If you have been accused of assault and/or battery, you are facing serious charges that could land you in jail, cost you a large amount in fines, limit your employment prospects, and destroy your reputation. An experienced Las Vegas assault and battery attorney can help defend your legal rights if you are accused of such a crime.
The Defense Attorney Who Can Protect Your Rights
Having the right Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process—from questioning through arrest, arraignment, pre-trial conferences, motions, plea bargaining negotiations, and at trial.
In some cases, your lawyer may be able to get the charges dismissed or even prevent them from being filed. It is important that you bring a well-experienced criminal defense attorney on board at the very earliest stage of the process, preferably before the charges have been filed. You should never answer any questions or discuss the matter with authorities without your attorney present.
In Las Vegas, criminal defense attorney Benjamin Nadig has years of experience and a reputation as an aggressive advocate for the rights of the accused. Because he was a Nevada prosecutor prior to becoming a defense attorney, Ben knows the inner workings of the criminal justice system from both sides, placing him in a superior position to ensure the best possible disposition of your case.
What the Charges of Assault and Battery Mean
Under Nevada criminal law as in common law, assault and battery are two different criminal offenses. Although they often occur together, they may each occur independently of the other. You can be charged with either one or both, depending on the circumstances of the incident.
To be charged with assault, you must have been accused of
- attempting to use physical force against someone, or
- intentionally causing a person to believe there is a danger of immediate bodily harm.
You don’t have to have made any physical contact with the person for an assault charge. Simple assault is usually a misdemeanor.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a more serious criminal charge. This charge involves using a weapon to intimidate the victim by creating fear, even if the weapon is never actually used and there is no physical contact. Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a felony, punishable by up to six years in prison.
Battery differs from assault in that the charge requires the actual use of force, not just the threat. Even so, you don’t have to actually hurt someone, merely intend to hurt them. It can be as little as an unwanted touch. The law defines battery as “willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person.”
In a majority of cases, if no weapon is used and there is no serious injury, battery is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail. The potential penalties become harsher in these cases:
- If the victim suffers a significant injury or strangulation, it can be charged as a Class C felony which can bring you a sentence of up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- If a deadly weapon is used and the victim is injured, the sentence can be as long as fifteen years
- If the victim is a person with whom you are involved in a domestic relationship, making it chargeable as domestic violence, with potential penalties that include prison, loss of child custody, and deportation if you are not a US citizen.
- If the victim belongs to certain protected groups, including police officers, firefighters, medical professionals, or state employees.
For you to be convicted of assault in Nevada, prosecution must prove that
- you had intent to commit the assault; and
- the alleged victim was aware of that the assault was happening.
To prove a Nevada battery charge, prosecution must show that
- you had intent to commit the battery, and
- you used unlawful force, and unwanted physical contact occurred with the alleged victim’s body.
Assault and battery are serious criminal charges, but a good lawyer can persuasively raise these defenses:
- You were acting in defense of yourself or someone else.
- The alleged victim deliberately provoked you.
- The other person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, causing escalation of a minor incident.
- Improper police procedure violated your constitutional rights.
If you or someone in your family has been accused of assault and/or battery, Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Ben Nadig will be passionate defender of your constitutional rights and a top choice to represent you. Don’t delay; call Ben before your case goes any further for the best possible resolution.