When Can an Assault and Battery Become a Felony?
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 is when someone attempts to use physical force against someone else or has intentionally made that individual fear that physical bodily harm is imminent. Battery, on the other hand, is when the actual use of physical force occurs. Nevada statutes do not require permanent injury in order for someone to be convicted of assault.
Misdemeanor and Felony Offenses
Assault and battery crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. The determination comes down to several key factors within that case. 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, 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 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.
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.
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 702-222-9999 now.