Criminal Defense

What is an Assault?

Assault is the unlawful attempt to use physical force on another person or intentionally place another in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm.

Put simply, assault can be where you intended to use physical force but miss or where you threaten bodily harm.

Factors that Determine Assault Penalties
In its least severe form, an assault is a misdemeanor. However, if the assault was with a deadly weapon, against a protected set of people or the assault was committed by an inmate or a person on probation/parole, the punishment is more severe.
Shows a man ready to assault a woman in her home.
Show various items that are used to assault someone.

What is a Deadly Weapon?

Nevada law defines a deadly weapon as “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 substance 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.”NRS 193.165

Of course, a knife or gun falls into this category, but other objects, if used to inflict injury, are classified as deadly weapons. For instance, bats, screwdrivers, rocks, sticks, bottles, and other household items can all be classified as deadly weapons.

  • Firefighters;
  • Police Officers;
  • Peace Officers;
  • Jailers;
  • Judges and Justices;
  • Civilian volunteers of law enforcement agencies;
  • Many employees and volunteers of the State or political subdivisions;
  • A provider of health care;
  • Employees of a school;
  • Sports officials at sporting events;
  • Taxicab drivers; and
  • Transit operators.

Misdemeanor Assault

If the assault was not with a deadly weapon, not on a protected person and not by an inmate or person on probation/parole, then assault is a misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Up to 180 days in jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $1000.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

All assaults with a deadly weapon are Category B Felonies punishable by:

  • 1 to 6 years in prison, and/or
  • A fine of up to $5,000.

Assault on a Protected Person without a Deadly Weapon

If the assault is without a deadly weapon but against a protected person and the assaulter knew or should have known that the victim was a protected person, the assault is a gross misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Up to 365 days in jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $1000.

Assault without a Deadly Weapon on a Protected Person by an Inmate or a Person on Probation/Parole.

If an inmate or person on probation/parole commits an assault without a deadly weapon, and the assault was made on a protected person and the assaulter knew or should have known that the victim was a protected person, the assault is a Category D Felony punishable:

  • 1 to 4 years in prison, and
  • A fine of up to $5,000.
  • Self-Defense

People in Nevada can defend themselves if they reasonably believe they are facing an urgent or pressing threat of bodily harm, and the non-aggressor used no more violence then necessary to protect themselves.

  • False Statements

If a person did not commit assault but the alleged victim lied, then the person is not guilty of assault. A skilled attorney is necessary to show the court that the alleged victim was not truthful and his testimony should be disregarded.

Our Team Can Help!

If you have been charged with assault in Las Vegas, Henderson, Clark County, Laughlin, Mesquite, Pahrump, Boulder City or elsewhere in Nevada, call Your Defender at Law at 702-625-7551 for a FREE consultation.

Jherna Shahani, Esq. provides loyalty, skill, personal attention, and care to every case. Advice from an attorney is just a phone call away, and you are guaranteed a same day response; it is just that important.