In Nevada, battery is the non-consensual harmful or offensive contact against a victim. Harmful contact can be force or violence used to inflict injury on the victim. The maximum punishment for battery in Nevada is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, which is a misdemeanor.
Nevertheless, if aggravating factors are involved, a person could face more severe punishment.
Are Battery and Sexual Assault the Same Crime?
No. Battery and sexual assault are separate criminal acts, even though both crimes may result in the victim suffering physical harm. The perpetrator may intend to assault the victim when they batter the victim sexually, but sexual assault can act as an aggravating circumstance.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault in Nevada is defined as penetration of a victim against their will or when the perpetrator knew or should have known that the victim was incapable of consenting. Sexual penetration can also occur when the perpetrator forces the victim to do so.
What Are Some Assault And Battery Defenses?
An assault charge requires that the victim reasonably feared harm. The victim must have been injured to be charged with battery. A claim for assault or battery will fail if any element cannot be proved.
Defenses available for assault and battery charges will vary greatly based on specific circumstances surrounding each case. Some general legal defenses that are used in assault and battery cases include:
- The Claim Cannot Be Proven: Each element of the charge must be proven. As mentioned, the defendant must have intended to commit an assault or battery. Both assault and battery cannot be proven if they did not possess such an intention;
- Intoxication From Alcohol Or Drugs: If the accused became voluntarily intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, this would not serve as an acceptable defense. The defense will only work if the defendants became intoxicated unknowingly, such as from drugs;
- Mental Illness: Mental illness, or another medical condition that creates an incapacity for forming intent, may serve as a defense to reduce the punishment. A successful plea of insanity would likely result in psychiatric treatment;
- Simple Mistake: The defendant may not have meant to commit an assault or battery. As for this defense, it depends entirely on whether the defendant acted intentionally;
- Self Defense: The person claiming self-defense must prove that they were afraid they would be harmed and that they did not act first. In addition, they must demonstrate that they had no choice but to retaliate physically;
- Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, the accused must prove that they had a reasonable fear that someone else would be harmed instead of showing that they themselves were afraid of being harmed;
- Defense of Property: The defendant will need to prove that they had a reasonable fear that their property would be damaged, and there was no way to respond but with assault or battery;
- Consent: If the alleged victim consented to the act, this could serve as a defense. Playing a contact sport, such as wrestling, is an example of this;
- Privilege: Some are granted the privilege to commit assault and battery with impunity. As an example, law enforcement can commit assault and battery when they claim it is necessary to do their jobs; and
- Mistaken Identity or Alibi: A potential defense would be if the defendant can show that they were not at the scene and have an alibi to prove it. If the alleged victim misidentified their attacker, that would also be a defense.
How Do Criminal Punishments Work?
When a person is convicted of a crime, they may face various criminal punishments. Multiple punishments are available, including incarceration, probation, and fines. For instance, a common criminal punishment for a misdemeanor crime is one year of jail time. Life without parole is another type of criminal punishment.
What Is the Penalty for Sexual Assault in Nevada?
Sexual assault penalties vary depending on the victim’s age. Those over 16 are sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years. It’s life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years if the victim is younger than 14 years old.
What Is Battery With the Intent to Commit Sexual Assault?
The crime of battery with the intent to commit sexual assault happens when the perpetrator commits battery against the victim while intending to sexually assault them. As a result of the perpetrator’s intent to sexually assault the victim, the underlying battery becomes a category A felony from a misdemeanor.
To be guilty of the aggravating circumstance, the perpetrator must intend to commit sexual assault while committing the battery. If there is no intent to commit a felony, the perpetrator has only committed a misdemeanor battery.
What Is the Penalty for Battery with the Intent to Commit Sexual Assault?
Battery with intent to commit sexual assault is a category A felony in Nevada, making it one of the most serious criminal offenses. As a result, the exact punishment a defendant will receive for this crime will depend on the circumstances of the case, such as the victim’s age and whether substantial bodily harm was sustained.
The punishment for battery that results in substantial harm or strangulation is as follows:
- Life without the possibility of parole
- Life with the possibility of parole after ten years
In the event that the victim did not suffer serious bodily harm, the punishment is as follows:
- If the victim is 16 years old or older, two years to life in prison with the possibility of parole
- When the victim is under 16 years old, prison sentences range from five to life without parole
What Is Life Without Parole?
Life without parole refers to spending the rest of one’s life in prison. Parole is not available as part of the criminal sentence. Both adults and juveniles can be sentenced to life without parole.
The parole system allows an individual to leave prison or jail after serving only a portion of their sentence. The eligibility for parole depends on each state. In the federal prison system, parole is known as supervised release.
A person’s parole eligibility is determined by several factors, including:
- Public safety;
- Mental stability;
- Remorse; and
- Time served.
Is Life Without Parole the Same as the Death Penalty?
The death penalty is not the same as life without parole. A person who receives the death penalty is put to death by the government.
Life without parole is often used as an alternative to the death penalty. Several groups oppose the death penalty, also known as capital punishment, and prefer that more criminals are sentenced to life without parole instead of death.
Last but not least, life without parole differs from probation. Under probation, a person can avoid jail or prison entirely in exchange for remaining under court supervision.
Reporting to a probation officer and complying with any other requirements, such as regular drug testing, are part of this supervision.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you wish to defend yourself against a charge of battery with the intent to commit sexual assault, you will likely need legal assistance. Contact a Nevada criminal attorney immediately to start fighting this charge.