Domestic Battery Charge in Las Vegas: What is Domestic Battery 1st Offense?

Battery Constituting Domestic Violence charges can often be the most disruptive, emotionally difficult charges to fight. It can result in marital counseling, domestic violence counseling, anger management, alcohol classes, restraining orders, and jail often times when the parties themselves don’t even want such results. In the State of Nevada, it does not matter whether the so-called victim presses charges or not. Once the police have charged an individual with domestic violence, the state prosecutors will most likely go forward with the case.

Las Vegas Domestic Battery Defense Attorney

These charges can also affect your personal and professional life, especially if you are faced with incarceration in a county jail, city jail, or state prison. If you have been arrested for domestic violence in Las Vegas, it is crucial that you contact Joel Mann right away. As an expert in Nevada law, he can help defend your case in court.

What Does Domestic Battery Mean?

A battery is labeled battery domestic violence when someone allegedly commits the battery on any of the following people in his or her life:

  • Current or former spouse
  • Any relative by blood or marriage
  • Someone living in the same home
  • A significant other
  • A co-parent of a child
  • The suspect’s minor child
  • The suspect who is appointed legal guardian of the minor child

Basically the defining characteristic of battery domestic violence is the offensive touching must be done upon a person that the alleged offender had a close, personal relationship with either by blood, marriage or another type of relationship that is considered domestic.

Steps to take after a Domestic Battery Charge in Las Vegas

Once an arrest has been made for battery constituting domestic violence, there are some key things that you can do in order to protect your rights. Of course you should contact legal counsel to represent you right away. In addition to the lawyer, you can also take the following steps:

  • Take pictures of any injuries you might have sustained during the altercation
    Pictures of your injuries could provide favorable injuries if you want to prove to the court that you acted in self-defense. Even if the police took pictures during the arrest, bruises usually get darker over time so take pictures of your injuries over several days even as the injuries go away. Remember to provide the pictures to your defense attorney.
  • Never violate a protective order (also referred to as a restraining order) in Las Vegas
    A restraining order will most likely take effect after your domestic violence arrest. Generally, the restraining order will prohibit contact with the alleged victim and keep you from returning to the home even if you want to collect your belongings. Do not violate the terms of the restraining order.
  • Ask your attorney to file a motion to modify the restraining order
    A restraining order is basically a no-contact order put in place to protect the victim. You cannot make contact with the victim in any manner including phone and personal contact. It is best to let your attorney file a motion to allow you moderate contact if you need to talk to the alleged victim about children, finances and other pertinent matters.

Most importantly, even if the alleged victim attempts to make the contact, you have to avoid violating the restraining order so under no circumstances can you have contact with the victim.

Arrested Due to False Allegations of Domestic Violence

Surprisingly there are a lot of arrests made based on false allegation of domestic violence. The reasons for arrests over false allegations include:

  • The police expect to make an arrest when they are called out for domestic violence. Even if the alleged victim does not want to prosecute, usually the police will make an arrest out of safety concerns. Typically they arrest the male, but increasingly females have gotten arrested for domestic violence.
  • Law enforcement are confronted with conflicting stories and have to make a fast determination of who the “primary aggressor” was in the situation.
  • Sometimes the police will tell the parties that both of them are going to jail, which causes the alleged victim to exaggerate claims in order to get out of being arrested.

How to Beat a Domestic Battery Charge in Nevada

It is important that you don’t accept the false charges being lodged against you. You need to fight the false allegations of domestic violence as they can negatively impact you for the rest of your life. They can affect your immigration status, right to own a firearm, employment opportunities, etc. A Las Vegas domestic battery lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the case and prepare for a trial.

For a first or second offense charge of domestic violence, a trial is conducted before a judge who will ultimately decide your guilt or innocence. The prosecutor has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but many of the cases are he said she said and the Judge will take the victim’s statement to police at the time as being the absolute truth. So it is important to prepare for trial by going through all possible defenses and witnesses in a detailed fashion.

Some typical defenses (depending on the facts):

  • The battery that occurred, occurred in self-defense as the alleged victim was attacking the defendant.
  • The battery was done in anticipation of the so-called victim attacking due to a long history of physical abuse.
  • The battery did not occur at all.
  • The alleged victim is making up the allegations to get some benefit or revenge.

It is important that you discuss any possible defenses with a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney as you will need to investigate and gather evidence before your trial.

Domestic Battery Charge Plea Bargains

It is possible to get a domestic violence charge reduced to a lesser charge. Depending on the situation it can be possible to reduce a domestic violence claim to:

  • A simple battery (misdemeanor)
    A simple battery is an unconsented touching. It’s a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
  • A breach of the peace (misdemeanor)
    Breach of the peace is an offense when an individual is willfully loud, offensive and disruptive. The penalties fall under the misdemeanor category and include a maximum jail term of 6 months or a maximum fine of up to $1,000.
  • Alternative treatments like counseling /anger management
  • Dismissal – the charges can be completely dismissed without the need for a trial or plea bargain.

The first and second offenses for battery constituting domestic violence are misdemeanor offenses. It is advisable to change the charge to a simple battery or a breach of the peace because then you do not have a domestic violence charge on your record. If you get more than 2 domestic violence charges then the consequences significantly increase.

Also, a significant benefit of getting a breach of the peace charge instead of a battery constituting domestic violence charge is that you can petition to seal your record after 2 years have passed, but with a domestic violence conviction you have to wait a minimum of 7 years to seal your record.

Penalties for a Domestic Battery Charge

  • 1st offense for Battery Domestic Violence:
    • Misdemeanor offense
    • Maximum of 6 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000
    • 48-120 hours of community service
    • Domestic Violence Counseling: 1 ½ hours per week for six to twelve months at the client’s expense
  • 2nd offense for Battery Domestic Violence:
    • Misdemeanor offense
    • Maximum of 6 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000
    • 100-200 hours community service
    • Domestic Violence Counseling: 1 ½ hours per week for twelve months at the client’s expense
  • 3rd or higher offense for Battery Domestic Violence:
    • Category C felony
    • 1-5 years in prison a possible fine of up to $10,000
    • No probation
  • Battery Domestic Violence with Strangulation:
    • Category C felony
    • 1-5 years in prison and a mandatory fine of $15,000
  • Battery Domestic Violence resulting in substantial bodily harm (no deadly weapon used):
    • Category C Felony
    • 1-5 years in state prison, a mandatory fine of $10,000
  • Battery Domestic Violence with a deadly weapon (no substantial bodily harm):
    • Category B Felony
    • 2-10 years in state prison, a mandatory fine of $10,000
  • Battery Domestic Violence with a deadly weapon and substantial bodily harm:
    • Category B Felony
    • 1-15 years in state prison, a mandatory fine of $10,000

Contact a Las Vegas defense lawyer if you are charged with battery constituting domestic violence charges. The penalties are significant so you should get a lawyer right away so you can put forth a defense to the charges immediately.

Law Office of Joel M. Mann | Las Vegas Domestic Battery Attorney

If you have been convicted of battery and are facing charges in Las Vegas, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann for a free legal consultation. Joel Mann is an aggressive Las Vegas domestic violence attorney who is dedicated to helping clients avoid the negative consequences that stem from a battery domestic violence case.