Many people mistakenly believe assault and battery is a singular charge. However, these are two separate offenses that commonly occur in the same incident. These separate charges are often prosecuted in one criminal case, and the defendant may face harsh penalties for both offenses. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for assault and/or battery, a Las Vegas assault defense lawyer at De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers can build your defense.
You could be charged with assault in Nevada if the prosecutor believes they have evidence that proves you attempted to use unlawful physical force against the alleged victim. Alternatively, you may face charges if you intentionally made the victim fear that they were at risk of immediate bodily harm. Allow our team to investigate your case, collect evidence that refutes the prosecution’s claims, and fight for your rights as you go through the court system. The first consultation is free.
Different Types of Assault Charges in Las Vegas, Nevada
As mentioned, assault and battery are separate criminal charges in Nevada.
- Assault: NRS 200.471defines assault as “unlawfully attempting to use physical force against another person; or intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm.” Essentially, assault applies to a case when the perpetrator attempts to inflict violence or puts a victim in danger of being harmed.
- Battery:NRS 200.481 defines battery as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” Once a person makes contact with another person, the assault offense then turns into a battery offense.
Depending on the allegations against you, you may be facing charges for both assault and battery. Our legal team can review your case and any footage that might have captured the alleged events, then build a defense that may help you reduce or even eliminate some or all of your charges.
Types of Assault and Battery Charges
Even within assault offenses, there are various other charges that fall under this category of crimes. Nevada provides separate legal definitions for each type of assault charge in its legislature. These charges include:
- Assault with a deadly weapon (aggravated assault):NRS 200.471(2)(b) notes that any assault that involves the use of a deadly weapon, such as a handgun or a knife, is considered an aggravated assault. This charge can lead to a category B felony if you are convicted.
- Assault without a deadly weapon (simple assault):However, any assault that does not involve a deadly weapon is referred to as a “simple assault,” often involving giving verbal threats, using inanimate objects to threaten violence (e.g., beer bottles), and holding up fists to threaten violence.
- Battery with a deadly weapon:Battery involving a deadly weapon, such as handguns or knives, is considered a category B felony. If the offense was committed against a law enforcement officer or another “protected class,” the offense remains a category B felony but may have differing penalties depending on the severity of the offense.
- Battery without a deadly weapon:If no weapon was involved in the battery, the offense falls under a category C felony. One thing to note about battery offenses is that the victim does not need to remember the alleged events to file a complaint. An example includes cases where the victim was too intoxicated to remember another person beating them. The attacker could still be held accountable for battery if discovered.
- Sexual assault: NRS 200.366 lists different types of sexual acts that fall under sexual assault, namely rape and other forms of sexual penetration. Sexual assault widely differs from standard assault charges in that physical contact and sexual violence allegedly occurred.
Penalties of Assault Conviction in Nevada
Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD) officers will not hesitate to arrest an individual who is accused of committing assault. The prosecution and investigators will do all they can to find evidence against the Las Vegas defendant and will search tirelessly for witnesses who will corroborate the victim’s story.
If a person is charged strictly with assault, they may face serious criminal penalties, including:
Assault without the use of a deadly weapon (misdemeanor):
- Six months in jail
- Community service in place of jail time
- Up to $1,000 in fines
Assault with the use of a deadly weapon (class B felony):
- One to six years in jail
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Assault against a protected class (gross misdemeanor):
- One year in jail
- Up to $2,000 in fines
Charges of assault can be filed for even minor offenses in Las Vegas, so it may be in your interest to work with a Nevada criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and protect your interests throughout your trial. At De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers, we work hard to reduce our clients’ charges or have the judge dismiss their case when possible.
Penalties for Battery Charges
If a person is charged with battery, they may face additional criminal penalties, such as:
#I. Battery with a deadly weapon (class B felony):
- Minimum of two years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
#II. Battery without a deadly weapon (misdemeanor):
- Jail sentence of up to six months
- Up to $1,000 in fines
#III. Battery without a deadly weapon against a protected class (gross misdemeanor):
- Jail sentence with a maximum of 364 days
- Up to $2,000 in fines
#IV. Battery with a deadly weapon against a protected class (class B felony):
- Two to 10 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
A Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney from Our Team Can Represent You
If you decide to work with a Las Vegas assault defense lawyer from our firm, we offer to:
- Meet with you immediately to negotiate potential bond bail and advocate for your rights in your initial hearing
- Investigate your case and collect evidence to support your claims, such as video footage, DNA evidence, witness testimony, and the official police report
- Attend preliminary and/or pretrial hearings to present your defense and work toward lessening or eliminating your charges
- Represent you in your criminal defense case and present it in front of a judge and jury
- Negotiate with the prosecutor outside of court to potentially reach a plea deal
- Provide legal counsel whenever you need to make a legal decision in your case, such as whether you should accept a plea deal or continue your defense in trial
Defense You May Be Able to Make in Your Assault Case
When we take you on as our client, we will give you an opportunity to describe the alleged events from your perspective. This will serve as the core of your defense argument, even if you think the prosecution has a strong case against you with photo/video documentation. In reality, there are many common defenses that might apply to your case.
Some common defenses against assault charges include:
- You were acting in self-defense, not malicious intent: Just because you participated in a fight does not mean you wanted to be involved in it. Claiming self-defense can apply if the other individual put you in a situation where you felt endangered and needed to defend yourself to avoid being bodily harmed. For example, you may claim self-defense if you used violence to ward off a mugger in an alley while walking home late at night.
- The assault was an accident and involved no real threat of harm: Whether as an act of clumsiness or an unfortunate mistake, sometimes actions can be misinterpreted as threats of violence. For example, you might have been rearranging your balcony plants when one fell over the railing. A neighbor below might have dodged the plant but might have also interpreted the accident as an attempted form of violence.
- The assault did not involve a threat of immediate bodily harm or reasonable fear:While assault does involve threatening to inflict violence, this does not mean any time someone expresses a threat counts as assault. If the words express vague punishment (e.g., “I’ll get you!”) or any time beyond immediate danger (e.g., “You have ten minutes to fix this before I slap you.”), these statements may not fall under assault, as it would not be reasonable grounds to inflict legitimate fear.
Other defenses may involve claiming the victim is making false accusations, has the wrong culprit, has no evidence that you committed assault, or was never in any real danger. Additionally, if your arrest was unlawful and your rights were violated, our attorneys may be able to have your case dismissed on those grounds.
Need a Las Vegas Assault Defense Lawyer?
De Castroverde Law Group is dedicated to providing the people of Las Vegas with effective and relentless defense against criminal charges, and we will ensure you receive the powerful legal voice you deserve. Your Las Vegas assault defense lawyer can have a strong impact upon your case and your potential penalties, so why would you trust your case to a disinterested public defender?
Since 1987, our family has been representing clients in Nevada courtrooms, fighting tirelessly to protect their interests and futures. We are a family of Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys that treat each client as though he or she were a member of our family too, and we can provide you with the aggressive advocacy you need to challenge allegations of assault. Contact us today to discuss your defense options.