Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic Violence charges are taken very seriously in Nevada. Domestic Violence contains a broad general category that includes child abuse, child neglect, spousal abuse and battery constituting domestic violence. It is necessary to get experienced legal counsel when dealing with domestic violence allegations because no other area of law is prone to more false allegations than domestic violence.

Usually, family issues such as divorce, marital property division, child custody, child visitation and other underlying reasons prompt domestic violence allegations. It is the Nevada police officers' duty to treat all accusations seriously and investigate them. Even if the alleged victim does not want to press charges, an investigation will still continue because it is up to the discretion of the police and prosecutors, not the victim.

It is possible to get a conviction on a false allegation of domestic violence if you do not fight the charges with an experienced attorney. Convictions for any domestic violence charge can have devastating effects on your employment, family law cases, and other aspects of you life.

There is a wide range of other issues related to domestic violence. Some additional issues and charges connected with domestic violence cases could be:

The laws requiring prosecution of domestic violence cases makes it difficult for the parties to resolve the matter themselves. You will need an experienced Las Vegas domestic violence attorney who knows how to keep everyone calm and collected while vigorously representing and protecting your legal interests.

Las Vegas Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic Violence charges can result in court-ordered marital counseling, domestic violence counseling, anger management, alcohol classes, restraining orders and jail time. Many of these unwanted results can be avoided if you contact a Las Vegas domestic violence lawyer immediately. The Law Office of Joel M. Mann can help defend your case in court.


Domestic Violence Information Center


Definition of Domestic Violence

Nevada defines domestic violence as a violent confrontation that usually occurs between family members or between people who are in a dating relationship. Most often, it occurs between a man and a woman living together, married or not, with the woman being the victim in the majority of case. Sometimes weapons are used, property is damaged and other crimes can occur along with the domestic violence. Here is a list of actions that could meet the definition of Battery Constituting Domestic Violence in Nevada:

  • Hitting and punching
  • Slapping
  • Pushing and shoving
  • Choking or biting
  • Grabbing clothing
  • Pinching
  • Inflicting burns
  • Threats of physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse (fear, intimidation, isolation)

It is vital to get a competent Las Vegas Domestic Violence defense attorney if you are charged with domestic violence. The penalties for domestic violence can be detrimental to your family situation and even affect child custody and visitation not to mention giving you a criminal record and labeling you as an abuser. Call Joel Mann today to talk about defending yourself against battery constituting domestic violence charges in Nevada.


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Domestic Violence Offenses and Penalties

First Domestic Violence Offense
Jail Fines and Assessments Other

At least 2 days, up to 6 months in the Clark County Detention Center

$200.00 to $1,0000 (plus Court administrative costs)

Not less than 48 hours nor more than 120 hours community service.

Participation in weekly counseling sessions of not less than 1 1/2 hours per week for not less than 6 months nor more than 12 months at participant's own expense.

Fine for assessment program ($100 fee)

Second Domestic Violence Offense
Jail Fines and Assessments Other

At least 10 days, up to 6 months in the Clark County Detention Center

$500.00 to $1,0000 (plus Court administrative costs)

Not less than 100 hours nor more than 200 hours community service.

Participation in weekly counseling sessions of not less than 1 1/2 hours per week for 12 months at participant's own expense.

Third Domestic Violence Offense
Jail Fines and Assessments Other

1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison

A possible fine of not more than $10,000 plus assessments

Felony, no probation


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Evidence Used to Prove Guilt

Typically, a battery constituting domestic violence charge comes about when someone calls 911. Usually, the family members or a couple in a romantic relationship has an argument that allegedly turns physical. The police are called and they make a report documenting the incident. At the trial, the following things will be used as evidence to try to obtain a conviction:

  • Testimony from the alleged victim (example: police interview with alleged victim)
  • Testimony from any eyewitnesses (example: police interview with witness)
  • Pictures of injuries (example: Bruises)
  • Medical reports documenting injuries (example: doctor’s notes)
  • Any admission by the accused (example: I admit I pushed her, but I never hit her)
  • Any history of domestic violence (example: This is the 4th time the police have been called to the house)

It is important to get a lawyer right away if you are being accused of domestic violence. The prosecution can take the evidence and paint a very unflattering picture of the situation. You must get a Las Vegas attorney on your side to help defend you against false allegations of domestic violence.


