Simple Assault (Misdemeanor)

Assault in Nevada as explained by a Las Vegas Criminal Lawyer

Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Simple Assault: NRS 200.471

1)         Definition of the Crime and Essential Elements

Assault

Assault is an extremely serious criminal allegation and subjects the person accused to jail time, community service, or a fine if convicted.  The crime of Assault is detailed in NRS chapter 200. 

For the State to prove someone guilty of Assault 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 individually intentionally placed another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm.

In other words, Assault is the performance of an act or acts of attempted physical force, and when such acts are done with the intention that a person will be harmed. Assault means that there was no actual connection of a punch, slap, etc.  An assault can occur when someone threatens someone else.  Likewise, an assault under Nevada law occurs when someone attempts to commit a completed battery, such as throwing a punch, and fails to connect with the blow.

2)         Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

1. Assault with a Deadly Weapon – NRS 200.471(b)

2. Assault by Probationer – NRS 200.471

3. Substantial Bodily Harm – NRS 0.060

4. Assault on a Protected Class - NRS 200.471

5. Battery – NRS 200.481

3)         Examples

Two strangers are enjoying a football game. This particular football game is one that has a huge rivalry. A drunken fan of the other team comes up to a rival fan, who is cheering and wearing the jersey of the opposite team. In this intoxicated mind set, he tries to punch the other individual. However, he is unable to actually reach him to punch him. However, since he attempted to use bodily force to injure another, he committed assault and not battery.

Another example of assault is where one person is angry at another and wants to make the person feel as if he is going to hurt them.  So, in order to threaten the victim, the perpetrator “cocks back” his fist as if he is going to throw a punch.  This is a show of force designed to place the person in apprehension that they are going to suffer injury. 

4)         Defenses to Assault

As with every other type of crime charged in Nevada, the fact that a charge is filed does not mean the Defendant will be convicted.  There could be many different defenses to this allegation which could lead the charges being reduced or raised as defenses at Trial.  For instance, if the accused could show that he was not the aggressor, by demonstrating that he was making a gesture in self-defense, he would not be liable for the crime of assault. 

Likewise, if the facts were slightly different, and it can be proven that a witness was not being truthful, such as a witness claiming that an individual was going out of his way to be aggressive, but a surveillance video shows something different, that could lead to a defense that the witness was lying and had an ulterior motive for these charges being filed.

While the examples here are elementary, oftentimes the events of a real criminal case are not.  However, there is a best defense to every criminal allegation brought by the city or state prosecutor.   An experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense attorney will review the discovery of a case and discuss it with you in order to achieve the best possible defense. 

5.         Potential Penalty for Assault. 

Simple Assault in Nevada is a misdemeanor. If the person charged is convicted, the punishment is a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.   

6.         Criminal Defense for Assault Cases

Assault is a commonly charged Misdemeanor crime in Nevada.  While it is a misdemeanor, it is considered a violent offense and having such a charge on one’s record can be damaging in many ways above and beyond fines and jail time.  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 possible.  If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with this offense a call to former Chief Deputy District Attorney Josh Tomsheck is one of the best decisions you can make.  Las Vegas Criminal Lawyer Josh Tomsheck has a wealth of experience handling Assault charges in Nevada. 

For more information about the charge and defense of Assault in Las Vegas, call the law firm of Hofland & Tomsheck right away to schedule your free consultation.  (702) 895-6760.