Battery: A Complex Crime that Requires a Complex Defense
Battery is discussed in Chapter 200 of the Nevada Revised Statute, which deals with crimes against the person. Battery refers to the “willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” It is considered more serious whenever it is performed in the act of committing another crime or against a child, peace officer, fire fighter, judge, health care provider, school worker or sports official.In sentencing the accused, judges will look at whether or not serious bodily harm was done, in addition to other factors. It can carry a jail sentence of up to fifteen years, and a fine of up to $10,000. Minimum sentencing guidelines could result if strangulation also occurs.
The “heat of passion” defense is often used in battery cases. Heat of passion refers to an act committed in sudden heartbreak or anger when there is no time to develop intent. Self defense can also be an affirmative defense in certain situations where the defendant had reason to believe he or she was in imminent danger.
How well a defendant fares after an arrest for battery often depends on how well he or she is defended. Those arrested for battery are encouraged to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.