Domestic Violence Charge in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Domestic Violence Lawyer
There are two sides to every story. But Nevada takes domestic violence allegations very seriously, and police officers must investigate any type of accusation. In addition, prosecutors will pursue a conviction even if the alleged victim does not want to press charges.
If you have been accused of a domestic violence offense in Nevada, you may be facing time in jail or prison, expensive fines, and extensive counseling. A conviction could also impact your ability to see your children, negatively affect your employment, prevent you from owning or carrying a gun, cause immigration problems, and tarnish your reputation.
As a long-time Las Vegas domestic violence lawyer, Joel M. Mann has successfully fought to protect the rights of people charged with these serious crimes. He understands how drastic the consequences are, and he will work tirelessly to take the burden off you during this difficult time.
You can count on Joel and his dedicated staff to:
- Listen to your side of the story
- Identify any ways in which the police may have violated your rights
- Interview witnesses to the event
- Determine whether the injuries were self-inflicted or accidental
- Establish whether you were acting in self-defense
- Aggressively defend you against false allegations from a jaded spouse
- Argue for the charges to be reduced or dropped
- Push for the minimum punishment if a conviction is unavoidable
Joel knows how draining this situation can be, and he will try to reduce the stress by limiting the amount of time you have to spend in court. Get Joel on your side today. Contact us to learn more about how he will protect your rights and your future.
What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Nevada?
Nevada law (NRS 33.018) defines domestic violence as violent acts that occur among people who are related to each other in some way – by blood, marriage, dating relationship, or simply by living arrangement. Although Nevada law states that any amount of touching – no matter how light – is considered battery, some of the more common violent acts that can constitute domestic violence include:
- Using a deadly weapon
- Hitting, punching, or slapping
- Pushing and shoving
- Choking or biting
- Grabbing clothing
- Inflicting burns
- Holding someone against his or her will
When the police arrive to investigate a domestic violence allegation, their main goal is to determine who is the primary physical aggressor. Once they determine who they think the aggressor is, they will arrest that person and take him or her to jail for a 48-hour cooling-off period.
It is crucial that you speak with an experienced Las Vegas domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, our dedicated legal team will start by asking about your side of the story. We will evaluate the evidence in the case and review all your options for building a strong defense.
What Evidence Do Prosecutors Use to Prove Domestic Violence?
Typically, a domestic violence charge starts with a 911 call when an argument between family members or partners escalates. Police will come to the scene and document the incident. Many times, the police officers will be wearing body cameras. They will record what people say at the time, and the prosecutor can use the recording as evidence in court proceedings.
Some of the evidence a prosecutor may try to use against you includes:
- Alleged victim’s testimony
- Eyewitness testimony
- Pictures of injuries such as cuts and bruises
- Medical reports documenting injuries
- Your own admission such as, “I pushed her, but I never hit her”
- History of domestic violence (number of times police came to the home)
You have a right to view the evidence that the prosecution plans to use against you. So you need to get in touch with a lawyer right away to protect your rights.
Joel and his team will go over any evidence to begin identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Additionally, if the police or prosecutors obtained any evidence in violation of your rights, Joel will fight to get the evidence excluded from your trial.
Schedule a consultation with our team, and get started on your domestic violence defense strategy today.
What Are Defenses to Domestic Violence?
In the many years Joel has been handling domestic violence cases, he has successfully presented a variety of defenses to such charges. Your defense strategy will be specifically tailored to the circumstances of your case.
Some of the defenses Joel could present on your behalf include:
- The injury was the result of an accident. When an injured person goes to the hospital, and the injuries look suspicious, medical personnel must make a report to the police. If it is an accident, the alleged victim and alleged abuser can usually explain the situation. The police will make no arrest. However, if there are multiple accidents and multiple hospital visits, the accident explanation may not be believed and may result in prosecution.
- You were acting in self-defense. You can be justified in using force to protect yourself from harm. If your situation was a case of self-defense, you should make sure to document any injuries and take note of witnesses who can corroborate your version.
- The allegations are false. As a strategy in child custody or visitation disputes, one person may accuse the other of abuse. Even if a charge against you is unfounded, you must provide evidence that establishes that the accusation is a lie.
