Nevada Revised Statutes 200.471 is Nevada’s assault law. Assault can be a misdemeanor or felony offense in the State of Nevada. Nevada law 200.471 is the law that criminalizes assault. In addition, assault is a tort that gives rise to civil liability for the victim. When you’re facing a charge of criminal assault, it can have a significant impact on your life. Our Nevada personal injury attorneys explain Nevada’s assault law, Nevada law 200.471.

Nevada Revised Statutes 200.471; Assault

Nevada Revised Statutes 200.471 prohibits assault in the State of Nevada.[1] The law defines assault as unlawfully trying to use physical force against another person or intentionally placing another person in fear of physical force. Assault occurs when a person tries to use inappropriate force, or when a person intentionally makes a person fear that they’re going to exercise unlawful force. Nevada Revised Statutes 200.471 criminalizes attempts to use physical force against others. Assault is considered an intentional tort for civil liability purposes.

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What Constitutes Assault in Nevada?

There are two things that constitute assault in Nevada:

  1. Putting someone in fear that you’re going to use unlawful force against them
  2. Attempting to use unlawful force against someone

Trying to physically hurt someone or even letting someone think that you’re about to hurt them constitutes assault in Nevada.

Assault in Nevada Must Be More Than Just Threats

Assault is putting someone in fear of the use of physical force against them. However, verbally threatening to use physical force against someone doesn’t count as an actual threat of force. The threat of battery must be immediate.

Even if a person makes threats or tells a person that they’re going to get hurt, it’s not an actual assault until the person has imminent, actual fear of bodily harm. Actual, immediate fear of harm must occur before an act constitutes assault.

Penalties for Assault and Battery in Nevada

Basic assault is a misdemeanor in the State of Nevada. It is punishable by up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. In addition, the offender may receive orders to complete rehabilitative programs, perform community service, and have no contact with a victim. Penalties for various assault charges include:

Simple Assault

  • Up to six months jail
  • $1,000 fine
  • Court costs
  • Probation
  • An order to have no contact with the victim
  • Restitution
  • Rehabilitative programs
  • Community service
  • When the offender is on probation, in prison, or on parole at the time of the offense, assault is a category B felony punishable by 1-6 years in prison

Assault of an Individual From a Protected Class (Like the Police)

  • Gross misdemeanor
  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Court costs
  • Probation
  • An order to have no contact with the victim
  • Restitution
  • Rehabilitative programs
  • Community service
  • If the offender is in prison, on parole, or probation, the offense is a felony punishable by prison time and a fine in addition to other penalties

Assault With a Deadly Weapon

  • Category B felony
  • At least one year in prison, and up to 6 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Court costs
  • Probation
  • An order to have no contact with the victim
  • Restitution
  • Rehabilitative program
  • Community service
  • If the victim suffers substantial bodily harm because of assault with a deadly weapon, the offender faces enhanced penalties

Defenses to Assault Charges in Nevada

There are several defenses to assault charges that may apply in Nevada:

  • Accident – Assault is a specific intent offense. A person can’t commit assault by accident. If a person is in fear of bodily touching because of falling or an accident, an assault did not occur.
  • Self-defense – Nevada law allows a person to act in self-defense to repel the risk of assault or battery. Self-defense may only be used in certain circumstances where the actor has a reasonable risk of harm.
  • False accusation – Unfortunately, false accusations can occur with assault charges. People have various motivations to be dishonest when it comes to assault charges. Too often, false accusations result in improper assault charges.
  • Not an offensive touching – Not every physical touching is offensive. For example, a person who taps you on the shoulder to ask you a question might be acting reasonably. It all depends on what’s offensive behavior under the circumstances.
  • No apprehension of immediate harm – Assault is an apprehension of immediate harm. The person must think that a battery is going to occur right then. Otherwise, it’s a threat and not an assault. No apprehension of immediate harm may be a viable defense to assault.

What’s the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

The difference between assault and battery is that assault is the apprehension of unlawful touching, while battery is the actual touching. For a battery to occur, there must be actual physical contact with a victim. On the other hand, assault is just the fear that an unlawful touching is going to happen. Even though the terms assault and battery are typically used as a single phrase, assault is one thing, and battery is another. Assault is when someone thinks that a battery is going to occur, and a battery is an offensive touching.

Nevada is one of a handful of states that charge assault and battery as separate offenses. Nevada law 200.471 is the assault law. Nevada law 200.481 is the battery law.[2] Many states allow the prosecutor to charge either offense under a single statute. However, Nevada law treats assault and battery as separate offenses.

If you’re facing a charge of assault or battery, it’s important to evaluate the individual charge carefully. The state decides what charges to bring. As a defendant, it’s up to you to defend yourself from the charges against you. When you know what you’re charged with, you can prepare an effective defense to the charges.

Nevada Attorneys for Injuries From Assault

Are you a victim of assault? You may deserve financial compensation. You have a right to bring a civil claim whether or not the state brings a criminal charge. In addition, as an assault victim, a criminal claim alone may not fairly represent your legal rights. Let our Nevada attorneys ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. Call us today.

Sources

[1] NRS 200.471

[2] NRS 200.481

Adam S. Kutner

Adam S. Kutner Personal Injury Lawyer

With more than 28 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas valley, Attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.