ASSAULT DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN RENO, NV
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Criminal charges involving aggressive, threatening, and violent actions are among the most serious crimes one can face. This includes charges of assault. Although many are familiar with this charge, few understand that although the terms “assault” and “battery” may be used together or interchangeably, they are actually distinct and separate crimes in Nevada. The key difference is that while battery involved actual physical contact (such as a punch) assault can occur without physical contact.
Assault, as it is defined by law, can be best understood as attempted battery. Per Nevada statute, assault involves intentionally making another fear that they will be physically harmed. Providing this requires prosecutors to establish that:
- A defendant had the intent to commit an assault; and
- The alleged victim was aware the assault was happening at the time.
The elements of a defendant’s intent and a victim being aware may seem vague, but they are important to understand in terms of assault charges. As an intent-based crime, assault involves a person who can reasonably be expected to commit a crime. Whether or not they truly intended to doesn’t mean they still can’t be charged. For example, threatening another person in a way that would reasonably cause them to fear immediate physical force (and cause them to be “aware” of being assaulted) is enough to constitute intent.