Las Vegas Domestic Violence Attorney
Being charged with domestic battery is a serious matter. As a long-time domestic violence lawyer, I have successfully fought to protect the rights of people charged with these serious crimes. If you’re facing a charge of domestic violence, contact our domestic violence defense attorney at (702) 474-6266.
You can count on me and my 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
Getting charged with domestic battery is a very serious matter. Not only can the fines and jail time be significant, but a conviction for domestic battery can also ruin your reputation and ability to find work. For this reason, you should hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer to work on your case. I have a proven track record of obtaining positive case results for our clients facing domestic battery charges.
Is Domestic Violence a Form of Assault or Battery?
Domestic violence is defined as committing assault and/or battery on:
- A spouse or former spouse
- Person you have a child with
- The person you are living with (or you used to live with)
- The person you are dating (or used to date)
- Your child
- Any blood relative (or a person you are related to by marriage)
An assault occurs when you put another person in fear of harm, while a battery occurs if you carry through with the assault by making physical contact. It’s important to note that battery does not require you to hurt the other person—any form of offensive, aggressive, or unwanted physical contact can result in battery charges. Domestic violence also applies to LGBTQ relationships.
What Are The Domestic Battery Penalties in Nevada?
The State of Nevada lays out strict penalties for those convicted of domestic battery. Anyone found guilty of a domestic battery may face:
|Second Offense Within 7 Years
Third Offense Within 7 Years
|2 days (minimum) to 6 months (maximum) in jail
|10 days (minimum) to 6 months (maximum) in jail
1 year (minimum) to 5 years (maximum) in prison
|48 hours (minimum) to 120 hours (maximum) of community service
|100 hours (minimum) to 200 hours (maximum) of community service
Up to $10,000 in fines (at the discretion of the judge)
|$200 (minimum) to $1,000 (maximum) fine, plus assessments
$500 (minimum) to $1,000 (maximum) fine, plus assessments
|Domestic violence counseling of 1½ hours per week for 6 months (minimum) to 12 months (maximum), at the defendant’s expense
Domestic violence counseling of 1½ hours per week for a minimum of 12 months, at the defendant’s expense
|Participation in an alcohol or drug treatment program (at the discretion of the judge)
Participation in an alcohol or drug treatment program (at the discretion of the judge)
|Costs of counseling for underage victims (at the discretion of the judge)
Costs of counseling for underage victims (at the discretion of the judge)
Domestic Battery Suspects Have Fewer Rights than Other Criminal Suspects
Domestic battery is viewed as such a serious crime that the government has reduced some of the rights for suspects. All the officer needs is reasonable cause to believe that you committed a crime. The police officer does not need to actually witness the crime—the testimony of a witness is enough to give rise to probable cause.
For this reason, many innocent people get charged with assault and battery. An angry or irritated partner can call the police, make accusations, and obtain your arrest with relative ease. If this happens to you, do your best to remain calm, follow the police’s instructions, and ask to speak with a lawyer. Arguing your case with the police is not only pointless, but it may also actually make things worse.
Another way in which suspects enjoy fewer rights comes up at trial when the prosecution presents its evidence. In most criminal cases, prosecutors are not allowed to use evidence of past criminal activity as evidence that you are guilty of a crime. With domestic battery cases, prosecutors can present evidence of past crimes to portray you as a violent and dangerous person.
Often times the judge handling your domestic battery case will issue an order prohibiting you from having any contact with the accuser. Even if the charges against you are unfounded, you should obey this order to the best of your ability. This order does not apply to the alleged victim, meaning that he or she can legally approach you. If this occurs, calmly and politely remove yourself from the situation.
If you share children with the alleged victim, the no-contact order may contain a stipulation that allows for contact only to exchange custody of the children. The punishment for violating a no-contact order will vary depending on the circumstances, but it could involve jail time.
A Strong Defense From a Las Vegas Domestic Violence Attorney
One of the most effective defensive strategies is to claim that you acted in self-defense. To successfully claim self-defense, it’s necessary to show the following are true:
- You had a reasonable belief that you or someone else was about to be injured or unlawfully touched
- You had a reasonable belief that the use of force was necessary to stop the injury or unlawful contact from happening
- You used only the amount of force necessary to defend yourself or the other person
Of course, self-defense should only be used in cases where you actually assaulted or battered the alleged victim. In cases where no threats or physical contact occurred, your lawyer can attempt to demonstrate that the accusations are false. Often times, this is accomplished by showing that the alleged victim had a motive for making false accusations, such as obtaining sole custody of a child or having you removed from the household.
As in any criminal case, the prosecution must prove their version of events beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that you may be able to escape a guilty verdict if your evidence shows a gap or inconsistency in the prosecutor’s case. Alternatively, a motion to suppress some of the prosecution’s evidence can be filed, which would make it difficult for them to prove their case at trial.
If you’re facing domestic battery charges, the sooner you retain the services of a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, the better. My goal is to give clients the best chance possible as they face the criminal justice system and to ensure that their rights are respected along the way. Call me today for a free and confidential consultation of your case or contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann online.