fines

2nd Misdemeanor Domestic Assault Offense

  • 10 days to 6 months in jail
  • 100-200 hours of community service
  • $500-$1,000 in fines

Felony Assault Penalties In Nevada

If the assault was committed with a deadly weapon, it will be charged as a felony assault. In Nevada, a deadly weapon is defined as either a weapon that is inherently likely to cause significant injury or death or an object that is capable of causing significant injury or death. Felony assault is a Category B felony punishable by 1-6 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. The prison range rises to 1-20 years if the defendant allegedly committed the assault due to the other person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, or other special characteristics. Additionally, a third domestic violence conviction within 7 years is also charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor like a first or second domestic violence conviction. A third domestic violence conviction is punishable as a Category C felony which carries 1-5 years in prison and potentially $10,000 in fines. If you’re facing a felony assault charge, it’s critical that you seek top-shelf legal representation from an accomplished Las Vegas assault defense attorney right away.

Defenses To Assault and Battery Charges In Nevada

There are many defenses to assault and battery charges that can be used to prevent a conviction. For example. if the physical interaction was not intentional or not intended to cause harm, it is not considered battery. Additionally, if the person consented to the physical interaction, this is also not considered battery. There are many different defense strategies that can be deployed to support your case and help reduce or even completely drop the charges against you. However, to successfully identify and utilize one or more of these defenses you must have a skilled and aggressive Las Vegas battery defense attorney in your corner. Without high-quality legal representation, your case may result in maximum penalties. Assault and battery charges in Nevada are serious, don’t settle for anything but the best criminal defense team to fight for you. At Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers, we’ve represented countless clients facing similar charges, and understand the best strategies that can be used to give your case the best opportunity for a favorable outcome. Some of the defenses to assault and battery charges that can be deployed include:

Defenses To Assault Charges In Nevada

  • No reasonable indication that the actions would be considered offensive
  • The assault occurred out of self-defense
  • The victim consented to the assault
  • There was no intent to cause injury

Defenses To Battery Charges In Nevada

  • Self-defense
  • Unintentional contact
  • Normal contact under the circumstances
It’s highly recommended to speak with a Las Vegas assault and battery defense attorney as soon as possible. Together, you and your lawyer can lay out the facts of your case and determine the best approach for your defense. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, Chandon Alexander will devise a custom defense strategy that presents the assault or battery charges against you in the best light before the court. For more information about how we can help, contact Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers today for a consultation.

Nevada Self-Defense Laws

For assault and battery cases, self-defense is the most common defense deployed to defend the accused. However, in order to prove that the battery in question was an instance of self-defense, you must show that you felt a genuine fear of harm, the threat of unlawful force and that there was no way of escaping the assault without defending yourself. Nevada law allows those in this situation to fight back in self-defense against such crimes as assault and battery, sexual crimes, home invasion, and attempted murder. There are two main principles that must be present for self-defense to be considered lawful.

  • There is a reasonable belief that the aggressor poses an immediate threat
  • The individual inflicts no more force than necessary to resist the aggressor’s threat

Killing In Self Defense

Killing someone in self-defense in the state of Nevada is justifiable only if it is reasonably necessary to prevent the threat of death or serious bodily harm. Because Nevada is a “stand your ground” state, there is no “duty to retreat” requirement before killing in self-defense as long as the person fighting back:

  • Is not the original aggressor
  • Has a right to be in the place where deadly force is used
  • Is not engaging in criminal activity
Las Vegas Criminal Defense ATTORNEY

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Hire A Las Vegas Assault Defense Attorney?

Regardless of the type of assault and battery charges alleged against you, you must work with a qualified Las Vegas assault defense attorney to increase the likelihood of an optimal outcome. A skilled and aggressive lawyer will scrutinize the evidence, challenge the prosecution’s version of events, and investigate the police work in your case, searching for grounds to raise doubt about the assault and battery charges. No stone will go unturned in your case as we seek any and all defense opportunities including:

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of third parties
  • Defense of your property
  • Lack of intent to cause harm
  • Lack of immediate harm resulting
  • Provocation by the alleged victim

When Is Self-Defense Legal In Nevada?

Nevada is a “stand your ground” state, which means that the state gives victims the option of fighting back in self-defense even if they have the opportunity to run away and avoid the conflict. In order for self-defense to be justified, it must be reasonable to be lawful. Nevada law permits the use of force in self-defense in situations where:

  • The non-aggressor reasonably believes they are facing an urgent or pressing threat or bodily harm
  • The non-aggressor uses no more physical force than necessary to deflect the threat

What Class Felony Is Assault With A Deadly Weapon?

Assault with a deadly weapon in Nevada occurs when using a gun, knife, or another lethal object to place a person in reasonable or immediate bodily harm. It’s important to remember n individual doesn’t need to have used the weapon to cause harm; even having the weapon in reach can qualify as an assault with a deadly weapon. Since assault is an intent crime in Nevada, the defendant can only be convicted if he/she intends to cause someone else to feel the apprehension of being battered. If convicted, penalties for this crime include a category B felony, punishable by one to six years in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000. However, it’s possible to reduce this charge to battery, which will result in a misdemeanor charge, by taking a plea bargain. To do so, it’s critical to have an experienced Las Vegas assault defense attorney by your side to negotiate on your behalf and present your defense.

The Nevada Supreme Court has held that a district court may not enhance a primary substantive offense under more than one enhancement statute. For example, a primary substantive offense cannot be enhanced based on both the use of a deadly weapon under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 193.165 and the victim’s age under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 193.167. Similarly, a primary substantive offense cannot be enhanced based on both the use of a deadly weapon under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 193.165 and the defendant’s status as a habitual criminal under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 207.010.

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 200.481 provides that battery is a felony if certain facts have been shown in addition to a willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. When the primary offense statute provides different classifications of the offense based on certain facts, nothing in the Nevada Supreme Court’s prior decisions prevents the district court from also applying a separate enhancement statute. This is true regardless of whether the additional facts addressed in the primary offense statute are characterized as an element of the primary offense or as a fact only relevant to sentencing. Whether characterized as an element of the offense or a sentencing factor, the additional facts are part of the primary offense statute, not a separate enhancement statute.

When Can I Seal A Record For Assault Or Battery?

Generally, Misdemeanors can be sealed one year after the case is closed. However, since assault and battery are considered “crimes of violence” the waiting period is doubled to two years. Consequently Pursuant to NRS 179.245 the waiting period to seal a conviction for assault or battery is two years after the case is closed. If your case is dismissed, you can petition the court to have your file sealed immediately.

Contact Our Las Vegas Assault & Battery Defense Attorney

In most cases, assault and battery charges in Nevada result from an altercation between two people. Usually, these heated situations escalate conduct that leads to a physical confrontation. If you’re facing any type of assault and battery charge, it’s incredibly important to seek representation from an experienced Las Vegas assault and battery attorney who has the knowledge and resources needed to secure the best possible outcome in your case. This includes getting out in front of the charges by proactively working to secure evidence such as witness interviews and statements to support your defense. Contact Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers today for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help you secure the optimal outcome in your case.
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