Las Vegas Domestic Violence Attorney
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Domestic Violence Attorney In Las Vegas, Nevada
The Nevada domestic violence laws protect persons from violent crimes committed by persons with whom the victims share certain domestic relationships. Nevada domestic violence laws also protect domestic violence victims by providing a system where victims can obtain court-issued protective orders.
In the most recent statistics, Nevada ranked fourth in the U.S. for female victims murdered by males in a single victim or single offender incident. Violence Policy Center, When Men Murder Women: z, (Sept. 2019). According to a 2017 Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCEDSV) annual report, there were 47,368 reported domestic violence incidents in Nevada that year alone. NCEDSV, 2017 Calendar Year Statistics Report, (2017). Such a high number of domestic violence incidents is not a new phenomena. Dating as far back as 1997, Nevada has consistently ranked in the top ten or top fifteen states for female victims murdered by males in a single victim or single offender incident. Violence Policy Center, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data.
Domestic violence cases are vigorously prosecuted in the State of Nevada. If convicted of domestic violence charges in Las Vegas, you could face serious penalties including high fines and possible jail time. Keep in mind, being charged with domestic battery, does not make you guilty. Many times, the accusation is very different from what really happened. As a result, you may have been improperly charged. However, the domestic violence laws in Nevada strongly favor the alleged victim, and arrests are often made with little to no evidence. If you’re facing domestic violence charges, you must speak with a Las Vegas domestic violence attorney right away to start building your defense.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence generally is defined as a violent crime committed in the context of an intimate relationship. However, domestic violence is no longer just a family matter. It is a crime involving the use of power, coercion, and violence to control another. This crime is recognized by Nevada state law and prosecutable by law enforcement.
Domestic violence is different from other random crimes because a perpetrator and victim are not strangers. They are intimate partners, family members, or parents of common children. This relationship, therefore, binds a victim to his or her perpetrator. For example, the victim may rely on the perpetrator for economic support or child support.
Ongoing domestic violence is characterized by a pattern of escalating abuse in which one partner in the relationship controls the other through force, deprivation, and/or the threat of deprivation or violence. What happens next depends on whether a weapon was involved or if there were serious injuries. In Nevada domestic violence cases, “serious injuries” means:
- Bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death
- Serious, permanent disfigurement
- Protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ
- Prolonged physical pain
Fighting False Domestic Violence Accusations
Some cases are brought by a spouse or domestic partner trying to obtain an advantage in a divorce or child custody case. Complaining witnesses sometimes make false statements to the police simply as a means to lash out against their partner. Las Vegas police officers are trained to make an arrest when they suspect a domestic battery has occurred. Those arrest decisions can be made based on false accusations that have no basis in reality. If accused, you have too much at risk fighting the battle on your own. You need the most experienced Las Vegas domestic violence attorney you can find.
Our criminal defense team will handle your case in the most compassionate manner. We have extensive experience dealing with the most complicated domestic violence cases. Spartacus Law Firm understands the legal process and we know how to approach your situation so that you can expect the best possible outcome.
Nevada Domestic Violence Laws
The State of Nevada takes domestic violence very seriously. Cases are prosecuted vigorously, often leading to steep fines and prison time. Nevada domestic violence laws are defined under Nevada Revised Statutes 200.485 and the Nevada Code section 33.018. Under Nevada law, domestic violence is any intentional, offensive touching of a qualifying person. To put it another way, domestic violence is a willful use of force against a person you have a domestic relationship with, spouse, girlfriend, parent, etc. Furthermore, domestic violence cannot be an accident. It must be an intentional touching of another party. While the other person doesn’t have to be injured for a battery to occur, it must be proven that the contact was both intentional and offensive.
At the Spartacus Law Firm, we achieve the maximum results possible for our clients, while striving to meet their personal needs throughout this time of turmoil. If you are facing domestic violence charges in Nevada, please contact our Las Vegas domestic violence lawyer for a free consultation.
Domestic Violence Charges in Las Vegas
According to Nevada law and the Nevada Revised Statutes 200.485, “battery domestic violence” has two elements: 1) a battery (any force or violence), and 2) within a domestic relationship. Domestic violence charges in Las Vegas are also codified in Nevada Revised Statutes 33.018. Nevada domestic violence laws define what counts as a domestic relationship for the purposes of the law. The law also defines what behavior counts as violent behavior in Nevada law. A domestic relationship includes:
- Former Spouse
- Any relation by blood or marriage
- Any dating partner
- Parties who have children in common
- Guardian of a parent’s child
Most importantly, the actions involved in a domestic dispute are ultimately what determine the potential charges and consequences. Due to Nevada’s strict laws surrounding domestic violence, even a small dispute can be seen as malicious and result in consequences for the accused. Even if you think the charges against you are minimal or untrue, it’s recommended that you have an experienced Las Vegas domestic violence lawyer in your corner. The actions that may qualify as domestic violence in Nevada may include any of the following:
- Assault and aggravated assault
- Battery and aggravated battery
- Compelling action under threat of force
- Sexual assault and battery
- Stalking and aggravated stalking
- Destruction of property
- Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit
- Hurting an animal
- False imprisonment
- Unlawful entry into victim’s residence, even if it is your residence as well
- DUI offense followed by battery domestic violence in the same evening
- Any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury
Any physical violence between two people that occurs but is not within a domestic relationship is not a battery domestic violence, but it can be charged as a battery NRS 200.481.
