Battery Domestic Violence in Nevada
Battery domestic violence is a misdemeanor and one of the most frequently charged crimes in the State of Nevada. A battery is any "willful and unlawful use of force or violence" upon another person. This may include pushing, slapping, spitting, and simply throwing an object at that person. "Domestic violence" means that there is a special relationship between the persons involved. A domestic relationship is defined broadly in Nevada to include the following persons:
- A spouse or former spouse
- Any persons related by blood or marriage
- Roommates or former roommates
- Any persons in a dating relationship or that previously dated
- Any persons that share a child in common.
This broad definition of domestic violence can often reach unsuspecting persons and result in an arrest for one of the more difficult misdemeanor offenses to resolve. The prosecuting attorney is not permitted by law to reduce or dismiss a charge of battery domestic violence unless evidentiary issues exist at the time of trial, meaning that even if the victim recants or does not wish to prosecute, the prosecuting attorney may nonetheless seek a conviction.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
A battery domestic violence conviction will result in consequences for most jobs, such as the revocation of some professional licenses. A conviction may also result in deportation or removal if the person is not a United States citizen.
Battery domestic violence is a misdemeanor for any first or second offense within seven years and punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. For a first offense, the offender must spend a minimum of two days in jail. Most first-time offenders are ordered to complete community service, pay a small fine, and complete 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling. For a second offense within seven years, the offender must spend a minimum of 10 days in jail. Other requirements may include community service, fines, and more domestic violence counseling than a first offense. A third offense within seven years is a Category C felony and punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. "Felony domestic violence" is a non-probationable offense, meaning that the judge is required by law to send the offender to prison. (NRS 33.018, NRS 200.485)
Battery domestic violence by strangulation is a Category C felony and punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine not to exceed $15,000. "Strangulation" means that the offender placed pressure on the neck of the victim to stop breathing or circulation and created a risk of death or substantial bodily harm. Battery domestic violence by strangulation is also a non-probationable offense, requiring the judge to send the offender to prison.
How an Attorney Could Help
It is important to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to navigate these consequences and find weaknesses in the prosecuting attorney's case. An experienced criminal defense attorney may also discover witnesses or evidence that the police missed.
It is never a good choice to face criminal charges without the help of an attorney. When you work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you will have not only knowledge and understanding of the law on your side but also the confidence that protecting your rights will be a priority throughout the process.