People often get confused about the definitions of and differences between assault and battery charges. Assault is defined as an attempt to use physical force against someone else or intentionally making another person fear the threat of immediate bodily harm. By comparison, battery is defined as actually using physical force against another person. However, under Nevada statutes, injury that does not cause permanent injury may be convicted as assault.
Assault and battery crimes can incur felony or misdemeanor charges, depending on several factors. Nevada Revised Statute 200.481 explains that if battery is not committed with a deadly weapon and the victim suffers no bodily harm (except when committed against a public officer), the battery is charged as a misdemeanor. However, if battery is not committed with a deadly weapon and either substantial bodily harm results to the victim or battery is committed by strangulation, the offense is charged as a Class C felony.
When a deadly weapon is used in the commission of battery and substantial bodily injury occurs, the offense is a Class B felony. Unlike the definition of assault, sexual assault involves forced physical sexual contact, and is treated more like battery in Nevada.
Sexual assault resulting in substantial bodily harm is a Class A felony punishable by life in prison without parole or life imprisonment with eligibility for parole after serving 15 years. Penalties are lighter when no substantial bodily harm occurs, but the sentence is still life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after serving 10 years.