Assault and Battery and Nevada State Laws
When it comes to assault and battery, many people think the terms are interchangeable. In actuality, they are different and are punished by the law differently based on the severity of the circumstances. This is one blog in our series explaining the state laws surrounding particular criminal offenses and the charges associated with them.
Assault and Battery
By definition, assault is “unlawfully attempting to use physical force against another person; or intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm,” Battery means “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.”
In the State of Nevada, assault is simply the attempt to cause physical injury to another person. Attempting to hit another person with a hand or foot or an object, however, missing the intended target, is assault. When a threat or action insinuates the intention of physical harm towards another, it is considered an assault.
Battery, in the State of Nevada, is the actual infliction of physical force against another person with the intention of harming them. Punching and hitting or striking someone with an object are all forms of battery.
Simple scenario explaining assault:
Glenn and Steve get into an argument in a bar and Glenn threatens to punch Steve in the face. Steve is in fear of being severely harmed and calls the police. When they arrive, Glenn is charged with assault.
Note: Even though Steve was not physically harmed, he believed he was in imminent danger of being harmed which constitutes assault.
Simple scenario explaining battery:
Glenn and Steve get into an argument in a bar and Glenn punches Steve, dislocating his jaw. Someone calls the police, and Glenn is arrested and charged with battery.
Note: An assault becomes battery once physical contact has been made with the intention of harming another. Once the argument between Glenn and Steve escalated to Glenn punching Steve and dislocating his jaw, the act was constituted as battery.
Both assault and battery can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Depending on the circumstances, the victim, and the severity of the crime.
- Examples of assault:
- Telling someone “I’m going to kill you!”
- The person must believe that they are in danger.
- Imitating the act of hitting, punching, or kicking the victim
- Throwing a heavy or potentially harmful object in the direction of another person
- Brandishing a deadly or non-deadly weapon in a manner that suggests potential use against the victim
- Examples battery:
- Punching, kicking, pushing
- Grabbing and physically restraining to control or harm
- Striking a victim with an object
- Summary of Charges:
- Simple assault without use of a deadly weapon:
- Up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1000.00
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Felony – considered aggravated assault
- 1-6 years in State Prison and/or fine of up to $5,000
- Simple battery without the use of a deadly weapon
- 1-6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1000.00
- Battery without the use of a deadly weapon without substantial bodily harm
- Up to 6 months in jail, and/or fine up to $1,000
- Battery with a deadly weapon without severe bodily harm
- 2-10 years in state prison and up to $10,000 fine.
- Battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm
- Felony – considered aggravated battery
- 2-15 years in state prison and up to $10,000 fine
An assault or battery charge can be elevated to aggravated assault or battery and often incurs more severe punishments. Aggravated circumstances are any component of a crime which increases the crime’s severity.
Jail time and fines can increase dramatically when the victim of assault and battery is of the “protected class” as stated in NRS 200.471
- Sporting officials at sporting events
- Taxi drivers
- Public transit operators
- School employees
- Correctional officers
- Healthcare workers
- Police officers
- First responders
- State officials
Even further, if the person committing the act against a person of the “protected class” has a status that is any of the following, they will face steeper fines and penalties.
- In custody of law enforcement
- On parole
- On probation
The repercussions of assault and battery can affect one’s life forever. If you have been charged with either assault or battery, call The Defenders today. There are many conditions to be considered which resulted in the charge. There may be mitigating circumstances that could lead to a reduced charge or even dismissal. Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.