According to Nevada law, battery with substantial bodily harm charges means administering physical force against the law that results in extreme physical injuries. An individual will face the charges of a felony if the defendant is convicted. In the state of Nevada, a battery crime is charged as a felony. If convicted the defendant may be awarded 1 to 15 years in prison in addition to a fine.
Defining Battery With Substantial Bodily Harm In Nevada
The charge for battery with substantial bodily harm in Nevada is NRS200.481. This is defined as intentionally hitting or a way of making contact with someone that results in physical injuries. The following are some examples of bodily harm:
- Loss of consciousness
- Deep-rooted contusions
- Cuts that require stitches
- Extensive burns
- Gunshot wounds
- Damaged organs
- Bones fractured
Some instances of battery that can be the cause of substantial bodily harm are:
- Throwing huge or pointed objects
Accidental contact which causes these injuries will not be considered battery. The actions must be deliberate to be considered battery, which is illegal.
What Are The Consequences Of A Battery Conviction?
Any person convicted of battery charges can expect to serve time in a Nevada State Prison. A conviction for 1 to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to a maximum of $10,000 may be handed out to a defendant who does not use a lethal weapon to commit the battery. This is known as a category C felony. The exact amount of the fine and the time in jail will be at a judge’s discretion.
A conviction of 2 to 15 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 may be handed out to a defendant who used a lethal weapon to commit the battery. The exact amount of fine and time in jail depends on the judge’s discretion. This is known as a category B felony. A category B felony includes battery against the following professions: school employee, health care provider, taxi driver, officer, sports official, or transit operator.
The sports official must be on duty or the defendant knows the sports official’s profession. A category B defendant can expect to serve 2 to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 if the professions listed above are not involved. A category B charge for a defendant who is an arrestee (person in lawful custody), parolee, probationer, or prisoner will be 1 to 6 years in jail if there is no weapon involved. The prison time will be 2 to 15 years if the defendant used a weapon.
Battery On Protected Professionals
Some professionals are ‘protected’ in the state of Nevada. These professionals include:
- School employees
- Health care providers
- Taxi driver
- Transit operator
- Sports official
This means that a charge of battery against any one of these professionals will constitute a bigger penalty. The individual must be on duty for the person to be protected. This means that a taxi driver will not be protected while they are not driving the taxi. Similarly, a police officer will not be protected while they are off-duty.
The defendant must know that the other person is employed as one of these professionals for the individual to be protected. The defendant may not know if an officer is in plain clothes on an undercover assignment in a public place. The defendant no longer has this alibi if the officer in plain clothes shows the defendant their badge. The defendant can still have this alibi if the officer shows the badge behind the defendant’s back to someone else or if the defendant is hard-of-hearing.
What Are The Most Common Defenses For A Battery Charge?
There are three most common forms of defense made by defendants for a charge of battery with substantial bodily harm. Which of these defenses may apply depends on a case-to-case basis. The first form of defense is accident. It can be considered an accident if bodily injury is caused by an unintentional act.
An example of an accident is, a person might cause harm to someone’s fingers by closing a door when their fingers are still there. Self defense is another form of defense for the charge of battery in the state of Nevada. For example, if someone pulls out a dagger to hurt the victim. The defendant can use force to subdue the assailant.
The defendant can use the defense of false accusation if there is insufficient evidence to prove the defendant guilty. False accusations mean that the defendant is being falsely accused of a crime that they did not commit by the complainant to get revenge, out of anger, or possibly because of misidentification. The defense of accidental injury becomes very hard to prove in a court of law because the judges and prosecutors have heard this story time and again. Providing the medical proofs and evidence to support such a theory means going out on a limb and this may or may not always work.
What Is The Difference Between Battery & Assault Charges?
There is a very slight difference between assault and battery as defined on a legal level. But there is a huge difference of verdict that can apply for a defendant facing assault or battery charges. Assault and battery both can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Assault carries a lower level of punishment in comparison to battery.
Assault is defined in Nevada law by NRS 200.471 as “unlawfully attempting to use physical force against another person” or “intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm”. To put it simply, assault is when a person threatens to physically injure another individual. The charge remains assault as long as the person has not physically injured the other person but has only threatened to do so. Battery becomes the charge when the person has physically injured another individual.
People need to understand that each case is unique in a way on its own. It might not be entirely obvious, but a certain defense that applies a certain case might help the defendant out of a difficult situation. That same defense may or may not apply to a person with a similar or even lower charge. It takes an experienced attorney to provide a defendant with an expert level of defense in a court of law.