Las Vegas is known as a party town. It’s a destination known for its “anything goes” attitude for millions of visitors a year. However, visitors are often arrested when things spiral out of control, especially as a result of arguments that are fueled by drugs or alcohol. Some of these cases involve spouses, significant others, or other relatives.
Individuals who are charged with domestic violence while visiting Las Vegas can face serious consequences. If you are facing domestic violence charges, you need help from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas.
Most domestic violence incidents involving visitors to Las Vegas occur in casinos, hotels, nightclubs, malls, or other public places. In some cases, these events are recorded by video cameras, witnessed by other people, or observed by members of law enforcement, such as police or security.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as a dispute or physical assault between two people who are currently in a relationship or were in a relationship in the past. The alleged offender and the alleged victim must be in an intimate, family, or domestic relationship. Violence between friends does not constitute as domestic violence.
Qualifying types of relationships include:
- Domestic partners (current or past)
- Spouses (current or past)
- Relatives (by blood)
- Relatives (by marriage)
- Significant others
- Roommates or housemates
According to Nevada statutes, the following are defined as acts of domestic violence:
- Sexual assault
- False imprisonment
- Forcing or threatening to force someone to perform an act
- Illegal entry into a person’s residence
Examples of domestic violence could involve pushing, slapping, throwing objects, or even spitting in the face of another person. There does not need to be any marks or injuries for the “touching” to qualify as a misdemeanor domestic violence, however if the domestic violence involves substantial bodily harm or weapons, the charges and penalties may be enhanced or upgraded to felonies.
Even if the victim recants, Nevada law requires law enforcement to investigate all domestic violence charges. Prosecutors are still required to pursue the case if there is other evidence significant enough to prosecute.
If you are a visitor to Las Vegas from another state or country facing domestic violence charges, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas to represent you in court.
Do I Have to Come Back to Las Vegas?
If you are arrested for domestic violence, you will likely have a scheduled court date. If you are from out of town or a foreign national, you cannot just leave. If you don’t appear in court for the hearing, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. This warrant will stay active indefinitely or until you appear in court. This bench warrant will come up during a background check regardless of what state you live in. If you live in another country, Immigration Services will also see this active warrant for your arrest.
However, if you hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you in your case, then you may not have to appear for scheduled court dates. A criminal defense lawyer can appear for you for most court hearings.
After Your Domestic Violence Arrest
After your arrest, you will probably spend at least 12 hours in jail or overnight for a cooling-down period. This period is to ensure that you do not decide to go back and confront the alleged victim, and it gives you time to let the situation de-escalate.
If you are not released after the 12-hour period, you need to have cash available to post bail or get a bail bondsman who can post it for you.
What Are the Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge in Las Vegas?
If you are facing a domestic violence charge in Las Vegas, the consequences you face could include jail time, restitution, loss of firearm rights, or even losing custody of your child – not to mention that you will have a criminal record that could seriously affect your future.
If you are from out of state, a domestic violence conviction will come up on background checks for renting apartments, applying for a mortgage, and college and financial aid applications. The record may make it hard to get a job as well.
If you are from a foreign country with a charge of domestic violence, an active warrant for your arrest could have serious repercussions. Immigration Services could deport you and deny entry back into the United States.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges
Battery domestic violence charges can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
If you are charged with a first-offense misdemeanor in Nevada, you face the following consequences:
- Fines ranging between $200 to $1,000
- Completion of 48-120 hours of community service
- You must attend weekly counseling for 6 months up to one year
- You must not acquire any new citations or arrests when your domestic violence case is open.
Felony Domestic Violence Charges
A third (3rd) domestic violence offense within seven years is considered a felony which dramatically increases the degree and severity of penalties from a misdemeanor charge. If you are convicted for a third domestic violence incident within seven years of your first arrest, the penalty is mandatory prison. In addition, if the charge involved strangulation, use of deadly weapons, or bodily harm to the alleged victim, it is charged as a felony that in certain circumstances could carry up to a 15-year prison sentence.
Contact a Las Vegas Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been arrested on domestic violence charges while visiting Nevada, I am prepared to help you explore your legal options and fight these charges. I am a 15-year Clark County trial court veteran and domestic violence defense lawyer with extensive experience helping my clients achieve the best possible outcomes for their case. When you hire me, you get me. I’ll be sure to give you the individual attention and care that you require. I never treat my clients like numbers. To me, you’re like family.
In addition, I have been recognized by the Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice, National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Desert Companion Magazine, and other professional organizations for my work with individuals who have been charged with serious crimes in Nevada.
If you need help with your domestic violence charges in Las Vegas, contact me by phone or online for a free consultation now.