Assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) in Nevada is a serious legal matter that demands attention. This offense involves the use of firearms, knives, or any other lethal object to either harm or intimidate someone with the threat of immediate bodily harm. Classified as a category B felony, ADW carries harsh penalties, including imprisonment for up to 6 years and fines of up to $5,000. The mere presence of a deadly weapon, along with the capability to use it, is sufficient to constitute ADW, highlighting the gravity of the offense. In this article, we’ll delve into the various nuances of this law, exploring its implications, defenses, and related legal considerations. Understanding the complexities surrounding ADW is crucial for navigating the legal landscape effectively and ensuring the protection of one’s rights and interests.

NRS 200.471(2)(b) | What Are the Laws Surrounding Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Nevada?

What Constitutes Assault with a Deadly Weapon Under Nevada Law?

Assault with a deadly weapon, as defined by NRS 200.471(2)(b), involves two main elements: the act of assault and the use of a lethal weapon. Assault, under NRS 200.471, includes attempting to use force against another person or causing them to reasonably fear immediate bodily harm. It’s important to note that physical contact is not necessary for assault to occur; rather, it’s the intention to cause apprehension of harm.

A deadly weapon, as per Nevada law, encompasses any object likely to cause substantial bodily harm. This extends beyond firearms and knives to include items like pipes or bricks that could inflict serious injury. Assault with a deadly weapon can occur even if the weapon is not physically used but is present during the assault, as long as there is the potential for its use.

For instance, if someone threatens another with a knife or holds a gun nearby during a confrontation, it constitutes assault with a deadly weapon. Even seemingly harmless actions, like brandishing a fist while carrying a weapon, can lead to serious legal consequences under NRS 200.471(2)(b). It’s crucial to understand these definitions and their implications, especially in scenarios where charges may be brought forth based on the presence or threat of a lethal weapon.

How Can I Defend Against Assault Charges in Las Vegas?

When facing assault charges in Las Vegas, mounting a strong defense is crucial to protect your rights and future. Here are effective strategies that a skilled criminal defense attorney can use to challenge the accusations:

  1. You had no criminal intent: Demonstrating that there was no intention to cause apprehension of immediate bodily harm, which is essential for proving guilt.
    Example: Adam, while walking down the street, accidentally trips and his knife flies towards a pedestrian. Despite the pedestrian’s fear, Adam had no intent to cause harm, resulting in no criminal liability for assault with a deadly weapon.
  2. The accuser lacked reasonable apprehension: Showing that the alleged victim’s fear was unreasonable or that the harm threatened was not immediate.
    Example: Kevin walks into a 7-Eleven with an openly carried pistol, causing a patron to fear for her safety. However, since Kevin’s actions were lawful and non-threatening, the fear was deemed unreasonable, resulting in no criminal charges.
  3. You acted in self-defense: Asserting that actions were taken in lawful self-defense against immediate bodily harm.
    Example: John, threatened by Mike’s aggressive behavior, displays his pocket knife in self-defense. John’s measured response to protect himself from Mike’s threat demonstrates lawful self-defense.
  4. The accuser consented: Providing evidence that the alleged victim consented to the actions, negating the assault charges.
    Example: In a sports setting like boxing, where physical contact is expected, consent to the activity serves as a defense against assault charges.
  5. You did not use or have a lethal weapon: Establishing that no lethal weapon was used or available to be used, challenging charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
    Example: Laura’s keys and phone in her pocket were mistaken for a weapon during an argument, leading to no arrest once law enforcement realized the misunderstanding.

It’s important to note that the absence of physical injury or contact does not serve as a defense against assault charges. Consulting with a knowledgeable legal professional can help build a robust defense tailored to your case’s specific circumstances, safeguarding your rights and future.

What are the legal consequences under NRS 200.471(2)(b)?

Assault with a deadly weapon in Nevada carries severe consequences, outlined under NRS 200.471(2)(b):

  • Category B felony: The sentence ranges from one to six years (1 – 6) in prison, accompanied by fines of up to $5,000.
  • Penalty consistency: Regardless of whether the assault targeted a “protected class” like police officers or the perpetrator’s legal status, the penalties remain the same.
  • Plea bargains: In certain cases, a skilled Las Vegas criminal defense attorney may negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges to misdemeanors such as simple assault, simple battery, or trespass under NRS 207.200. The typical misdemeanor sentence includes up to six months in jail and/or fines up to $1,000.

Are There Immigration Consequences for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Nevada?
Assault with a deadly weapon convictions can lead to deportation, posing a significant risk for non-citizens. This includes any convictions related to firearms, heightening the possibility of removal for immigrants. Immigrants facing criminal charges in Nevada should seek legal representation promptly. Working with a skilled attorney could lead to negotiations with prosecutors to reduce charges to non-deportable offenses or potentially have them dismissed altogether.

Can I Seal My Record After Assault with a Deadly Weapon Conviction in Nevada?

Convictions for assault with a deadly weapon in Nevada can be sealed ten years after the case concludes. However, if the case is reduced or dismissed, the waiting period is significantly shorter:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon (category B felony): 10 years after the case ends
  • Simple assault (misdemeanor): 1 year after the case ends
  • Dismissed charges (no conviction): Immediately

It’s essential to understand these timelines and explore the possibility of sealing records with the assistance of legal counsel to move forward positively.

What Other Offenses Are Related to Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Nevada?

  1. Using a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime:
    When a lethal weapon is used or carried during a crime, the court may add one to twenty years to the sentence, not exceeding the sentence for the underlying crime. For instance, if sentenced to seven years for armed robbery, the additional sentence cannot exceed seven years, resulting in a total sentence of 14 years.
  2. Being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm:
    Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms in Nevada. Violating this law is a category B felony, punishable by one to six years in prison and fines of up to $5,000 at the judge’s discretion.
  3. Brandishing a firearm:
    Drawing or waving a gun in a threatening manner is a misdemeanor offense. Brandishing a firearm carries fines of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.
  4. Battery with substantial bodily harm:
    Inflicting unlawful physical force resulting in severe physical harm constitutes battery with substantial bodily harm, a felony offense carrying a prison sentence of one to fifteen years.

For further legal assistance and to discuss your case with an expert, don’t hesitate to contact ATAC LAW.