You may face domestic violence charges in Las Vegas for the actions mentioned above. However, it’s important to understand that there are defenses to accusations such as these that can help mitigate the potential penalties served by the Nevada courts. Our skilled Las Vegas domestic violence attorney can create a defense strategy based on your specific circumstances and give you the best opportunity to conclude with the optimal outcome. For information about domestic violence defense, contact the Spartacus Law Firm today.
Types Of Domestic Violence
This type of abuse generally occurs between a husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, or same-sex couple. The dominant partner may choose to exert his or her power by many means including physical, emotional, verbal, spiritual, financial, homophobic-based, immigration-based, or threats of destructive acts.
This type of abuse typically occurs between a husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, or same-sex couple. The abuse is characterized by forced or pressured sexual crimes, including rape.
This type of abuse is typically perpetrated on a child by a parent, grandparent, step-parent, or significant other of a parent. It can include physical, emotional, and verbal assaults against a child.
This type of abuse is typically perpetrated on senior citizens by their children, grandchildren, or others living with or caring for the victim. The abuse ranges from physical, emotional, and verbal abuse to financial and destructive threats.
Stalking is a crime of harassment in which a victim is fearful for his or her safety or life. Cyber-stalking is a new phenomenon in stalking in which abusers can discover a victim’s internet activities by gaining access to the victim’s e-mail account. The stalker can read the victim’s incoming and outgoing mail and send threatening or harassing email messages to the victim.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges in Las Vegas
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Las Vegas, you will be facing severe consequences from the state of Nevada. Not to mention, the unwanted social stigma that follows a domestic violence charge. Fortunately, there are ways to combat unfounded accusations with the help of a skilled domestic violence lawyer in Las Vegas. However, without a strategic defense, a first domestic violence charge within seven years will carry the following penalties:
- A misdemeanor charge
- Punishable by imprisonment that ranges from 2 days to 6 months
- 48 to 120 hours of community service
- Fines ranging from $200 to $1,000
- Weekly counseling sessions for at least 6 months, at the client’s expense
If you have been charged with a second domestic violence offense in Las Vegas within seven years of your first domestic violence charge, the consequences will be greater. It’s possible to get a second charge dropped or reduced, but without qualified representation, you will be at a disadvantage in the courtroom. For a second domestic violence charge within seven years, you will be facing the following penalties:
- A misdemeanor charge
- Punishable by imprisonment that ranges from 10 days to 6 months
- Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000
- 100 to 200 hours of community service
- Weekly counseling sessions for at least 12 months, at the client’s expense
Lastly, a third domestic violence charge in Las Vegas within seven years will present severe consequences and extended jail time if convicted. If you are found guilty of a third domestic violence offense in Nevada, you will be charged with a Category C felony and the following harsh penalties:
- Punishable by imprisonment that ranges from 1 to 5 years
- Fine up to $10,000, although greater fines might be authorized or required by the State
- Weekly counseling sessions for at least 12 months, at the patient’s expense
Defenses To Domestic Violence Charges In Nevada
Being arrested for domestic violence is not the same as being charged with domestic violence. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth, there are plenty of defense strategies that can be deployed to combat domestic violence charges against you. In Las Vegas, and throughout the State of Nevada, the law allows for numerous viable legal defenses to disprove accusations against you. It’s recommended that you seek representation from a skilled Las Vegas domestic violence attorney who has represented countless similar clients in your situation. Experience with domestic violence cases is critical, especially in a state with such strict punishment for those found guilty. Some of the defense strategies that can be utilized in a domestic violence case include the following:
Fraudulent Or False Allegations
Due to most domestic violence cases involving a close personal relationship, many accusations can be emotionally charged. It’s all too common for an angry spouse or lover to create a false report in the heat of the moment. Fortunately, a domestic violence defense attorney in Las Vegas can help piece together events leading up to the incident and refute the accuser’s side of the story. Police often lack context when making an arrest for domestic violence, therefore, it’s possible to bring new information to light that disproves the claims of domestic violence. If inaccuracies in a case are exposed and the charges cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, then there’s is potential for the domestic violence charges to be dismissed.
