Ross C. Goodman is a Las Vegas native who served as a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 2001, Ross started a boutique criminal defense practice following his father Oscar B. Goodman who was a nationally acclaimed criminal defense attorney.Learn More
Assault and Battery Charges Information
Assault and Battery Charges Attorney : INTRODUCTION
Physical violence is one of the worst kinds of offenses that one can commit. It involves inflicting physical pain on another person, sometimes causing permanent damage to their body. The law defines a large variety of offenses related to physical violence, each with their corresponding legal definitions and appropriate penalties. They range from simple slight altercations to more severe charges involving near-fatal wounds. For this section, we will focus on assault and battery charges in Las Vegas. Battery and assault charges are some of the more common charges related to physical violence in Nevada and Las Vegas in particular. Knowing how these charges come about can help your criminal defense attorney defend you against conviction.
Differentiating Between Assault and Battery Charges in Las Vegas
Nevada is one of a handful of states that provides separate definitions for battery and assault charges. These definitions are listed in the Nevada Revised Statutes; NRS 200.471 defines assault, while NRS 200.481 explains how battery works. Assault occurs when a person threatens another person with the possibility of physical violence. No actual contact happens, but the other party feels threatened that they will eventually be hurt if things escalate. Witnesses must also attest that the threat of physical attacks is clear and present. Battery involves unlawful physical contact with the intent to cause violence on another person. This usually involves kicking, punching, or strangling the other party. Other related actions include throwing objects, poisoning, or making them ingest other harmful substances.
Aggravating Factors that Enhance Assault and Battery Charges
As is the case with other crimes, assault and battery charges can escalate to more severe crimes due to several factors. Some of the more common factors include: Utilizing a deadly weapon Using anything from a random kitchen knife to a sophisticated firearm merits an automatic escalation for a felony for both assault and battery charges. Assault with a deadly weapon alone equates to a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine to pay. Battery with a deadly weapon can lead to longer prison time, with a possibility of life imprisonment if the injuries are severe. Inflicting severe injuries Assault resulting in severe injuries is automatically considered a class B felony and can merit between one and six years in jail and $5,000 in fines. Battery with severe injuries, on the other hand, equate to a class C felony and can be penalized with a maximum of five years in prison and a total of $10,000 in fines. It can even increase to a 20-year prison sentence if more than one aggravating factor is involved. Committing a more serious crime Individuals may commit assault or battery while in the process of committing another serious crime, like robbery or car theft. This automatically escalates the assault or battery to a category B felony charge and can lead to a maximum of 10 years in prison. Assault or battery while in the process of committing sexual assault or rape equates to life imprisonment. The minimum imprisonment length and your eligibility for parole depends on the presence of substantial harm upon, and the age of the victim. Involving domestic violence Assault or violence on another party that happens to be the perpetrator’s spouse, former spouse, or live-in partner automatically escalates the charge into a domestic violence offense. The prosecution has the option of filing for either assault/battery, domestic violence, or both charges at once. Refer to the domestic violence segment for further information on penalties involving this charge. Assault or battery while in prison/on bail Battery while you are incarcerated or out on parole is considered a category B felony and automatically adds a maximum of six years to your sentence. Assault while imprisoned or on bail is relatively considered a misdemeanor, except if committed against protected individuals such as prison guards or other law enforcement personnel. The latter is considered as a category D felony and equates to a maximum of four years additional prison time and a fine of $5,000. Involving Specific Individuals Assault or battery against particular types of people constitute a gross misdemeanor and are punishable as such. Such individuals include public servants like law enforcement officers, fire officials, or public school staff; emergency medical professionals and doctors; and government personnel. A year in jail and a fine totalling $2,000 is expected.
Penalties for Assault or Battery Without Aggravating Factors
Outside of the aforementioned situations, assault and battery are considered misdemeanor crimes and only have minor penalties. At most, a person convicted of assault or battery in Las Vegas can face a maximum of six months in prison and a total fine of $1,000. Nevada courts can also require the defendant to conduct community service instead of facing prison time. People convicted of assault or battery in Las Vegas have the chance to not complete their penalties at the discretion of the courts. This involves the courts handing out a suspended sentence, allowing the defendant to go free on parole. The defendant is still required to pay restitutions to the victim, report to a parole officer regularly, and undergo regular tests to prove that they are not ingesting intoxicating substances for the rest of their parole period.
Defending Against Assault/Battery Charges
Assault and battery charges may be misdemeanor offenses with relatively minor penalties, but they can easily escalate to more severe complaints when plaintiffs cite aggravating factors against you. Knowing how to deal with these additional charges can help you avoid a conviction, or at least have your charges reduced to manageable levels. These charges involve victims claiming that there was an intent to harm (in the case of assault) or that the harm inflicted was intentional (in the event of a battery). Your defense attorney can argue that this was a misperception on the part of the victim; either the defendant had no intention to threaten physical action against the complainant or the physical harm inflicted was the result of other factors, like self-defense or provocation from the plaintiff. In the event of a conviction, however, your defense lawyer can advise you to request that your record be sealed by the Nevada courts after a certain period of time. Record sealing means your criminal record is restricted from public access, as if it never existed. This means that possible employers and organization staff will not see the conviction on your record, increasing your chances of being employed or admitted into associations. Do not take assault and battery charges in Nevada lightly. They can snowball into severe convictions if you ignore their aggravating factors, or if you continue to be convicted for these crimes in a short amount of time. In this regard, you need a veteran criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas that can help you avoid an assault or battery conviction through his skills and years of experience in defending against such charges. For such situations, Goodman Criminal Defense Attorney is one of the most recommended lawyers in town. Goodman Criminal Defense Attorney boasts over two decades of legal experience in handling defense case for a variety of clients. He has extensive experience in dealing with assault and battery charges in Las Vegas, and has helped attain acquittals over the years. You can count on him to help you handle these charges effectively, whether with total dismissal of charges or with favorable reductions to your sentence. Get in touch with Goodman Criminal Defense Attorney and let him assist you with your Nevada assault or battery case today.