Las Vegas Lawyer for Assault Charges
While many people assume that “assault” and “battery” are the same crime, in fact they’re not. Rather, they’re two separate charges. Under Nevada Revised Statute §200.471, Nevada law defines assault as the unlawful attempt to use physical force against another person or intentionally placing another person in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury.
It’s important to note the word “attempt” in the definition of assault. It means that an individual can face assault charges even if they don’t cause physical harm to another. The crime of assault is merely the attempt to do the harmful act. On the other hand, individuals who intentionally cause actual bodily injury or make unwanted physical contact with another person face battery charges. When an assault or battery occurs within the context of a domestic relationship, it’s considered domestic violence.
Depending on the circumstances and facts of the case, the prosecution can charge assault as a misdemeanor or felony offense. That means that a conviction may result in incarceration (up to 4 years), fines, and more. If you’ve been charged with assault, it’s essential to connect with a proven assault charges lawyer as soon as possible.
Don’t waste hours of your time sorting through search engine results for “best assault and battery lawyers near me.” Instead, contact our top-rated assault charges attorneys at The Vegas Lawyers (“TVL”) today by calling (702) 707-7000 for your free initial consultation. At TVL, we understand what’s at stake. We can help you deal with assault charges by providing you with an outstanding defense.
A conviction for assault can lead to severe penalties like jail, prison, fines, and a hard-to-get-rid-of criminal record. Listed below are some of the penalties for assault charges in Nevada:
- Misdemeanor Assault: Up to six months in jail and fines up to $1K
- Gross Misdemeanor Assault: Up to 364 days incarceration and fines up to $2K
- Category B Felony Assault: Between 1 – 6 years in prison and fines up to $5K
- Category D Felony: Between 1 – 4 years in prison, up to $5K in fines
Individuals may face gross misdemeanor charges if they commit assault against certain “protected class” members like on-duty medical professionals, bus drivers, care providers, police officers, sporting officials, judges, etc. However, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was aware of the individual’s occupation.
Assault with a deadly weapon is considered a Category B felony in Nevada. Further, if an assault with a deadly weapon is committed against a protected class member, it’s also a Category B felony. It’s important to note that parolees, probationers, and inmates who commit assault against a member of a protected class face Category D felony charges, unless it’s with a deadly weapon. In that case, they can be charged with a Category B felony.
Assault allegations may result in both criminal and civil court cases. With that in mind, it’s essential to work with assault lawyers who can manage negotiations with a prosecutor and a personal injury assault lawyer. At TVL, we’ve handled countless criminal cases for happy and satisfied clients. We can do the same for you.
What Needs To Be Proven To Be Convicted Of Assault?
Assault charges don’t always guarantee a conviction. For that to occur, the prosecution must meet the burden of proof required to convict a defendant. With that in mind, to obtain an assault conviction, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following:
- The defendant intended to assault the victim
- The victim knew the assault was occurring
Proving an individual’s intent can be a challenging task for the prosecution. Working with an experienced assault charges lawyer can help defendants effectively share their version of the events while damaging the prosecutor’s case. Further, individuals accused of assault or battery may also be subject to civil lawsuits from the alleged victim.
In that case, it’s essential to work with an attorney who is familiar with Las Vegas personal injury law. Litigating a case against a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas can be a bit more nuanced than typical criminal proceedings. Therefore, it’s imperative to work with a lawyer who can represent you in both cases.
If you’ve been charged with assault in Las Vegas or the surrounding communities of Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite or Pahrump, don’t risk your freedom or future. Contact us to speak with an assault charges lawyer today.
Freedom of speech has limits. If you use words to issue threats against another person, you may be in violation of the law. That’s true even if you send threatening text messages, letters, emails, etc., to another person. Listed below are some of the Nevada crimes involving threats of violence:
- NRS §200.571 – Harassment
- NRS §200.180 – Sending threats to another person via writing
- NRS §202.448 – Terrorist Threats
- NRS §200.481 – Battery
- NRS §200.471 – Assault
Individuals who threaten others may face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the nature of the offense. Further, violence perpetrated against another person can result in significant jail or prison time, loss of rights, fines, and more.
Ultimately, the assault penalties levied against a defendant depend on many factors, including criminal history, nature of the charges, whether the offense included significant bodily injury, and many others according to the assault laws of Nevada.
Common Examples Of Assault
Some examples of conduct that would constitute an assault include the following:
● Pointing an unloaded gun at another person without the person realizing the gun is unloaded;
● Throwing a rock at another person who is sleeping with the intent to hit them but missing;
● Sticking a finger in another person’s face causing them to back up;
● Attempting to punch another person in the face and missing.
These are examples of conduct that can result in criminal charges for assault. The key fact in each of these situations is that the perpetrator either intends to use physical force against another (but no physical contact and harm results) or the victim is aware of an immediate physical threat.
It’s important to note that the prosecution cannot obtain a conviction unless they can prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) every element of the charges against a defendant.
Depending on the facts of your case, there are many potential defenses to assault charges available for use. Common assault defense strategies include the following:
- Lack of intent. There is no crime if the incident was an accident. For example, Jimmy and Jackson are friends and roommates. Jimmy is horsing around and twirling his shotgun in his bedroom when Jackson walks in and faints out of fear hitting the ground and injuring his back. Can Jimmy be prosecuted for assault? The answer is no because Jimmy didn’t intend to harm Jackson or cause him any fear. He was only playing around in his room not thinking anyone would walk in on him.
- Self-defense. A person can’t be prosecuted for assaulting another if they were acting in self-defense. For example, Betty is in a small hardware store when Angry walks in with a knife in his hand waiving it around and yelling that he’s upset causing everyone in the store, including Betty, to fear for their safety. Betty grabs an axe and tells Angry to get lost. Frightened by the size of the axe compared to his knife, Angry walks backward into a shelf, loses his balance and falls down injuring himself. Can Betty be prosecuted for assault? No. She was reasonably in fear for her safety given Angry’s behavior and was simply defending herself. Under Nevada law, she would have a valid defense.
- Lack of reasonable fear on the part of the victim is also a defense to assault charges. Mike is dating Lisa. Lisa’s ex-boyfriend Grumpy makes a “Facetime” call to her. Instead, Mike answers and begins yelling at Grumpy. Grumpy brandishes his revolver and tells Mike he’s going to blow his brains out and points the gun toward the video that Mike is watching. Mike faints and falls to the ground. Can Grumpy be prosecuted for assaulting Mike? The answer is no. There is no reasonable apprehension of imminent bodily harm since Grumpy could not possibly harm Mike through the video. Thus, there can be no charge of assault.
The penalties for assault charges are severe because law enforcement, politicians, and the public are interested in limited Las Vegas injuries and increasing overall safety. However, there are a number of good defenses a person can use if facing assault charges. It all comes down to the facts. Also, mounting a successful assault defense requires an experienced and skilled lawyer in your corner. This is not an area to gamble with your choice of lawyer.
Contact TVL If You’re Facing Assault Charges
Prosecutors often aren’t confident in the evidence they have against defendants in assault cases. As a result, they may attempt to bully the accused into accepting an unfavorable plea bargain, so they can avoid defeat in court. A proven lawyer for assault charges knows how to spot these types of tactics and similar.
Assault charges are nothing to take lightly. A conviction could drastically change your life for the foreseeable future. If you’re facing assault charges, it’s in your best interest to immediately contact a good criminal defense lawyer.
Contact The Vegas Lawyers today at (702) 707-7000 for your free initial consultation with Nevada’s best assault charges lawyers.