In the state of Nebraska, domestic assault is defined as a purposeful act of violence against an intimate partner or someone the abuser has or had a romantic relationship with. When someone is facing charges for domestic assault, it is important to understand everything possible about the legal aspects of assault charges and what penalties may follow. The more the accused party understands, the more prepared he or she can be to defend against charges and obtain a reduced sentence.


In Nebraska, domestic assault charges can be applied to a person accused of causing physical injury to his or her intimate partner. An intimate partner in this case may include a spouse, ex-spouse, someone they share children with, or someone they are dating or have dated in the past. The physical harm committed must be intentional and knowingly or recklessly caused in order for a domestic assault charge to be considered valid.


Nebraska laws classify domestic assault charges in three different degrees measuring the type of violence and the severity of injuries. Third degree assault, the least severe charge, includes intentionally causing bodily injury to an intimate partner or threatening physical harm. The harm inflicted does not need to be serious for an altercation to be considered third degree domestic assault. These usually involve injuries like bruises, cuts, and abrasions. Because of the way in which bodily harm may be considered “severe” or “not severe,” these charges are often subjective.

Domestic violence in the second degree includes bodily injury inflicted with a dangerous instrument or weapon. The instrument used could be anything from a steel-toed boot to a baseball bat, though dangerous weapons like guns and knives could result in more serious consequences.

Lastly, the most serious charge is first degree domestic assault, which includes serious injury. Serious injury may comprise any harm that risks death, causes permanent disfigurement, loss of limb, a concussion or brain injury, a gunshot wound, or a stab wound.


When convicted of domestic assault, the penalties vary depending upon the degree of assault the defendant is charged with. The punishment will also depend on whether or not the offender has been convicted of domestic violence before, and what harm was inflicted previously.

Third degree domestic assault will result in:

  • Class I Misdemeanor
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

Or, if the offender has previously been convicted of domestic assault and caused physical harm, the penalties could be:

  • Class IV Felony
  • Up to five years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Second degree domestic assault will result in:

  • Class IIIA Felony
  • Up to five years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Or, for a second offense:

  • Class III Felony
  • Up to 20 years in prison
  • Up to $25,000 in fines

Third-degree domestic assault will result in:

  • Class III Felony
  • Up to 20 years in prison
  • Up to $25,000 in fines

Or, for a second offense:

  • Class II Felony
  • Up to 50 years in prison

If you are facing domestic assault charges, it can be helpful to talk with an attorney who understands the best defense techniques and the sentencing guidelines. To speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you can Contact Berry Law to speak with our attorneys and discuss your legal options.

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