In any domestic violence situation, it is an affirmative defense that the person was acting to protect themselves or others. In Fact, self-defense is most often found to be true in cases involving domestic violence. Simply put, it is not a crime to lawfully and reasonably act to defend yourself against the fear of bodily injury or death. If you were in a domestic altercation that required you to defend yourself to avoid harm, it’s imperative that you have a Las Vegas domestic violence attorney who can convey this effectively in court. Self-defense incidents are often “he said she said” situations, and without experienced defense, you could be charged with a crime that was out of your control.
Failure To Prove The Case Beyond A Reasonable Doubt
Although there may be allegations against you, you cannot be charged with domestic violence unless it can be proven in a court of law. The prosecutor has the burden of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt to a judge or jury. If they cannot clearly prove that the allegations against you are true, then you are entitled to a verdict of not guilty.
These are just a few of the defenses that can be utilized in a domestic violence case. However, it’s important to note that the best defense will depend on the exact circumstances of your incident. Speaking directly with a Las Vegas domestic violence attorney will provide you with the best opportunity to state your case and defend your credibility. The Spartacus Law Firm understands the stress and uncertainty that comes with these types of allegations, that’s why we offer a risk-free consultation to speak with our experienced legal team to discuss the facts of the case and put together a strong defense.
Limited Ability to Dismiss Domestic Violence Charges in Las Vegas
Nevada law includes a very unusual requirement when it comes to how domestic violence cases are resolved. According to Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 193.130, 200.485, the state of Nevada forbids the prosecutor from dropping a domestic violence charge for anything other than lack of evidence. Where this comes into play most often is when the accuser retracts their claim and wishes to drop all charges. The district attorney assigned to the case will decline this notion and require that the case see trial. Therefore, plea bargains (to lesser offenses) are allowed only if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there is not have enough evidence to prove the defendant is guilty of the domestic violence charge brought against them. Having a skilled domestic violence attorney in Las Vegas gives you the best opportunity to expose any lack of evidence in your case.
Domestic Violence Statistics in Nevada
Nevada experiences more domestic violence cases than most states. In fact, a recent report from the National Domestic Violence Hotline reported that 1,791 contacts in Nevada were documented using the domestic violence hotline in a recent year. As a result, Nevada had the 23rd highest number of contacts to the domestic violence hotline of any state. It may come as no surprise that the majority of the reports to the Nevada Domestic Violence hotline came from Las Vegas, but what may shock you is the overall percentage. Shockingly, 69% of all calls to the domestic violence hotline were made by people in the Las Vegas area. Reno had the second-highest number of calls at 13%. Of those who contacted the hotline to report domestic violence, 95% were experiencing emotional or verbal abuse while 71% were experiencing physical abuse. Domestic Violence is a problem in Las Vegas, which is why the penalties for this crime are so harsh. However, with such a high frequency of domestic violence accusations, it can be difficult for those falsely accused to prove their innocence. If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Nevada, call our Las Vegas domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.
- 48.1% of Nevada women and 30.9% of Nevada men experience intimate partner physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking in their lifetimes.
- In 2014, Nevada domestic violence services were contacted 65,026 times.
- A Nevada woman’s chances of being assaulted by her partner at home are higher than the risk a police officer faces of being assaulted on the job.
- An estimated 24.4% of Nevada women will experience stalking in their lifetime.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
- On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, an average of close to 15 calls every minute
- Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped By The Accuser?
It’s possible, but charges cannot be dropped right away. Nevada law forbids district attorneys from reducing or dropping domestic violence charges unless it’s been proven that the case is not supported by probable cause or cannot be proved at the time of trial. What this means is that prosecutors cannot mitigate or drop charges before trial compared to other criminal charges like a first DUI offense.
Even if the accuser retracts their claims of domestic violence and wishes to drop charges, the district attorney appointed to the case will not allow the charges to be dropped, at least not right away. It’s common for domestic violence victims to retract their accusations because they feel pressured or fear their abuser. As a result, Nevada prosecutors assume that this may be a possibility in all cases and require that the evidence must be lacking before charges are officially dropped. A skilled Las Vegas domestic violence lawyer can assist with making this clear in court, otherwise, a baseless accusation may become a reality without a proper defense.
Will A Domestic Violence Charge Or Conviction Show Up On A Background Check?
Yes, a conviction for battery domestic violence can show up on a background check unless the file is sealed. Even if your case has been dismissed you must still have the file sealed in order for it not to show up on a background check. Even if your record is sealed it can still show up in FBI databases, a state order to seal a file does not have to be honored by the FBI. When someone is arrested, their fingerprints and information are sent to the FBI. The agency creates a federal record of the charges that can interfere with the intent of the sealing process in Nevada.
