Here’s what you need to know about domestic violence charges.
You’ve been accused of domestic violence. Today, the very suggestion that you have engaged in a violent act presents the prospect of some severe legal repercussions, not the least of which may include jail time. Domestic violence is a serious matter, and depending upon the severity of the accusation, courts can hand out some harsh and unyielding punishments. When charged, you need someone on your side to either disprove the charges or lessen their severity in the eyes of the court.
Examining how a domestic violence charge is perceived in the state of Nevada, what it entails, its ramifications and the possible penalties involved is important when making determinations for your defense—a good, highly-experienced attorney is a must.
Domestic Violence charges can be cited as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the action—your past criminal history determines how the court perceives the charge and how charges get filed. A misdemeanor does not carry the legal stigma of a felony. If the charge is categorized as the latter, you will need a criminal attorney to decipher Nevada’s Domestic Violence and Battery Laws and provide the best defense.
Nevada law NRS 200.485 prohibits domestic violence. Under the law, domestic battery is defined as ANY willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon any person with whom you have a domestic relationship.
Under the Battery Law definition, the incident cannot be accidental; the physical confronting must be intentional. It does not require that injury be present and has no bearing on the charges. Any intentional touching of a spouse or partner, injury aside, can be charged under the law.
Any conviction for a domestic battery will result in a loss of gun rights.
Even though domestic battery cases are some of the most common types of criminal charges filed in Nevada, they are not easy for the state to prove. A domestic battery case often comes down to the credibility of the victim. With little evidence to prove who is telling the truth, it’s up to the state to prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
Common defenses used against domestic violence charges:
To be a domestic battery instead of a simple battery, the victim and the offender must have a domestic relationship. Qualifying relationships include:
A dating relationship must be more than casual. Nevada law NRS 33.018 defines a domestic relationship as frequent, intimate interactions with the expectation of affection or sexual contact.
If your case is a misdemeanor, it may go to either a bench trial before a judge or a jury trial. If it is a felony, you have the right to a jury trial. Nevada law says that the state can only offer a plea resolution if it believes there’s a lack of evidence against you, and they are not likely to win the case at trial.
At this juncture, it is critical that your defense attorney aggressively pursues this side of the legal argument and convince the state that their case against you is weak.
A domestic violence conviction can have consequences that extend beyond the criminal courtroom. If the charge of domestic violence against you is upheld, it may well affect child custody. A conviction gives the other side a legal upper hand, and you may find yourself on the wrong end of a custody battle. Visitation can be affected, or worse, contact with your children may be interrupted.
If you’re going through a divorce or custody proceeding or an active custody case, it’s critical to have the best defense possible against the domestic violence charges filed against you. A good defense attorney scrutinizes the other person’s statements as questionable. The other person is then seen as possibly enhancing their domestic charges against you to gain leverage in the custody case. It’s been known to happen.
If you’re facing domestic battery charges, you might also be facing one or more related charges.
If you face either of these related charges, you have a right to a trial by jury. A defense attorney can help you evaluate the charges, so you understand the accusations and what the state needs to show to prove the case against you. This is a serious charge; without a defense attorney, you cannot hope to fight it in court.
When you’re facing a domestic battery charge in Nevada, your life turns upside down in an instant. You are facing the loss of freedom and finances and the prospect of lengthy community service, counseling, and other court-ordered demands. Things get complicated when it comes to child custody or contact with your children.
Fortunately, you can fight back against a domestic battery charge. Working with a qualified defense attorney can help you build a defense that aggressively fights the charges against you. Your attorney will help you understand the specifics of the charges and the legal options available to fight and defend yourself.
Neahusan Law is your legal lifeline in Reno, Sparks, Fallon, Carson City, Fernley, and the surrounding Nevada communities. Our attorneys will fight your legal battles, giving your case the attention, it deserves. Contact Neahusan Law today at 775-420-5142 or fill out the contact form on our website.