There is plenty of confusion when it comes to understanding the differences and definitions between assault and battery – often because the two charges can be used together in the same sentence.
Assault has differing titles and can mean different things depending on where the crime was committed. In some states, assault can mean intentionally making an individual fear that physical bodily harm is imminent. Nevada statutes do not require permanent injury in order for someone to be convicted of assault.
There are also three types of assault which are simple assault, assault causing bodily harm, and aggravated assault. Simple assault occurs when there is an attack or attempted attack that doesn’t use weapons. The victim must also not have any injuries or bodily harm. An assault causing bodily harm is an intentional attack that leaves the victim with small injuries like cuts, scrapes, or bruises. Lastly, an aggravated assault occurs when the defendant attacks the victim with a weapon or attacks with no weapon but leaves the victim with serious injuries like broken bones or major blood loss. The type of assault will greatly contribute to the punishment received.
Meanwhile, battery is any deliberate action towards another person. Actions such as punching someone, hitting someone with an object, or grabbing someone’s arm are all battery crimes.
Misdemeanor and Felony Offenses: Is Assault and Battery a Felony?
The crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. The determination comes down to several key factors within that case.
When is battery a felony? Under Nevada Revised Statute 200.481, if the battery is done without a deadly weapon and the victim did not suffer bodily harm, the battery is then charged as a misdemeanor offense. If, however, the battery does not use a weapon but results in serious bodily harm, the offense is considered a Class C felony.
If a deadly weapon is used in the commission of a battery crime and the victim suffers bodily harm, the charge is then upgraded to a Class B felony. Unlike assault, sexual assault involves forced sexual contact and is treated more like battery under Nevada law.
If a sexual assault occurs and results in bodily harm, the crime is then charged as a Class A felony, which is punishable by up to life in prison without parole, or eligible for parole after 15 years have been served. The penalties are lighter when bodily harm does not occur, but a person could still endure a life sentence without the possibility of parole until 10 years have been served.
When is assault a felony? An assault can become a felony when a deadly weapon is involved and it becomes a Class B felony in Nevada. The punishment for this charge can be up to $5,000 in fines, 6 years in a jail sentence, or both. The court can impose larger fines and longer jail times if the assault was committed in regards to someone’s sexual orientation, race, religion, or any other unique aspect of their life.
Restitution in Nevada
In the state of Nevada, restitution must be paid by the person convicted of the assault and/or battery. Restitution money reimburses the victim in order to make them “whole.” The money should cover the cost of expenses and losses following the crime. For example, property damages, medical bills, or counseling services.
The Penalties If a Felony Occurs
Misdemeanors carry much lighter penalties than felonies in the state of Nevada. If your assault or battery crime is upgraded to a felony, you could face imprisonment, fines, and the consequences of a felony conviction on your permanent record. With a felony, you will not be able to carry a firearm and you may have difficulty obtaining employment or even housing.
There are many factors that contribute to if someone is charged with a misdemeanor or felony. In a typical trial, the judge will consider the defenses presented and whether the defendant has taken responsibility for their actions. The judge will also analyze other details like the weapons used (if any), the defendant’s criminal record, and the relationship to the victim.
Additionally, in Nevada assault or battery on a police officer, judicial officer, firefighter, correction officer, or a certain state or civilian employee is knowingly using unlawful physical force. The punishment for this crime is more severe than other forms of punishment. In some cases, the defendant will be charged with a gross misdemeanor and face up to $2,000 in charges and 1 year in jail.
The Importance of Representation During Assault and Battery Arrests
If you have been arrested for assault or battery, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Cases can easily be upgraded to felony charges; therefore, you need to protect your rights. A criminal defense attorney at De Castroverde Law Group can help you understand the severity of these charges and provide you with a strong legal defense to avoid harsh penalties. Get started by contacting a defense attorney online via our contact form or by calling us at 702-919-6158 now.