Assault and Battery Offenses and Penalties in Nevada

Assault and battery are sometimes thought as the same offense, but they are separate offenses. Regardless of the differences between the two, they both hold substantial penalties and bring forth an undesirable social stigma that can haunt the person charged of the crime for a long time.

But what is the difference between assault and battery?

Assault is the unlawful attempt of physical force on another person or the intentional placement of another person in harms way or the way of immediate bodily harm. Battery is any willful or unlawful force of violence on another person. Essentially, assault is threatening to strike someone while battery is actually striking him or her.


For assault, you are looking at a misdemeanor charge. But, that charge still comes with hefty penalties and is something you want to avoid at all costs. Being charged with an assault crime can change your life, and, in addition to other punishments, you’ll receive a permanent mark on your criminal record, which will make it more difficult for you to get a job, get accepted into the colleges of your choice or obtain a professional license.

The first step to successfully fighting assault charges against you is to retain a confident, experienced criminal defense attorney. The Defenders will thoroughly investigate your case to look for false allegations or arrest, and work with you to develop a strong strategy that will stand up in court. We have successfully defended numerous assault cases in the Nevada court system and will bring our knowledge and expertise to the table in your case. Our goal is to do everything possible to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced. Don’t wait for the courts to find you guilty of assault.

If you are charged and convicted of assault on another person, you can face serious penalties, such as:

• Six months in a county jail
• Up to a $1,000 fine
• Community service

You do not have to actually commit the assault or battery to be penalized, if you willfully provoke someone in any way, you can be charges as an accomplice of the crime. Furthermore, there are some people who are in a special protected class that will increase the penalties for a battery charge. Under NRS 200.481, these people are police officers, health care providers, taxi cab drivers or transit operator, corrections officers, judges, firefighters, school employees, and sports officials. If any battery is conducted against the listed personnel, charges will be increased significantly because they are part of a protected position. Hiring an experienced lawyer will help you get through your difficult case and ensure you help take the necessary precautions needed to prove your innocence. An experienced defense lawyer will understand there may be extenuating circumstances in your case that led to the battery charges against you.

Self-Defense Lawyer

Assault and battery cases are never the same and they vary widely based on the unique circumstances and facts that surround the case. Self-defense is easily the most common defense used in assault and battery cases. But to prove that it was indeed self-defense, one must show that they felt a real, honest fear of harm, the threat of unlawful force and that there was no way of escaping the assault.


Under Nevada law, battery is defined as using willful, violent physical contact against another person or anything closely connected to that person. While assault does not require physical contact be made for charges to be filed, battery does – intentional infliction of physical force against another person. However, the “physical contact” needed to file a battery charge is not as severe as one might think. You can be charged with battery if you merely touch someone’s clothes in a rude or disrespectful manner. Battery can bring forth a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the seriousness of the offense. Regardless, both will bring forth heavy penalties and possible jail time along with a criminal record, which can affect you in your day-to-day life, possible employment, and can even affect schooling. For a misdemeanor battery charge, you are looking at the following penalties:

• Up to a $1,000 fine
• Up to six months in a county jail
• Community service

For a felony battery charge, you will be facing the following penalties:

• Significant fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000
• Imprisonment for one to 20 years depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime

Any kind of battery where strangulation was used or when substantial bodily injury occurred without the use of a deadly weapon will be guilty of a Category C felony and:

• One to five years in a State Prison
• Fines no more than $15,000

What is assault with a deadly weapon?

In Nevada, this is defined as using a gun, knife or lethal object to place a person in reasonable or immediate bodily harm.

What class felony is assault with a deadly weapon?

Penalties for this crime include a category B felony, punishable by one to six years in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000. It is possible for this charge to get brought down to a simple battery, which will result in a misdemeanor charge, by taking a plea bargain.

A person doesn’t need to have used the weapon to cause harm; even having the weapon in reach can qualify as an assault with a deadly weapon. Since assault is an intent crime in Nevada, the defendant can only be convicted if he/she intends to cause someone else to feel the apprehension of being battered.

AUTHOR: The Defenders Criminal Defense Lawyers

Copyright Law Office of Richard A. Harris

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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