On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. In one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. ¹
In 2015, the National Domestic Violence Hotline documented 1,791 contacts from Nevada. The state ranks 23 in terms of Hotline contact volume. The Hotline provides Crisis Intervention, Safety Planning, Referrals and, DV Education for these contacts.
Unfortunately, false accusations of domestic violence do occur. There are a number of reasons someone might want to file a false accusation of domestic violence.
If you have been accused or arrested for domestic violence you need an experienced domestic violence attorney to help you through this process and vindicate your rights.
A domestic violence conviction can have profound effects on your life. A conviction of a domestic violence offense will remain on your record, and be a searchable public record, for your lifetime, the record of the offense can only be sealed after seven years (Nevada does not provide for expungement of criminal offenses). Thus, your ability to find work, obtain a professional license, or maintain joint legal custody of your minor children can be significantly impaired if you have a conviction of domestic violence offense. There are other collateral consequences which might result from a conviction for domestic violence.
Another consequence of a domestic violence conviction is a loss of gun rights. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge NRS 200.485 or subject to an extended order of protection for domestic violence in Nevada or subject to a similar order in another state you can lose your right to own or possess a gun pursuant to NRS 202.360(1)(a).
In 2017, the Nevada Legislature altered the regulations regarding domestic violence gun prohibition. A prohibited person in possession of a firearm because of a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction was previously prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense, it is now a felony which mirrors Federal Law.
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense and are subsequently arrested or indicted for the unlawful possession of a firearm the penalties for such a violation are significant. The punishment for violating NRS 202.360(1)(a) is a category B felony with a sentencing range of 1-6 years and a $5,000 fine (up to the discretion of the court. Your misdemeanor domestic violence conviction now subjects you to a serious felony charge which accompanies the potential for significant jail time with a monetary penalty. The best way to avoid losing your gun rights is to aggressively defend any criminal charges that may result in the loss of your Second Amendment rights. This is why it is imperative to seek the advice of experienced legal counsel to address your misdemeanor domestic violence charge from the outset of the criminal process. At the Spartacus Law Firm, we specialize in aggressively defending your rights at every stage of a criminal proceeding.
It should also be noted that the State can drop the prosecution of a prohibited person in possession of a firearm but the United States Attorney’s Office can prosecute the charge pursuant U.S.C. 922(g). This law is more commonly known as the Lautenberg Amendment, named after the U.S. Senator who sponsored the bill in Congress. Under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9), you are prohibited from owning, shipping, transporting, or possessing firearms or ammunition if you have been convicted in any court of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence." A violation of 922(g) can result in up to ten years in federal prison. This law demonstrates the severity of the collateral consequence of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm’s and Explosives website for a full list of prohibited persons.) (18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (2020).) Identify Prohibited Persons | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (atf.gov)
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence you are not only the Defendant but the actual victim in the case. All hope is not lost, in every domestic violence case the prosecutor is required to prove each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, and because of collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction, you now have the right to a jury trial. The prosecutor must prove that the act occurred and that you had the requisite intent to commit the prohibited act before a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof within American jurisprudence.
Most notably, in the case of Amezcua v. Eighth Judicial District Court, 130 Nev. 45, 319 P.3d 602 (2014), the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that a conviction for battery domestic violence was not a serious offense such that the right to a jury trial is triggered. However, in 2015, the Nevada Legislature passed a law which prohibited firearm ownership for those convicted of domestic violence crimes. Consequently, the Nevada Supreme Court revisited this issue in the case of Andersen v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 448 P.3d 1120, 2019 Nev. LEXIS 53, 135 Nev. Adv. Rep. 42, 2019 WL 4384133. In Andersen, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature amended the penalties associated with a conviction under NRS 200.485(1)(a). Specifically, NRS 202.360—a statute that prohibits the possession or control of firearms by certain persons—was amended to criminalize possession or control of a firearm in Nevada by a person who "[h]as been convicted in this State or any other state of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33)." 2015 Nev. Stat., ch. 328, § 3(1)(a), at 1782. It is this amendment that distinguishes the instant matter from the ruling in Amezcua and commands the conclusion that misdemeanor domestic battery is a serious offense.
This decision is significant as it gives a defendant accused of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense a right to a trial by jury. Instead of convincing a judge that a domestic violence offense occurred prosecutors must now convince a jury which is a more arduous task. If you have been accused of a domestic violence offense you need a skilled trial lawyer who can aggressively litigate the issues on your behalf, call us at the Spartacus Law Firm today to protect your rights.
In addition to having to try the case before a jury, at times, the prosecutor is unable to proceed because they lack the necessary evidence to proceed to trial or the State cannot secure the percipient witnesses (though the State can pursue charges without the consent of the victim). At Spartacus Law firm, we specialize in bringing the necessary pretrial motions such as motions to suppress or exclude evidence which might prevent the prosecution from bringing its case in chief.
In every domestic violence case, the police must also follow standards of evidence and protocols. In some cases where your rights have been violated, the prosecutor may not be able to go forward with the charges because of a breach of criminal procedure which means the case will be dismissed. Do not lose your rights and reputation because of a false allegation of domestic abuse contact Spartacus Law Firm to protect your rights and your future.
If you need legal advice or representation against false allegations of domestic violence. Contact the Spartacus Law Firm today at 702-660-1234 for a free consultation to protect your rights.