Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Assault and Battery – What’s the Difference?

Crime dramas often throw around the phrase “assault and battery”, which leads many people to believe that it is either singular offense or that the crimes are essentially interchangeable. Although they are sometimes charged together, assault and battery are actually two separate offenses in the state of Nevada.
  • Assault is charged when someone attempts to use physical force against another person or intentionally causes the person to be fearful of immediate bodily injury. (NRS 200.471)
  • Battery is charged when someone willfully and unlawfully uses physical force or violence against another person. (NRS 200.481)
In short, the main difference between these offenses is that assault is charged when a defendant attempts to cause harm to another person; battery is charged when a defendant actually uses force against another person.
Assault and battery are distinct crimes, and thus the penalties for conviction vary greatly in some cases. Sentencing for a Las Vegas assault or battery charge will depend heavily upon the specific factors involved in the alleged offense.

Assault Penalties

The types of charges filed for assault and the subsequent sentencing is impacted by the presence or use of a deadly weapon during the crime.

Assault Without a Deadly Weapon – Misdemeanor
  • Maximum of 6 months in county jail
  • Fines up to $1,000

Assault With a Deadly Weapon – Category B Felony
  • Maximum of 1 to 6 years in state prison
  • Fines up to $5,000

Battery Penalties

The types of charges filed for battery and the sentencing for conviction will depend upon whether the offense involved the use of a deadly weapon and whether the victim sustained bodily injury.

Battery Without a Deadly Weapon and No Substantial Bodily Harm – Misdemeanor
  • Maximum of 6 months in county jail
  • Fines up to $1,000

Battery Without a Deadly Weapon but With Substantial Bodily Harm – Category C Felony
  • Maximum of 1 to 5 years in state prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

Battery With a Deadly Weapon but No Substantial Bodily Harm – Category B Felony
  • Maximum of 2 to 10 years in state prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

Battery With a Deadly Weapon and With Substantial Bodily Harm – Category B Felony
  • Maximum of 2 to 15 years in state prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

To learn more about how these crimes are prosecuted under Nevada law, visit the Assault and Battery pages on our website. You can also read about some common defenses to these charges by checking out this past blog post: Challenging Assault and Battery Charges

If you have been accused of assault or battery in the Las Vegas area, don’t hesitate to contact the aggressive defense lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group. Our firm has defended clients against all types of misdemeanor and felony charges, and we can fight for you, too!