Popular rapper, Da Brat, pled guilty to a 2007 aggravated assault following a brutal attack on a waitress in Atlanta. Da Brat served a three year prison sentence for the assault. However, civil charges have been pending in the matter and last week a jury awarded the victim $6.4 million in damages.
The victim in the assault, Shayla Stevens, was reportedly beat about the head and face with a bottle. Her injuries were severe and Stevens went to a local hospital immediately after the 2007 assault. Photos of her injuries were taken at the hospital and have been widely distributed online. Stevens, a former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader, sued Da Brat following the conclusion of the criminal case.
As Da Brat is now keenly aware, the criminal charge of aggravated assault carries a stiff penalty that can be compounded by a related civil case in which money damages may be awarded. Da Brat served her three year prison sentence for the assault but now faces a sizable monetary award in civil judgment. Clearly, charges for violent crimes can be complicated from a criminal standpoint, and can lead to penalties beyond those defined by criminal statutes. Although not an affirmative defense, when an individual has been found not guilty of criminal charges in a situation like this, they may be able to present that to a judge or jury in related civil matters.
Aggravated assault is a serious crime that carries serious criminal penalties in Nevada. If the alleged assault victim is in a protected class, the penalties for the assault can be increased. Further, if a weapon is used in the assault, as was the case here with the bottle, an additional weapons enhancement may be sought.
In Nevada, the assault itself may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. And, as Da Brat's case shows, the victim may seek civil damages as well. Therefore, having competent legal counsel on your side when facing a criminal charges for violent crimes, such as assault, is vital to your defense.
If you, or someone you know, is facing criminal charges for a violent crime, contacting the Las Vegas Defender is the first step to ensure that your rights are protected. The former prosecutors of Brown Law Offices have experience in handling criminal cases involving assault and other violent crimes and they can meet with you free of charge to discuss the facts of your case. Call our office 24/7 to schedule a free consultation. (702) 405-0505.