Felony Assault in Nebraska (2023)

In Nebraska, assault in the first degree consists of intentionally or knowingly causing physical injury to another and is a Class II felony.

In Nebraska, assault in the first degree consists of intentionally or knowingly causing serious bodily injury to another, and it is a Class II felony. Nebraska singles out other assaults for specific punishment, as explained below.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-308.)

For more information on assault with a firearm, handgun, or other deadly weapon, see Assault with a Deadly Weapon. For information on misdemeanor assault, see Misdemeanor Assault in Nebraska.

Actions that Constitute an Assault

Someone acts knowingly or intentionally when they intend to do an act and intend the consequence. For example, extending one's foot in the pathway of a walking person in order to trip him is a knowing and intentional act; but losing one's balance and falling, thereby causing the person behind you to fall also, is not.

A reckless act is one that is committed without regard for the outcome or attention to the risk involved. Recklessness is more than simple negligence, or carelessness. Pushing someone out of the way on an escalator so that you can get through, without intending to injure the person but without proper regard for the risk to that person, could be an assault if the person falls and is injured.

What Constitutes "Serious Bodily Injury" and "Bodily Injury?"

In Nebraska, serious bodily injury means bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of death, or that involves substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body. For example, a knife wound that requires stitches, lost finger, or collapsed lung are usually considered serious bodily injury.

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Bodily injury means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. A sprained ankle, deep bruise, or pinched nerve are common examples of bodily injury.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-109.)

Assault Against a Law Enforcement Officer or Select State Employee

Assaulting a peace office, probation office, firefighter, emergency care provider, Department of Correctional Services employee, health care professional, or Department of Health and Human Services employee (if the offender is a dangerous sec offender committed to state custody) in the performance of his duties is assault in the first degree if the offender intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury. The crime is a Class ID felony.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-929.)

Assault in the third degree against a law enforcement officer or state employee consists of intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to an officer while he is engaged in the performance of his duties. The crime is a Class IIIA felony.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-931.)

Intentionally or knowingly using a motor vehicle to run over or strike a law enforcement officer or select state employee is a Class IIIA felony if the victim suffers bodily injury.

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(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-931.01.)

Assault committed with a dangerous weapon or instrument is also a felony in Nebraska – assault in the second degree.

Domestic assault – assault against an intimate partner such as a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend or someone with whom the defendant has children – that results in serious bodily injury is also a felony in Nebraska. For information about this felony assault, see Nebraska Domestic Violence Laws.

Assault with a Bodily Fluid Against a Public Safety Officer

Assault with a bodily fluid against a public safety officer is felonious assault when a person knowingly and intentionally strike a public safety officer's eyes, mouth, or skin with bodily fluid (for example, blood, urine, saliva, and feces) that the person knows is infected with HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. The crime is a Class IIIA felony.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-934.)

Penalties for Felony Assault in Nebraska

Assault in the first degree

The penalty for assault in the first degree in Nebraska, a Class II felony, is one to fifty years in prison.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 28-308, 28-105.)

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Assault against a law enforcement officer

The penalty for assault against an officer in the first degree, a Class ID felony, is three to fifty years in prison.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 28-929, 28-105.)

The penalty for assault against an officer in the third degree and assault against an officer with a motor vehicle, both Class IIIA felonies, is up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 28-931, 28-931.01, 28-105.)

The penalty for assault with a bodily fluid against a public safety officer, a Class IIIA felony, is up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 28-934, 28-105.)

Hate crimes and pregnant victim enhancement

Under Nebraska's Hate Crime statute, an assailant who commits an assault in the first degree because of the person's race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability or other status listed in the statute must be punished for the next level of offense (for example, a Class II felony becomes a Class ID felony, which has an increased minimum prison sentence). If the victim of an assault in the first degree or an assault against an officer in the first or third degree third degree is pregnant, the offender also is subject to the same enhanced punishment.

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(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 28-111, 28-115.)


A person convicted of assault in Nebraska can be required to pay restitution, which involves reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime, such as the cost of medical treatment or counseling or repair or replacement of damaged property.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 29-2280, 29-2281.)


A court in Nebraska can impose probation for up to five years for a felony assault conviction rather than imprisonment. If the offense, such as a Class II felony, requires a minimum prison sentence, that sentence must be served before the defendant can begin probation. A person on supervised probation must meet with a probation officer and comply with conditions of probation such as treatment, maintaining employment and avoiding any further criminal activity or arrests.

(Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 29-2263, 28-105.)

