BATTERY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE "101"
Battery domestic violence is a misdemeanor and one of the most frequently charged crimes in the State of Nevada. It has two "elements." The first element is a "battery," which is any "willful and unlawful use of force or violence" upon another person. A battery may include pushing, slapping, kicking, spitting, or simply throwing an object and striking a person. The second element is a "domestic relationship" means that there is a special relationship between the persons involved, such as the following persons and more:
- A spouse or former spouse
- Any other person to whom the person is related by blood or marriage
- Any other person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship
- Any persons that share a child in common
This broad definition of battery domestic violence can reach unsuspecting persons, destroy reputations, destroy careers, and result in an arrest for one of the more difficult misdemeanor offenses to resolve in the State of Nevada. Battery domestic violence cases are also incredibly difficult to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney at or before trial because the prosecuting attorney may not reduce or dismiss the charge by law unless an "evidentiary issue" exists. In short, even if a victim recants or does not wish to prosecute, the prosecuting attorney may still seek a conviction over the wishes or objection of the victim. The prosecuting attorney may even seek a conviction with the statements of the person arrested, third-party witnesses, video surveillance, or audio recordings without calling the victim as a witness.
VASEK LAW strongly encourages you to speak with an experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to analyze your case. An arrest for battery domestic violence does not guarantee a you will be charged with a crime, although it is statistically more likely than not. VASEK LAW therefore encourages you to not feel pressured to retain an attorney immediately without first understanding all options and to speak with multiple attorneys (not just case manages and non-attorney "specialists") about what may happen next. Depending on where your case may be filed, you may choose to "wait and see" if the prosecuting attorney files a charge. However, if a criminal court issued a "no contact" order or the Family Division of the Eighth Judicial District Court issued a "temporary protective order," you may wish to hire an attorney immediately if you are unable to return to your home or you are unable to speak with your significant other or children. The outcome of your case may also depend upon factors such as where your case is filed, what judge your case is assigned, what prosecuting attorney is responsible for your case, and your prior criminal history and ties to the community. A conviction for battery domestic violence will also carry significant collateral consequences for a lifetime (i.e. the inability to ever own or possess a firearm). You should therefore never accept a deal at your first court appearance without having reviewed all your discovery, such as police reports, witness statements, and body camera footage. An experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will know how to obtain this discovery and should also know how each court, judge, and prosecuting attorney approaches battery domestic violence cases differently. Attorney BRIAN VASEK is here to help and to discuss your case. He even offers FREE CONSULTATIONS.
BATTERY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is an "enhanceable" offense, a Misdemeanor for any first or second offense within seven (7) years, and punishable by up to six (6) months in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. For a first offense, the person must spend a minimum of two (2) days in jail. Most persons convicted of battery domestic violence "first offense" are ordered to complete forty-eight (48) hours of community service, pay a small fine, and complete twenty-six (26) weeks of domestic violence counseling. For a second offense within seven (7) years, the person must spend a minimum of ten (10) days in jail. Other requirements include 100 hours of community service, higher fines, and fifty-two (52) weeks of domestic violence counseling. A third offense within seven (7) years is a Category C Felony and punishable by one (1) to five (5) 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 person to prison for at least one (1) year. (NRS 33.018, NRS 200.485)
BATTERY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BY STRANGULATION is a Category C Felony and punishable by one (1) to five (5) years in prison and a fine not to exceed $15,000. "Strangulation" means that the person 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 person to prison for at least one (1) year. (NRS 33.018, NRS 200.485)
WHAT MAKES VASEK LAW DIFFERENT?