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Defenses to Domestic Violence

There are several defenses to domestic violence charges. Remember domestic violence is the battery of a significant other or family member. A battery is defined as the intent to cause bodily harm or an offensive touching. If your defense lawyer can show that there was no intent to cause harm, then by law you cannot be convicted of battery constituting domestic violence. Here are some common defenses:

  • Accident (by law there was no intent to harm the person if an accident occurred)
    • Even though it sounds cliché, sometimes people do fall down the stairs. When alleged victims go to the hospital, and the injuries look suspicious, the medical personnel are required to make a report to the police in some cases. If it is an accident the alleged victim and the alleged abuser can usually explain the situation and no charges will be pressed. However, if there are multiple accidents and multiple hospital visits the accident explanation is less credible. 
  • Self-Defense (you would be justified in using force in order to protect yourself from harm or bodily injury)
    • In several instances one party can become physical and the other party strikes back out of self-defense. It is important to document any injuries and bring forth any witnesses that can corroborate your version of events.
  • False Allegations (by law no intent or battery occurred if the allegations are unfounded)
    • As a strategy in the child custody or child visitation cases, sometimes a party will accuse the other of abuse. It is important to get a domestic violence defense lawyer to help you defeat these charges immediately. Even though the charges are not true, you must make sure that the official record states that the charges were investigated and were unfounded. That way you will protect your character and good name.
  • Self-Inflicted Injury (by law no intent or battery occurred because the alleged victim committed a self-injury)
    • It is possible for the alleged victim to create the injuries in order to frame you. It is important to get legal help and maybe even expert witnesses that can testify that the injuries and wounds were self-inflicted.
  • Witness Testimony (witness claims that no domestic violence occurred; i.e. the witness confirms your defense)
    • A credible witness to the incident can make your case stronger if it is unbiased and matches up with your version of events.

Hire a criminal defense attorney right away if there is a report of domestic violence. It is up to the prosecutor’s office to decide whether or not to press charges. You need to make sure that you are defended from the very beginning so that you have a strong likelihood of defeating a battery constituting domestic violence charge.


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Can the Alleged Victim Drop Charges?

The alleged victim cannot decide to unilaterally drop the charges. Once an allegation of domestic violence is brought to the prosecutor’s office, the prosecutor assigned to the case will make an investigation and determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with prosecuting the case. Usually, the case will be stronger if the victim testifies.

If the victim decides not to testify, the prosecution can continue the case if there is substantial evidence such as medical records, a history of domestic violence or the alleged abuser confessed. If the prosecution thinks that the victim’s testimony is vital in order to get a conviction, then the prosecution will subpoena the victim and force the victim to testify. If the victim refuses to testify once a court order is written, the victim may be found in contempt of court and placed in jail.


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Sealing a Domestic Violence Record

Domestic Violence charges carry a social stigma and they can also affect your criminal record and employment opportunities. It is possible to have your domestic violence record sealed in the state of Nevada if the following conditions are met:

  • Misdemeanor for Battery Domestic Charges

    Wait 7 years from the time you were released from jail or your suspended sentence ended, whichever is later.

  • Category C felony for Battery Domestic Charges

    Wait 12 years from the time you were released from prison or discharged from parole, whichever is later.

  • Category B felony for Battery Domestic Charges

    Wait 15 years from the time you were released from prison or discharged from parole, whichever is later.

If your Battery Domestic Violence charges are dismissed then you should be able to seal your Nevada criminal record immediately. Talk to a Las Vegas criminal attorney for more information on sealing your record.


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Resources

Domestic Violence Information from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department - The website for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department provides information and a safety plan for those concerned about crimes against youth and family including domestic violence in Clark County, Nevada. Domestic violence includes being strangled, hit, stalked, slapped, verbally abused, sexually abused, harassed, threatened with a firearm or other deadly weapon by a family member, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, parent, child, in-law, roommate or dating acquaintance.

Safenest - Advocates promoting the eradication of domestic violence by providing confidential assistance including shelter, food, clothing, counseling, education, and other services to individuals experiencing domestic violence.

Las Vegas Counseling Office
2915 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite. 12
Las Vegas, NV 89102
702-877-0133
24-Hour Crisis Line: 702-646-4981
Toll-Free: 1-800-486-7282

S.A.F.E. House - Through safe shelter, support, advocacy, counseling and community education, this organization provides a comprehensive approach to working with families to Stop Abuse in the Family Environment.

S.A.F.E. House Counseling and Advocacy Center
921 American Pacific Dr. Suite 300
Henderson NV 89014
702-451-4203
24 Hour Hotline: 702-564-3227

Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence - The Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence was established in 1995 as an advisory committee on domestic violence issues.

5420 Kietzke Lane, Suite 202
Reno, NV 89511
(775) 688-1872

Nevada Child Protective Services – Nevada's Child Protective Services (CPS) are dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect. A CPS Investigator may come into the home or school to question a child about reports of child abuse, child neglect, or acts of domestic violence that occur in the presence of the child.

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services - Division of Child and Family Services with information on state programs that benefit children and families through Nevada.


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Finding A Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Las Vegas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a domestic violence-related offense, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann for a free legal consultation on how to resolve your case. His goal is to reduce the stress and pain that you and your family feel from being prosecuted for domestic violence.

In order to reduce the stress and inconvenience, Joel Mann can often waive your appearance at many court appearances so that you can continue with your work and family responsibilities. As an experienced and aggressive Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer, Joel Mann has dedicated his career to fighting for a favorable outcome in his clients' domestic violence cases.