- The injury was self-inflicted. The alleged victim may create injuries in order to “frame” you. An expert witness can examine the wounds and provide testimony that explains how the injuries were self-inflicted.
Remember: A credible witness to an alleged domestic violence incident can always make your case stronger if the witness testimony is unbiased and matches with your version of events.
If your case goes to trial, you should expect the prosecutor to paint an unflattering picture of you. You need to make sure that you have an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer on your side like Joel. He is a Clark County criminal trial court veteran who has more than a decade of experience arguing against these types of charges.
Can the Alleged Domestic Violence Victim Drop Charges?
An alleged domestic violence victim cannot “drop” a charge. If a domestic violence case goes to the prosecutor’s office, the prosecutor assigned to the case must investigate it and determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed.
The prosecution’s case will be stronger if the alleged victim testifies. However, the prosecution can pursue a conviction even without that testimony. Photos, medical records, an alleged abuser’s admission, and testimony from other witnesses may be used to establish the case.
Even if the alleged victim in your domestic violence case says that he or she will “drop” the charge, you still need to take the situation seriously and prepare for the risks you face.
The prosecution will subpoena the alleged victim to testify against you. If that person fails to appear in court, the person may face a contempt charge. Prosecutors will use this tactic to get alleged victims to testify against a defendant even when the alleged victim does not want to pursue charges. This makes having an experienced lawyer that more important in these cases. Get in touch with Joel as soon as possible.
What Are Domestic Violence Penalties in Nevada?
If you are convicted of battery domestic violence in Nevada under NRS 200.485, the penalties you face will largely depend on whether you committed a domestic violence offense within the previous seven years. The seven-year period is calculated from the date of the offense (not the date of conviction). You may also face additional penalties if the case against you involves strangulation, substantial bodily harm, or a weapon.
A first or second domestic violence offense will result in a misdemeanor charge. The penalties you may face include:
- Jail time of 2 days to 6 months.
- Community service with a minimum of 48 hours to a maximum of 200 hours.
- Fines ranging from $200 to $1,000 plus assessments and court costs.
- Counseling, at your own expense, for 6 months to a year.
- Other penalties, including treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, at your own expense. (If a child needs counseling as a result of the domestic violence incident, you would need to reimburse the costs of those services, as well.)
Domestic violence charges escalate from a misdemeanor to a felony, resulting in stiffer penalties, in cases involving:
- Third or subsequent domestic violence offense: If you are convicted of a third or subsequent offense within a seven-year period, the penalties you face include 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Domestic violence involving strangulation: If the battery is committed by strangulation, a conviction could result in a sentence of 1 to 5 years in state prison. You may also face a fine of up to $15,000.
- Substantial bodily harm: This felony conviction is punishable by a state prison sentence of 1 to 5 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Use of a deadly weapon (but no substantial bodily harm): Penalties include a state prison sentence of 2 to 10 years and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Use of a deadly weapon (with substantial bodily harm): Penalties include a state prison sentence of 2 to 15 years and a maximum $10,000 fine.
A conviction on domestic violence charges could change your life forever. Don’t wait to talk to a skilled Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. Contact Joel today. He is ready to hear your side of the story.
Can You Get Your Domestic Violence Record Sealed?
Because domestic violence carries a social stigma, charges that appear on your record could cause you to miss out on future employment, education, and other opportunities. Your record could also dramatically affect your ability to purchase a gun or impact immigration issues.
Nevada law does allow domestic violence records to be sealed if certain conditions are met. And if the prosecution dismisses your domestic violence charge, you should be able to immediately seal your Nevada criminal record. Joel can help guide you through the process if you want to get your domestic violence record sealed and leave the past in the past. Contact us today to learn how.
Get Help from an Experienced Las Vegas Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing a battery domestic violence charge or related charge in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, you need to start your defense immediately. Call Las Vegas defense lawyer Joel M. Mann or reach him online today. Joel will start working on your case right away and take steps that are aimed at reaching the best possible outcome for you.
Learn More About
- Protective Orders / Restraining Orders
- Child Abuse and Neglect
- Spousal Abuse
- Battery Domestic Violence
- Battery Domestic Violence with Strangulation