Pleas and Pre-Trial Options

If you are facing a felony assault charge in Nebraska, an attorney can investigate the case and determine if you were wrongfully charged or there are other reasons why the case should be dismissed before trial. An attorney also may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf, or prepare a defense and represent you at trial if you believe you have been wrongly accused or if there are no reasonable plea options. Prosecutors may negotiate and agree to a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea or to the defendant pleading guilty to a different, less serious crime.

The Value of Good Representation

A conviction for felony assault becomes part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted later of another crime, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence in the new case. A convicted felon loses the right to vote, hold public office, serve as a juror, and carry or own firearms. In certain circumstances, a felony conviction also can result in loss of a professional license. A conviction for a violent felony can hurt you when you are looking for a job or applying to rent a house or apartment.

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Only someone familiar with the local criminal court system and cases like yours will know how good your chances are for a favorable outcome in court or at the negotiating table. A knowledgeable attorney will take all of this into consideration, assist you in making decisions about your case, and protect your rights.


Can you drop assault charges in Nebraska? ›

The State of Nebraska has a “no-drop” policy to protect not just the individual victim but also to ensure that there is no further violence perpetrated by the accused.

What is the punishment for assault in Nebraska? ›

First-degree assault is a Class II felony under Nebraska law. A Class II felony conviction may result in a prison sentence ranging from one to 50 years. Second-degree assault is a Class IIA felony offense, which carries a maximum potential prison sentence of 20 years.

What is first degree felony assault in Nebraska? ›

First degree assault requires serious bodily injury to occur, and attempted voluntary manslaughter does not require any injury to occur. State v. Smith, 294 Neb.

What is 2nd degree felony assault in Nebraska? ›

Assault in the second degree consists of intentionally or knowingly causing serious bodily injury to another with a dangerous instrument or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another with a dangerous instrument without regard for the outcome or attention to the risk involved.

Can police drop assault charges? ›

Although you may have been arrested or investigated by the police for a criminal offence it does not necessarily follow that you will be charged. In fact, with an experienced criminal defence solicitor on your side, the charges may be dropped before the court date.

Can the victim drop the charges against? ›

While a victim is able to file a complaint against the accused, they can also choose to no longer participate in the case, and thus request that the charges be dropped.

What is the lowest charge of assault? ›

Class C Misdemeanor

What is the charge for first time assault in Nebraska? ›

In Nebraska, simple assault is usually punished as a Class I misdemeanor. However, it can be a Class II misdemeanor when two people agree to fight by mutual consent. The penalties for a Class I misdemeanor simple assault charge are up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

What are the consequences of being charged with assault? ›

Common assault:

the maximum sentence is six months' custody. if the assault is against an emergency worker, the maximum sentence is one year's custody. if the assault is racially or religiously aggravated, the maximum sentence is two years' custody.

What are felony charges in Nebraska? ›

A felony is a serious criminal offense for which a conviction may result in imprisonment for a year or more, in addition to other penalties. Crimes and punishment and much of our criminal process are established by the Nebraska Legislature.

What is the sentence for a Class 2 felony in Nebraska? ›

28-105. Felonies; classification of penalties; sentences; where served; eligibility for probation.
Class I felonyDeath
Mandatory minimum—three years imprisonment
Class II felonyMaximum—fifty years imprisonment
Minimum—one year imprisonment
Class IIA felonyMaximum—twenty years imprisonment
22 more rows

Is 3rd degree assault a felony in Nebraska? ›

28-310. Assault in the third degree; penalty.

(2) Assault in the third degree shall be a Class I misdemeanor unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it shall be a Class II misdemeanor.

Does Nebraska have mandatory minimum sentences? ›

Generally, habitual criminals will be served a minimum sentence of ten years. If certain crimes are committed, then the minimum sentence of a habitual criminal will be increased to 25 years.

What are the sentencing factors in Nebraska? ›

The court has discretion in determining the sentence to be imposed and considers several factors in determining the appropriate sentence: Age, mentality, education, experience, social and cultural background, past criminal behavior, past law-abiding conduct, motivation for the offense and the nature of the offense.

Is aggravated assault a felony in Nebraska? ›

Omaha Aggravated Assault Laws and Penalties

Under this statute, a person can be charged with first-degree assault if they purposefully or consciously cause serious bodily harm to someone. The maximum prison sentence for assault in the first-degree, which is a Class II felony, is 50 years.

