Las Vegas Lawyer For Battery Charges
Contrary to popular belief, assault and battery are two separate criminal offenses in Nevada. Assault refers to threats or actions that place another person in imminent fear or harm. Battery, on the other hand, requires actual physical contact (directly or indirectly).
What Is The Definition Of Battery Under Nevada Law?
Under Nevada law, specifically NRS 200.481, the willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person constitutes the crime of battery.
It’s important to note that you can be charged with battery even if there are no injuries, as the charges simply require the “use of force/violence.” However, the prosecution can levy different types of battery charges depending on the situation. Nevada recognizes four separate battery offenses, including:
- Simple Battery
- Domestic violence battery
- Battery resulting in bodily harm
- Battery with a deadly weapon
Generally, the more significant the charges, the more severe the punishment. For example, someone convicted of battery with a deadly weapon can expect a harsher penalty than someone convicted of simple battery. Examples of battery include the following:
● Pinching a person on the buttocks while at a casino pool party;
● Punching someone in the face;
● Slipping something into a person’s drink causing them to become ill or nauseous;
● Stabbing another person with a knife.
If you’ve been charged with battery in Nevada, it’s essential to work with a skilled attorney for battery charges for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact The Vegas Lawyers (“TVL”) today by calling us at (702) 707-7000 to learn how we can help. Learn more about the definition, penalties, and defenses to the crime of battery below.
Misdemeanor battery, otherwise known as “simple battery,” can occur in a variety of situations. Depending upon the circumstances, an individual may face misdemeanor battery charges if:
- They knowingly touch another person when the “touching” is unwanted
- The defendant did not possess a deadly weapon at the time of the battery
- The alleged victim was not a part of a “protected class” (i.e., peace officer, judge, sporting official, medical providers, and others)
- The defendant was not an inmate at the time of the suspected battery
Individuals convicted of simple misdemeanor battery charges face up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
A gross misdemeanor battery is considered more serious than a simple misdemeanor battery charge but less serious than felony charges. Generally, individuals may face gross misdemeanor battery charges if they commit misdemeanor battery against a “protected class” member such as on-duty police officers, healthcare workers, sporting officials, and other “protected” people. A gross misdemeanor battery conviction can result in up to 364 days in jail and potential fines not exceeding $2,000.
Suppose a person is accused of battery resulting in significant bodily harm to another person. In that case, he or she is likely to face charges of battery with substantial bodily harm, which will result in harsher penalties if there’s a conviction. Battery with substantial bodily harm is automatically charged as a Category C felony offense in Nevada. If convicted, a defendant can face up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Further, a defendant in state custody (i.e., prison, jail, parole, probation) charged for battery with substantial harm can face a Category B felony offense, resulting in up to six years imprisonment.
A domestic violence battery offense (NRS 200.485) is a different charge than simple battery. Generally, domestic violence battery involves physical contact committed against:
- A spouse
- Former spouse
- A person related to the defendant by blood or marriage
- A person with whom the defendant had or has a dating relationship with
- Someone the defendant has a child with
- A partner’s children (not in common with the defendant)
In most cases, domestic violence battery is a misdemeanor offense. However, under certain circumstances, offenders may face felony charges. It’s important to note that both misdemeanor and felony domestic violence charges may result in incarceration, fines, and a permanent loss of the right to bear arms.
With that in mind, if you’re charged with domestic violence battery, it’s essential to work with a proven battery defense lawyer. Contact TVL today at (702) 707-7000 to learn how we can help.
A battery charge doesn’t necessarily mean that you can expect a conviction. That’s especially true if you work with an experienced attorney for battery charges in Las Vegas. The most common defenses to battery charges include, but are not limited to:
- Accidental contact
- The defendant did not intend the touch to cause harm or fear
- The defendant was defending themself from a credible threat
- False accusations
- There was no reasonable opportunity to escape from a dangerous situation other than using willful force
- The alleged victim expected the touching to occur (i.e., sparring during boxing training or expected aggressive “play fighting” with a friend)
Mounting a successful battery defense often requires the skill, knowledge, and ability of a proven battery criminal defense attorney. Defending yourself or working with a mediocre attorney is more likely to result in an unfavorable outcome in your case.
The penalties for battery depend on the charges and circumstances of the case.
Battery sentencing for misdemeanor “simple” battery charges includes:
- Up to six months incarceration
- Community service
- Up to $1K in fines
Individuals in jail, prison, on probation, or parole when the battery was committed face felony charges and subsequently harsher battery sentencing. Again, working with a battery defense attorney at The Vegas Lawyers can help to get charges and/or penalties reduced if not dismissed.
Battery with a deadly weapon is a Category B felony offense, resulting in significant prison time and fines if convicted. If the charges include battery with substantial bodily harm, defendants face up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10K. However, if the event does not result in battery with substantial bodily harm, defendants face a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum sentence of 10 years.
If you’ve been charged for battery with a deadly weapon, it’s essential to consult with a proven battery attorney to help reduce punishment and charges.
Battery with substantial bodily harm (not including a deadly weapon) is considered a Category C felony in Nevada. Individuals convicted of battery with substantial bodily harm face between 1 – 5 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. A skilled battery attorney can investigate the circumstances of your case, negotiate with the prosecution, and increase the odds of reduced penalties or dismissed charges.
In some cases, based on the facts of the case, a judge may decide to or be required to impose enhanced penalties for battery charges. That means that the initial punishment for battery can be significantly increased depending on the situation.
The most common scenario in which enhanced battery charges may be applied includes instances where a member of a protected class is the victim of battery. However, a judge may impose enhanced penalties for battery for many reasons, including recidivism, lack of remorse, and many other factors.
Depending on the facts of the case, a judge may impose suspended penalties for battery. For the most part, a suspended sentence is essentially the same as probation. That means the individual must stay out of legal trouble (for the same amount of time as the suspended sentence).
Failure to stay out of trouble can cause the suspension to be lifted and the initial punishment for battery may be reinstated. Generally, a judge can suspend penalties for battery for up to two years and the punishment for battery domestic violence for up to three years so long as the defendant serves a minimal amount of jail time.
The right to bail is constitutionally guaranteed for anyone facing criminal charges in the United States. Like most other criminal charges, defendants have the right to bail in battery cases. That means that a judge must allow most defendants the opportunity to post bail while they await trial. Working with an experienced battery attorney can help ensure that your bail hearing is fair and the amount is not excessive.
In Nevada, a battery trial consists of many steps. Generally, individuals charged with battery can expect the following to occur:
- Initial arrest
- Bail hearing
- Initial arraignment
- Pretrial conference
- Preliminary hearing
- Appeal – if necessary
Each step of a battery trial is equally important. For that reason, it’s essential to hire a battery trial lawyer as soon as you’re charged with an offense. A skilled battery defense attorney can motion to have illegally obtained, or irrelevant evidence suppressed, advocate for your rights, investigate the facts of your case, present a compelling argument, and represent you during every step of your battery trial.
A conviction for battery charges in Nevada can lead to devastating consequences that could have long-term effects on your life. For that reason, working with an experienced battery lawyer is essential. No battery attorney can guarantee a specific outcome. However, a skilled battery attorney can significantly increase your chances of a favorable result in your case.
If you’ve been charged with battery in Las Vegas, we’re here to help. Contact The Vegas Lawyers at (702) 707-7000 today to schedule your free initial consultation with a proven battery lawyer.