Even a minor assault charge can derail your potential employment opportunities and living situation.
Unfortunately, allegations of assault often materialize when verbal arguments escalate into physical contact.
If you are accused of assault, you should contact an attorney at the Petersen Criminal Defense Law as soon as possible.
Law enforcement typically investigates assault allegations relatively quickly while the reported injuries are fresh. Thus, you do not want to wait until after the police bring you in for questioning to consult with a lawyer.
Our firm was established in 1995 and has significant experience representing those facing criminal accusations.
Contact our team at the Petersen Criminal Defense Law to discuss your case.
What Is Assault?
Often the first question our clients ask about their case is, What is assault in Nebraska?
Assault under Nebraska law is separated into three degrees. The types of assault vary based on whether an object was used and the level of injuries inflicted.
Third-degree assault occurs when a person:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person; or
- Threatens another person in a menacing manner.
Third-degree assault is a Class I misdemeanor unless the assault occurred during a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case the assault is a Class II misdemeanor.
A Class I misdemeanor carries a maximum of one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. A Class II misdemeanor carries a maximum of six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Second-degree assault occurs when a person:
- Intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to another person with a dangerous instrument;
- Recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person with a dangerous instrument; or
- Unlawfully strikes or wounds another
- while legally confined in a jail or an adult correctional or penal institution;
- while otherwise in legal custody of the Department of Correctional Services; or
- while committed as a dangerous sex offender under the Sex Offender Commitment Act.
A second-degree assault in Nebraska is a Class IIA felony. A Class IIA felony carries a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.
A “dangerous instrument” means any object that, because of its nature and the manner and intention of its use, is capable of inflicting bodily injury.
The prosecutor does not need to prove that you intended to hurt the victim, only that you intended to use the dangerous instrument in the manner it was used.
To prove the defendant acted recklessly, the prosecutor must show that the accused made a conscious choice in their use of the dangerous instrument that constituted a disregard of the substantial and unjustified risk to another person.
In Nebraska, first-degree assault occurs when someone intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury to another person.
The statute does not define what qualifies as a serious bodily injury and leaves it up to the jury to make the determination.
First-degree assault examples of serious bodily injuries include:
- Knife wounds requiring thirteen stitches and creating a substantial risk of death,
- Gunshot wound to the chest, or
- A concussion combined with a nasal fracture.
First-degree assault is considered a Class II felony. A Class II felony carries a maximum potential penalty of fifty years in prison and a minimum penalty of one year in prison.
If You Need Assistance with Assault Charges in Nebraska, Contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law Today
Even a minor assault conviction can result in serious consequences, like the loss of your individual rights.
A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor and present an argument for your case that bolsters the likelihood of a favorable result.
Attorney Tom Petersen has the tools, knowledge, and resources necessary to help prepare an aggressive defense to assault allegations in Nebraska.
Our team has decades of legal experience, handling over 6000 criminal defense matters throughout our firm’s lifetime.
When your rights are at stake, you cannot afford to hire a lawyer who is not prepared to properly defend your case.
If you are looking for an attorney who will fight for your rights and advocate for a desirable outcome, contact the team at Petersen Criminal Defense Law right away.