Omaha Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer
Assault is a criminal offense, defined in Nebraska Revised Statute 28-310. A person commits assault in the third degree if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person; or threatens another in a menacing manner. This crime is often charged with the crime of battery, which can be defined as intentionally touching or applying force to the body of another person in a harmful or offensive manner and without consent. Assault and battery could be charged as a homicide if a person who was assaulted dies.
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Homicide occurs when one person causes the death of another. In Nebraska, it is first degree murder if the act was premeditated or committed during the commission of another felony. Homicide is charged as second degree murder when killing was intentional but without premeditation. An unintentional killing that is otherwise unjustified is charged as manslaughter.
Under Nebraska law, a person who kills another without malice in a sudden quarrel or causes someone’s death unintentionally while committing an unlawful act is guilty of manslaughter. This crime is a Class IIA felony. While manslaughter involves the death of a person, assault and battery involves bodily harm or threats. There are different degrees of assault:
- Assault in the third degree: This is the least serious degree of assault. It involves knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person or threatening someone in a menacing way.
- Assault in the second degree: If a dangerous instrument is used in an assault, it is charged in the second degree.
- Assault in the first degree: This most serious degree of assault occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally causes serious bodily harm to another person. It is left up to the court to decide what constitutes serious bodily harm.
- Third-degree assault is a Class I misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if the fight or scuffle was engaged in by mutual consent, assault is a lesser Class II misdemeanor offense.
- Second-degree assault is a more serious crime. It is charged as a Class IIA felony and punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
- First-degree assault is a Class II felony. It carries penalties that may include one to 50 years in prison.
Defense strategies for assault and battery charges will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. An Omaha personal injury attorney may argue:
- Self-defense – when there was a threat of unlawful force or harm against the defendant, or a reasonable basis for perceived fear of harm
- Mistaken identity -- when the victim was hit from behind or cannot remember the face of the alleged attacker
- Lack of intent – the charges could be reduced if the prosecutor is unable to prove the particular mindset required for any degree of assault. To get a conviction of first-degree assault, the prosecution must prove that harm was intentionally or knowingly caused to the victim. A defense lawyer can argue that the conduct was reckless, but not intentional.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we never forget that one mistake or misunderstanding can put a person on the wrong side of the criminal justice system. We believe you deserve strong representation to protect your future. If you are facing assault and battery charges in Omaha, call an aggressive criminal defense lawyer at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation. We can explain your options under the law.
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