Domestic violence is a regular battery carried out by an individual against their spouse, former spouse, relative by blood or marriage, someone with whom they have had or are having a dating relationship, someone with whom they reside, someone with whom they have a child in common, or a minor child of one of those persons.
How Does Police Determine Who The Aggressor Is In A Domestic Violence Situation? Is Someone Always Arrested? What Are The Penalties For A Domestic Violence Conviction?
In most cases, there will be more than one police officer called to the scene of a domestic violence situation; the people involved will be separated and interviewed by the officers. In some cases, one of the participants will refuse to be interviewed, which can end up being helpful for a criminal lawyer. However, as a practical matter, refusing to be interviewed would likely result in an arrest. The police will also look for marks or injuries on the parties involved in order to determine the identity of the aggressor. They will take photographs of any injuries and include them in the police report.
For the first offense of battery domestic violence, the potential penalties are a mandatory minimum of two days in jail to six months in jail, and a fine of anywhere from $200 to $1,000 (not including court fees). In addition, weekly, in-person counseling sessions of not less than one and a half hour per week shall be required. Ther may be may an additional requirement the defendant to attend alcohol and/or drug treatment.
If someone is charged with domestic violence, they could be charged with misdemeanor battery domestic violence, which is a progressive crime. This means that if the individual commits a subsequent violation within seven years, the penalties will increase to anywhere from 10 days to six months in jail, between 100 and 200 hours of community service, a fine of $500 to $1000 plus fees, and weekly counseling sessions for one year. Once again, the court can order alcohol or drug counseling. A third offense within seven years is a category C felony, which is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment in Nevada State Prison for at least one year and not more than five years, a potential fine of $1000 to $10,000, and it is not probationable.
A serious type of domestic violence is domestic violence with strangulation, which is a felony and carries severe penalties. If severe injuries were sustained by the victim, then the aggressor could face a felony charge of domestic violence. If a child under the age of 18 was the victim, then the court may refer the child to child protective services or the division of family services.
Unless the circumstances are really egregious, bail will usually be granted. The minimum is $2000 and will likely increase for subsequent offenses. If someone committed domestic violence against one of their children, then they may be restricted from seeing any of their children by a no-contact order. If a no-contact order were to be violated, the perpetrator could be held in contempt and put in custody for up to six months. If the parties involved in a domestic violence case are married, the court will sometimes lift the no-contact order between them. Once charges related to domestic violence have been filed, a temporary restraining order (TRO) will automatically be put in place. In most cases, TROs last for the pendency of the case, but they could last for an entire year depending on the circumstances of the case.
Does An Alleged Victim Actually Need To Be Injured For Domestic Violence Charges To Be Brought?
A screaming match wouldn’t be sufficient to bring domestic violence charges, but if someone is hit and there are no marks to prove it, domestic violence could still be charged. This means that an injury is not necessary in order for domestic violence charges to be brought.
If the alleged victim changes their story and says that they do not want to press charges, the case will not necessarily go away. This is because the state of Nevada becomes the complaining party, and if the state of Nevada does not want to drop the charges, then it’s not going to happen. In some cases, the victim could speak with the prosecutor and explain that they overreacted out of emotion and that the defendant really didn’t do anything. Under such circumstances, the DA could choose to dismiss the charges.
On occasion, we will do a stayed adjudication, which is when the client pleads guilty with the promise that if they successfully meet all of the requirements, their case will be reduced to a lesser charge or dismissed altogether. In most cases, the charge would be reduced to the straight battery or disorderly conduct, neither of which carries as many requirements.
In some cases, the alleged perpetrator is not at the scene by the time the police arrive. If the police don’t make contact with the alleged perpetrator within 24 hours, they will send them a summons that states that they need to be in court on a certain date. Either the defendant or their lawyer can go to court, plead not guilty, obtain the police reports, and have the case set for trial. Most of these cases resolve before trial, but some of them don’t. If a case goes to trial, self-defense is one strategy that’s often used. For example, if someone is being hit by another person, they can hit them back to protect themselves. Defense of a third party is also a defense.
If someone has been charged with domestic violence, they should absolutely talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has handled a lot of domestic violence cases. I’ve handled over 500 domestic violence cases during the course of my career, and I’ve been practicing since 1981.
For more information on Domestic Violence Cases In Nevada, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (702) 385-9777 today.