Battery domestic violence is set out in NRS 33.018 and NRS 200.48. It is defined as willfully and unlawfully committing an act of force or violence upon:
- A spouse
- Former spouse
- Someone you date or used to date
- Someone with whom you vave a child in common
- A minor child of any of the above
- Blood relation (except siblings or cousins in most circumstances)
If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is important to seek legal guidance. You could be entitled to serious, life-changing consequences. If convicted, these penalties affect a person's personal and professional relationships, employment and housing.
Penalties Are Significant
The punishments for a domestic violence charge in Nevada are significant. This means that if within the seven years you are charged, the first time and second time it is a misdemeanor. The third charge constitutes a felony. The penalties include:
- 2 days to 6 months of mandatory jail time
- 2 days to 120 hours of mandatory community service
- Fines between $200-$1,000
- Domestic violence counseling
- Drug and alcohol counseling
- Stay away orders
- Immigration consequences
- Permanent loss of right to own a firearm
Note that penalties can be worse if the victim is a child or elderly (age 60 or older).
There are several viable defenses to this crime. These include self-defense, battered women's syndrome, false allegations, self-inflicted injuries, or an accident. It is important to ensure that if you have been charged, you have a lawyer working on your behalf to ensure that you receive the best possible defense.
Limited Dismissal Rights
Nevada law is unusual in how the prosecutor handles these cases. The prosecution is prohibited from dismissing the charge of guilty, not guilty by mental illness or no contest. This means that plea bargains are limited, and only available if the prosecutor claims that he does not have sufficient evidence to prove that the crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt.
Arrest is Mandatory
Law enforcement is required to arrest a domestic violence suspect.
If the court believes that the domestic violence did occur, the court may issue a protective order against the suspect. It is important to note that this order will be granted with no notice to the defendant. This is important because these orders can prevent the defendant from entering the family home, or seeing certain family members, such as their children.