Assault in Nevada is an attempt to cause physical injury to another person – for instance, attempting to strike someone with a hand or object, and missing. Assault also is any intentional act or threat of action that reasonably causes a person to feel afraid of impending violence. Words alone do not constitute an assault. If, however, an offender also takes some sort of menacing action, such as stepping toward the victim or raising a fist, the offender has committed an assault. Simple assault is committed without a dangerous weapon and is a misdemeanor. (NRS §200.471.)
Battery in Nevada is the intentional infliction of physical force against another person, such as punching another person or hitting someone with an object. Battery without a deadly weapon and without intentional infliction of substantial bodily harm is the least serious battery offense under Nevada law and is a misdemeanor. (NRS §200.481.) In some instances, a battery can be a gross misdemeanor.
Assault or Battery Against Certain Victims
Nevada statutes designate certain victims as members of a protected class, such as police officers, firefighters, judges, correctional officers, healthcare providers, school employees, taxi drivers, public transit operators and sports officials at sporting events. An assault or battery committed against a sporting official because of actions he took as a sporting official (because of a certain call in a game, for instance) is a gross misdemeanor. An assault or battery committed against any other member of the protected class who was performing his duties also is a gross misdemeanor, so long as the offender knew or should have known of the victim’s special employment status.
Prisoners' assaults & batteries
If the person who commits assault or battery against a member of the protected class is a prisoner in custody or a person on probation or parole, the crime of assault is a Category D felony and the crime of battery is a Category B felony.
Domestic violence assault and battery
Domestic violence assault and battery is assault or battery against a household member, family member, or someone with whom the defendant is in a dating relationship or has children in common. This crime is a misdemeanor unless the offense is the defendant’s third domestic violence conviction in seven years, which is a Category C felony.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Assault or Battery in Nevada
A person convicted of an assault or battery faces the following possible penalties:
- up to six months days in jail or a fine up to $1000 or both, or
- 200 community service in lieu of jail. (NRS 193.050, 176.087.)
Penalties for Assault or BatteryAgainst Protected Class Member
A person convicted of an assault or battery against a member of a protected class faces the following possible penalties:
- up to one year in jail or a fine up to $2000 or both, or
- 600 community service in lieu of jail. (NRS § 193.050, 176.087.)
A prisoner in custody or a person on probation or parole who assaults a member of a protected class is subject to the following penalties for a Category D felony:
- one – four years in prison, and
- a fine up to $5000. (NRS §193.130.)
A prisoner in custody or a person on probation or parole convicted of battery on a member of a protected class (Category B felony) can be sentenced to one – six years in prison.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Assault orBattery
A defendant convicted of domestic violence assault or battery for the first time within a seven year period is subject to the following penalties:
- two days – six months in jail
- 48 – 120 hours of community service, and
- a fine between $200 and $1000.
A defendant convicted of a second domestic violence assault or battery offense in a seven year period faces the following penalties:
- ten days – six months in jail
- 100 – 200 hours community service, and
- a fine between $500 and $1000.
A defendant convicted of a felony domestic violence assault or battery (third offense in a seven year period) faces the following penalties:
- One – five years in prison
- and a fine up to $10,000, or both.
Defendants convicted of domestic violence must also attend counseling.
Suspended Sentence, Probation and Sealing a Criminal Record
A court in Nevada can impose a suspended sentence and probation for assault or battery for up to two years. In a domestic violence case, the judge can suspend the sentence for up to three years but only after the defendant has served the minimum jail sentence.
Two years after release from custody or successful completion of probation, a misdemeanor offender inNevadacan file a request with the court to have his criminal record sealed. Sealing the record is at the discretion of the court.
For information on how to seal an adult criminal record in Nevada, see Expungement & Sealing Adult Criminal Records(general information on sealing records) and Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Nevada (state-specific information).
A person convicted of assault or battery inNevadacan be required to pay restitution as part of his sentence or as a condition of probation or a suspended sentence. Restitution involves reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime, such as the cost of medical treatment, counseling, or repair or replacement of damaged property.
Pleas and Pre-Trial Options
If you are facing a charge of assault or battery in Nevada, you'll benefit from having an attorney who can investigate the case and determine if you were wrongfully charged or if there are other reasons why the case should be dismissed before trial. If the charges are not dismissed, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor, or prepare a defense and represent you at trial if you believe you have been wrongly accused or if there are no reasonable plea options. Prosecutors may negotiate and agree to a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea or to the defendant pleading guilty to a different, less serious crime.
The Value of Good Representation
A conviction for a crime becomes part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted later of another crime, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence in the new case. A criminal record—even a misdemeanor conviction, and particularly a conviction for a violent crime—can hurt you when you are looking for a job or applying to rent a house or apartment.
Only someone familiar with the local criminal court system and cases like yours will know how good your chances are for a favorable outcome in court or at the negotiating table. A knowledgeable attorney will take all of this into consideration, assist you in making decisions about your case, and protect your rights.