Assault with use of a Deadly Weapon

Las Vegas Nevada Assault with Deadly Weapon Defense Attorney

Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Assault with use of a Deadly Weapon: NRS 200.471

1)         Definition of the Crime and Essential Elements

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Unlike the misdemeanor allegation of “simple assault,” in Nevada, any charge of Assault with the use of a Deadly Weapon is treated much more severely.  Assault with use of a Deadly Weapon is a category “B” felony.  This serious felony charge can have life changing consequences, including a prison sentence.  The Nevada Crime of Assault with a Deadly Weapon is detailed in NRS chapter 200. 

For a jury to find someone guilty of Assault with use of a Deadly Weapon the State must show beyond a reasonable doubt the following essential elements:

1)    An individual unlawfully attempted to use physical force against another person;

2)    An individual intentionally placed another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm; and.

3)    A deadly weapon was used.

Assault with a deadly weapon means that one person (the defendant) placed another person in a state of mind where they believed that they would be harmed, with an attempted use of physical force, while using a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon can be “any instrument which, if used in the ordinary manner contemplated by its design and construction, will or is likely to cause substantial bodily harm or death”, or  “any weapon, device, instrument, material, or substances which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing substantial bodily harm or death.”  Unlike many individuals believe, the alleged victim in an Assault case does not have to be injured for the crime of Assault with the use of a Deadly weapon to be charged.   

2)         Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

1. Assault – NRS 200.471

2. Assault by Probationer – NRS 200.471

3. Substantial Bodily Harm Enhancements – NRS 0.060

4. Assault on a Protected Class– NRS 200.471

5. Battery – NRS 200.481

 3)        Examples

While driving down a freeway, a man does not use his blinker to change lines and he cuts off another vehicle. The driver of this vehicle becomes upset, and waves his gun at the other driver. The driver who acted in an episode road rage could be charged with assault with a deadly weapon even though no physical contact was made.

In another example, two individuals get into a heated argument over their desire to date the same girl.  Instead of resolving their dispute with words, one of the two pulls out a folding knife, opens the blade, and lunges at the other.  Even though there is no contact with the knife and no injury occurs, the use of a knife to place the other person into apprehension that he may be cut amounts to a charge of Assault with the use of a Deadly Weapon in Nevada. 

4)         Defenses to Assault with a Deadly Weapon

While the State may feel they have sufficient evidence to bring a criminal allegation such as Assault with the use of a Deadly Weapon, this certainly doesn’t mean that the accused will ultimately be found guilty.  In fact, as with any other allegation, there are numerous defenses which could negate the charge and result in a situation where no conviction occurs.  Potential defenses could include self-defense - - meaning that the person charged had an honest and reasonable belief that he was going to be injured by another person and excessive force was not used in this instance.  

It is also possible to state that the accused had a lack of intent or the alleged victim had a lack of reasonable apprehension that he or she could actually be harmed.  For instance, if someone stands across the street from another, even if he is yelling and holding a knife, it is not reasonable to believe that there is any reasonable belief that there is any immediate threat due to the expansive distance between the two people.    

A knowledgeable and experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense attorneycan certainly  address the facts of the matter as they apply to the law and make a determination what the best defense to the charge will be.    

5)         Potential Penalty for Assault With a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a Category B Felony in Nevada.  Under Nevada law, if convicted, a person faces one (1) to six (6) years in the Nevada Department of Corrections, and/or a fine of $5,000.

6)         Criminal Defense for Assault with a Deadly Weapon Cases

Assault with the use a Deadly Weapon is a very intricate criminal charge in Nevada.  It is absolutely critical that the accused meets with an experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney immediately in order to begin building the best defense.  If you have questions about this, or any other criminal allegation in the State of Nevada, contact the law firm of Hofland & Tomsheck right away to schedule your free consultation.  (702) 895-6760.