How do I withdraw an assault charge? ›

We take a look at how cases get withdrawn and what the law says.
The state must prove the following:
  1. the act was voluntary (called actus reus)
  2. the offender had criminal capacity.
  3. the offender was at fault through intention.
  4. the standard of proof required in a criminal matter is 'beyond a reasonable doubt'
Apr 13, 2021

How do I get charges dropped before court date? ›

There are two main ways charges against you may be dropped:
  1. Formal acquittal. ...
  2. Discontinuance. ...
  3. Lack of evidence. ...
  4. Evidence against you was illegally obtained. ...
  5. The prosecution is not in the public interest. ...
  6. To buy time to prepare for a later trial.
Jul 20, 2021

How long is assault on your record? ›

Since 2006, the police retain details of all recordable offences until you reach 100 years of age. Your conviction will always show on your police records but the conviction may not show on your criminal record check that is used for employment vetting purposes.

Can I withdraw a statement made to the police? ›

If you withdraw your statement, the case might still go to court if the police think they have enough evidence to prosecute the suspect. If you want to withdraw your statement because you're worried about giving evidence, you should tell the police how you feel.

Why do lawyers drag out cases? ›

Your lawyer may deliberately delay a settlement in order to procure evidence that can increase the value of the case. That evidence can show the extent of your losses or who was responsible for the accident.

Can charges be dropped at an arraignment hearing? ›

Judges generally do not have the authority to dismiss charges at either a preliminary or a formal arraignment. However, prosecutors can decide to dismiss charges at arraignment, but they will only do so if they have a compelling reason why the charges should be dropped.

What are the 3 levels of assault? ›

The Different Types of Assault Charges
  • Simple Assault. Simple assault is assault at its most basic level. ...
  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm. Assault causing bodily harm applies when someone sustains noticeable injuries. ...
  • Assault With a Weapon. ...
  • Aggravated Assault.

Is punching someone a felony? ›

What kind of crime is punching someone? Punching or striking another person is considered a crime of battery. In the case of punching someone, it's likely to be classified as either simple battery, which is a misdemeanour, or aggravated battery, which is a felony crime.

What is the punishment for 3rd degree assault in Nebraska? ›

A person convicted of assault in the third degree in Nebraska faces the following possible penalties: for a Class I misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both, and. for a Class II misdemeanor, up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

What is the most typical punishment for first time misdemeanor? ›

If a first-time misdemeanor offense results in a conviction, it could lead to consequences such as entry into a diversion program, fines, probation, jail time, and/or diminished job prospects. Note that misdemeanors are criminal offenses for which the maximum penalty is generally up to one year in county jail.

What is the charge for assault battery in Nebraska? ›

Penalties: Assault in the third degree is a Class I misdemeanor or Class II misdemeanor (committed in a fight or scuffle). Class I misdemeanor: Punishable by up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both. Class II misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both.

What is the sentence for first time assault? ›

Common assault carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a fine or community order. A prison sentence is generally reserved for cases where serious injury was caused, and higher culpability is present.

How long can police hold you for assault? ›

How long can the police keep you in custody without charging you? The general rule is that a person cannot be detained at the police station for more than 24 hours prior to being charged (s41 PACE). The 24 hour period runs from the time of arrest, or the time of arrival at the police station, whichever is earlier.

Is an assault charge a first offence? ›

If you are convicted of common assault, and it is a first-time offence without any aggravating factors, it is likely that you could receive a discharge or a community order rather than a custodial sentence. However, this does depend on the circumstances of your case.

What is the least punishment for a felony? ›

For less serious or first-time felonies, the judge can usually sentence a person to either jail time or probation, instead of prison. If the crime involves serious physical harm, like murder or aggravated assault, a convicted felon will likely face a lengthy prison sentence.

What is the most common punishment for a felony? ›

The sentencing for a California felony can include imprisonment a state prison or county jail, and a fine up to $10,000. However, the judge has the discretion to sentence a defendant to formal felony probation.

How long do felonies stay on your record in Nebraska? ›

Criminal records can be set aside if the defendant was sentenced to probation or ordered to pay a fine. Misdemeanor crimes can be pardoned three years after a sentence has been completed. Felony crimes can be pardoned ten years after the sentence was completed.

How does a judge determine sentencing? ›

The judge or magistrates look at the facts of the case and decide the appropriate sentence based on the harm done to the victim and how much responsibility the offender has for the crime.

What are the 4 factors of sentencing? ›

During this phase, the judge will determine an appropriate sentence for the defendant.
There are many factors that come into play in this decision.
  • The Severity of the Crime. ...
  • The Defendant's History. ...
  • Mandatory Minimums. ...
  • The Purpose of the Sentence.
Mar 4, 2022

What is felony 3 in Nebraska? ›

Class III felonies include forgery and fraud offenses, computer crimes, and livestock crimes. Class IIIA felonies are punishable by up to three years in prison, plus nine to 18 months of post-release supervision. Examples include assault by strangulation, cruel mistreatment of animals, and reckless vehicular homicide.

