The Ninth Circuit has determined that a Nevada conviction for battery with a deadly weapon qualifies as a crime of violence. The court noted that “even the least touching with a deadly weapon or instrument is violent in nature.” The statute at issue prohibits “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another . . . committed with the use of a deadly weapon . . . [that results in] [n]o substantial bodily harm to the victim.” To commit simple battery in Nevada, the “force need not be violent or severe and need not cause bodily pain or bodily harm.” As a result, simple battery in Nevada would not ordinarily be a crime of violence under Johnson’s definition of “physical force.” However, “even the least touching with a deadly weapon or instrument is violent in nature,” because it “demonstrates at a minimum the threatened use of actual force.” Thus, if Nevada law requires actual use of a truly “deadly” weapon, then it is a crime of violence.
”As early as 1870, the Nevada Supreme Court defined objects as ‘deadly weapons’ if they satisfied either the inherently dangerous or the functional test.” Under the inherently dangerous test, a deadly weapon is any instrument that “if used in the ordinary manner contemplated by its design and construction, will, or is likely to, cause a life-threatening injury or death.” Under the functional test, a deadly weapon is any instrumentality that is “used in a deadly manner.” Under these definitions, the Court concluded that any use of a deadly weapon would qualify as a crime of violence.
The Ninth Circuit rejected the argument that a defendant could be convicted for mere possession of a deadly weapon during a battery, as opposed to the actual use of a deadly weapon.
The full text of US v. Guizar-Rodriguez can be found here: