Friday, October 11, 2013

Challenging Assault and Battery Charges

The crimes of assault and battery can be charged as either misdemeanor or felony offenses in the state of Nevada, and conviction will result in harsh penalties. Although many people assume assault and battery are essentially the same crime, they are actually two distinct offenses.
  • Assault can be charged if a defendant attempts to use unlawful force against a victim or if the defendant purposefully put a victim in fear of imminent bodily harm.
  • Battery occurs when a defendant uses force or violence against a victim.

Common Defenses

If you are charged with assault, battery, or both of these crimes, there may be defenses available to you, including:
  • Lack of intent to harm. Both offenses involve a willful attempt to harm a victim. If you did not intend to hurt the alleged victim, such as if the harm was accidental, you have not committed assault or battery.
  • Victim’s fear was unreasonable. Assault typically involves the threat of immediate harm, so if you did not actually threaten the supposed victim or if you did not threaten immediate harm, you may be able to challenge the charges.
  • Self-defense or defense of others. If you are facing immediate bodily harm, Nevada law says that you can defend yourself as long as you use reasonable force to fight back. Likewise, you can use reasonable force to defend another person from an attack.
  • Protection of property. If someone attempted to damage or steal your personal property, you can use reasonable force to defend yourself and protect your possessions.

Depending upon the factors involved in your case, there may be various defenses available to you. Speak with an attorney to learn about your options to fight the charges.

To learn more about these offenses, visit the Assault and Battery pages on our website.