Is domestic assault a felony in Nebraska? ›

Domestic assault in the first degree is a Class IIA felony, but the offense may result in a Class II felony charge for those who have one or more prior convictions of first-degree domestic assault. For a Class II felony offense, the term of imprisonment can range from one to 50 years.

What is 3rd degree assault m1 in Nebraska? ›

1. A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the third degree if he or she: (a) Intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to his or her intimate partner; (b) Threatens an intimate partner with imminent bodily injury; (c) Threatens an intimate partner in a menacing manner. 2.

What is a Class 3 misdemeanor in Nebraska? ›

Class III misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of three months in jail and a $500 fine. Class IIIA misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of seven days in jail and a $500 fine. Class IV misdemeanors carry a maximum fine of $500. Class V misdemeanors carry a maximum fine of $100.

Who is eligible for parole in Nebraska? ›

(1) Every committed offender shall be eligible for parole when the offender has served one-half the minimum term of his or her sentence as provided in sections 83-1,107 and 83-1,108.

How much time do you serve on a 1 year sentence? ›

This is the maximum period of time the offender could spend in prison. However, the offender will not necessarily spend the whole of this time in prison. For sentences under a year, you will be automatically released after serving half their sentence.

Is there a 3 strike law in Nebraska? ›

Nebraska's Three-Strike Law

As a habitual criminal, your potential sentence increases to a minimum 10-year sentence and a maximum 60-year sentence, subject to certain exceptions. If the current and one of the prior convictions was for a violent felony, the minimum sentence increases to 25 years.

What are 3 factors that a judge takes into consideration when sentencing? ›

The judge may consider a variety of aggravating or mitigating factors. These include whether the defendant has committed the same crime before, whether the defendant has expressed regret for the crime, and the nature of the crime itself.

What factors influence a judge in sentencing? ›

Common factors considered by judges include:
  • Whether the offender is a "first-time" or repeat offender;
  • Whether the offender was an accessory (helping the main offender) or the main offender;
  • Whether the offender committed the crime under great personal stress or duress;
May 26, 2022

What factors cause a judge to give out a harsher sentence? ›

A common aggravating factor is a prior record of similar convictions. Other aggravating factors typically relate to the circumstances of the offense itself, such as the use of a weapon or the severity of the injuries suffered by a victim.

What is simple assault in Nebraska? ›

In Nebraska, simple assault is any assault that doesn't involve the use of a firearm, knife, cutting instrument, or other dangerous weapon and that does not cause serious or aggravated injury to the victim. Simple assault often occurs between spouses, parents and kids, friends, and siblings.

What is the law for assault and battery in Nebraska? ›

In Nebraska, assault and battery denote the same offense. Under Nebraska law, a person commits the offense of assault if he or she intentionally causes bodily injury to another person. Assault offenses may be classified into either misdemeanor or felony, depending on the degree.

Can a case be withdrawn during trial? ›

complainant at any time before a final order is passed satisfies the magistrate that there are sufficient grounds for permitting him to withdraw his complaint against the accused, then the magistrate may permit him to withdraw the same, and shall thereupon acquit the accused.

Is pushing someone assault in Nebraska? ›

In Nebraska, assault in the first degree consists of intentionally or knowingly causing physical injury to another and is a Class II felony.

In what circumstances may assault and battery be justified? ›

So, in order to be liable for battery, a person must have an intention to continue to perform an act that will harm a person, the act must have any physical conduct or there must be any physical contact. The contact must damage the person in any sort of way and the act must not be justified by the law.

Is assault by beating battery? ›

The term assault is often used to include a battery, which is committed by the intentional or reckless application of unlawful force to another person. Where there is a battery, the defendant should be charged with 'assault by beating': DPP v Little [1992] QB 645.

Is consent a Defence to assault and battery? ›

Consent is a general defence which is available for all types of offences; however it is mainly used for non fatal offences such as assault or battery. The defence cannot be used for murder offences and euthanasia.

What makes a criminal case weak? ›

a lack of evidence, few or no credible witnesses, mistakes in the criminal complaint, and. a valid legal defense for the defendant.

What is one reason prosecutors may decide to dismiss a case? ›

A prosecutor may drop a criminal charge if it is determined that the evidence against the accused isn't strong enough. Or, perhaps new evidence is found which undercuts the prosecution's case against the defendant.

What happens if you plead guilty at an arraignment? ›

The Defendant Will Enter Their Plea at the Arraignment

Pleading guilty essentially allows the judge to sentence the defendant on the spot.


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