Can A Nevada Domestic Violence Conviction Be Removed From Your Record?
If the case is dismissed or you’ve been found innocent, the record of domestic violence can be sealed immediately after the case closes. However, if you’ve been convicted of a first or second domestic violence offense, it’s required that you wait 7 years from the date the case is closed to request that your record be sealed. This also includes the completion of all of the required penalties of your sentence. For example, fines paid and community service completed. If you wish to remove a third domestic violence charge from your record, Nevada requires that you wait 15 years from the date the case is closed to request that your record be sealed. As stated previously a sealed file can still show up in an FBI record even if the file has been sealed pursuant to law.
Can I Buy A Gun After My Record Has Been Sealed?
If you have had your misdemeanor domestic violence case sealed it does not restore your right to carry a firearm. If you wish to restore your right to bear arms after a domestic violence conviction in Nevada you must petition the Nevada Board of Pardons.
How Will Nevada Domestic Violence Charges Impact Custody Of Children?
Similar to other courts around the country, Nevada courts use a “best interests of the child” standard when deciding custody issues. According to NRS 125C.003, a judge may not find it in the best interest of the child to give custody to someone with a domestic violence conviction.
The Nevada Legislature has recognized the impacts of domestic violence, and the impact that such domestic violence poses to a child’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Castle v. Simmons, 120 Nev. 98, 86 P.3d 1042 (2004). Because of the pervasive impact of domestic violence, the Nevada legislature, in 125C.0035(5), has determined that a Court must presume that any domestic violence negatively impacts the best interests of children, and this Court has previously held that “[t]he court must hear all information regarding domestic violence in order to determine the child’s best interests” Id. at 1047. Further, in considering a motion to change custody, this Court has specifically indicated that the district court is required to presume that the child’s best interests are served by being placed in the care of the non-offending parent. Id.
These decisions are on a case-by-case basis, so it’s important that you have an experienced Las Vegas domestic violence attorney in your corner that can fight for you to retain custody of your children.
Am I Entitled To A Jury Trial If I Am Charged With A Domestic Violence Offense?
On September 12, 2019, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a ruling in Andersen v. Eighth Judicial District Court In And For County Of Clark, 135 Nev. Ad. Op. 42; 448 P.3d 1120 (2019), wherein it held that those charged with battery constituting domestic violence under NRS 200.485(1)(a), and were at risk of losing their gun rights under NRS 202.360, were “entitled to the right to a jury trial.”
The Nevada Supreme Court has recognized that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is a fundamental right: “In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 595, 128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637 (2008), the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is a personal right not tethered to any militia. See McDonald v. City of Chi., Ill., 561 U.S. 742, 750, 130 S.Ct. 3020, 177 L.Ed.2d 894 (2010) (holding that the Second Amendment “right is fully applicable to the States”). Hager v. State, 135 Nev. Adv. Op. 34, 447 P.3d 1063, 1067 (2019).
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Battery Domestic Violence Charge?
- A gross misdemeanor must be found, or an information or complaint filed, within 2 years after the commission of the offense.
- Any other misdemeanor must be found, or an information or complaint filed, within 1 year after the commission of the offense.
- Theft, robbery, burglary, forgery, arson, sexual assault, a violation of NRS 90.570, a violation punishable pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection 3 of NRS 598.0999 or a violation of NRS 205.377 must be found, or an information or complaint filed, within 4 years after the commission of the offense.
- Any felony other than the felonies listed in subsection 1 must be found, or an information or complaint filed, within 3 years after the commission of the offense.
Can I Be Deported For A Battery Domestic Violence Conviction?
If you are a non-citizen, certain crimes can subject you to deportation. You can be deported for conviction of domestic violence, stalking, or violation of a protection order. 8 U.S.C. §1227(a)(2)(E).
If I Am Deported For A Criminal Conviction Can I Come Back To The United States?
If you have been deported you must wait either 5 or 10 years (depending on the type of conviction) before returning to the United States. 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(9)(A). If you have been deported a second time the wait is 20 years. 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(9)(A). You can petition for permission to re-enter the United States sooner but it may not be allowed. If you are deported for an aggravated felony, you can probably never return to the United States 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(6)(B).
Contact A Las Vegas Domestic Violence Attorney Today
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence in Nevada, it’s in your best interest to contact a Las Vegas domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. A domestic violence conviction can alter the trajectory of your life. You could be facing serious penalties, including the possibility of time in prison. Not to mention, a domestic violence protective order can limit your rights as a parent and property owner as well as limit your freedom of movement. The Spartacus Law Firm specializes in domestic violence defense and we have represented countless Nevada residents facing similar charges. To discuss your case with our legal team, contact us today for a free consultation.
Last Modified: February 16, 2024