What if I am arrested for “assault & battery” in Las Vegas, NV?

Assault and battery are often commonly confused crimes in Nevada. Assault by definition means apprehension of a harmful or offensive bodily contact. An example might be if someone threatens you in a bar. Battery on the other hand, actually is the harmful or offensive bodily contact that actually takes place. There’s a lot of fights here in Vegas. People get in fights in casinos, people get in fights all the time in nightclubs, people get into fights out on the street. And we often see battery charges, misdemeanor battery charges coming from typical fights occurring in Las Vegas where there’s not substantial injury.

A conviction for assault and battery are the same. Both are considered to be misdemeanors in the state of Nevada. On a misdemeanor charge, any misdemeanor is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 or 0 to 6 months in jail. And on any misdemeanor conviction, the consequences can be serious because it will stay on record for up to two years before you can seal it.

Most typically if we represent a client with no criminal history and the fight did not involve substantial bodily injury, we can obtain a result that usually involves payment of a fine and no jail time. With any conviction, there can always be collateral consequences. That include having a criminal record, which could be discoverable by employers in background checks, credit application checks.

An assault and battery conviction can be a real red flag on your record. Because prospective employers look at that and they think is this person temperamental, is this person violent, would this person be a liability in the workplace? So, as difficult as it is already to get a job in this economy, it could be that much more difficult if you have a violent crime conviction, even a misdemeanor on your record.

What if I am arrested for assault battery in Las Vegas, NV?

When the police arrive, they have a tendency just to detain or arrest everybody who’s involved, or everybody who looks like they’re involved without really taking the time to sort out who started it, and who’s really at fault. Consequently, the wrong person or the wrong people often get arrested.

The defense to assault and battery, would be first that the incident never occurred. Sometimes you might have a situation where someone is making a false or malicious allegation against you.

Another defense would be self-defense, which is that your action was provoked by the action of someone else and that your actions were legally justifiable because you were placed in a situation where you feared that someone might do something harmful to you, and you needed to use some force to defend yourself.

One case in particular that we took to trial was our client who was accused of battery causing substantial bodily harm, in which the state alleged that our client was involved in altercation with a casino security officer. And during the course of that altercation, the coffee pot was smashed over his head. The prosecutor in that case did not relent and did not offer a reasonable negotiation. We took that case to trial. And through argument, through witness testimony, and through a video, we were able to show to a jury what actually took place. That it was obviously a case of self defense. And we were able to achieve a not guilty verdict on behalf of our client. Those are cases that go to trial.

Those are cases we look forward to take into trial.