Las Vegas Domestic Battery Law – Domestic Violence Lawyer Ross Goodman

Charges of Battery Domestic Violence can often be the most disturbing and emotionally difficult to deal with. It can often end up with anger management, alcohol rehabilitation, restraining orders, marriage counseling, and in some cases, jail.

Once the police have been called, the criminal process for the case begins. Law enforcers are obligated to arrest the person who committed the act of domestic violence or spousal battery under a mandatory arrest policy by state law.

Definition of Battery Constituting Domestic Violence

There are 2 components of Battery Domestic Violence:

  • Battery
  • Domestic Violence

The Nevada Battery Law

Nevada law states that Criminal Battery is the willful and unlawful use of force or violence on another person. Thus, the Las Vegas battery law has 2 elements

  • Unlawful force on another person.
  • Intent to use force.

Unlawful Force or Violence

Unlawful force or violence means touching someone else’s body in an aggressive or unwanted way. Common examples of acts of battery are:

  • Any kind of hitting such as slapping, punching, crushing, or pinching.
  • Pushing or shoving
  • Choking, cutting, or biting
  • Burning or poisoning
  • Minor unwanted touching such as intentionally spilling a drink on a person
  • Tugging on a person’s clothes

Intent to use Unlawful Force or Violence

A person can be convicted of battery charges only if they intend to use unlawful physical force on another. Honest accidents do not qualify as battery since there is no intent to use unlawful force. However, in some situations may still result battery charges if the touching should have been reasonably foreseeable considering the circumstances. The prosecutors do not have to show that you specifically intended to break the law in order to be convicted of domestic violence. They just need to prove that you intend to commit the behavior, which is unlawful physical force that could have resulted in unwanted touching or injury.

Who can be the victims of domestic violence?

Battery charges are considered domestic violence when someone allegedly commits it on any of the following people in his/her life:

  • Someone living in the same home;
  • Any relative by blood or marriage;
  • A former or current spouse;
  • Significant other;
  • A child’s co-parent;
  • Minor child or any person who has been appointed custodian or legal custodian for the minor child.

After the Arrest

After the arrest for battery domestic violence, it is still important to protect your rights. Getting legal counsel to represent you is one of the important aspect, and in addition to that, you can take note of the following steps:

  • Document the injuries you received from the incident. Photos of your injuries will be helpful if in proving your innocence to the court that you just acted out of self-defense. Remember to give the photos you took to your defense lawyer.
  •  Never violate the protective order. The court can order a restraining order after the battery domestic violence arrest. The restraining order forbids contact with the alleged victim and will keep you from coming within distance of the “victim”.
  • Ask your attorney to file a motion to appeal the restraining order. Restraining orders are given to protect the alleged victim. It is important that you ask your defense lawyer to file for a motion to allow you to have reasonable contact in case you need to communicate with the alleged victim about your financial concerns, children, and other issues that need immediate attention.

However, if the alleged victim takes the initiative to make contact, you have to avoid violating the restraining order so no under circumstances can you have contact with the victim.

False Allegations

There are several cases of arrests because of false allegations of battery domestic violence. The reasons for being arrested over false allegations are:

  • Mandatory arrests for law enforcers when they are called for domestic violence. Even if the alleged victim did not want to prosecute, the police officers will have to make an arrest for safety reasons.
  • The law enforcers find inconsistent stories and have to quickly decide of knowing who was the primary aggressor in the incident.
  • Chance of sending both parties to jail and as a result, the alleged victim comes up with exaggerated version of the incident to avoid arrest.

Defenses

The most common defenses used for battery domestic violence are:

  • The battery occurred is act of self-defense as the alleged victim was attacking the defendant and there is a need to protect one’s self.
  • The battery was done in anticipation of the so called victim attacking due to a long history of physical abuse.
  • The battery did not happen at all.
  • The alleged victim is making up the allegations to get some benefit or revenge.

Your lawyer can help you collect enough evidence to show any injuries that the arresting law enforcers misconstrued as intentional are just a result of unfortunate and unforeseeable circumstances. The most effective defense for domestic violence however, depends on the facts of your situation.

Penalties

Penalties for 1stOffense (within 7 years): Misdemeanor

  • 2 days to 6 months in jail (can usually be converted to community service)
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service
  • $200 to $1,000 fine
  • $35 administrative assessment fee
  • Domestic violence counseling for at least 1½ hours a week for 6 to 12 months at the patient’s expense.

Penalties for 2ndOffense (within 7 years): Misdemeanor

  • 10 days to 6 months in jail
  • 100 to 200 hours of community service
  • $500 to $1,000 fine
  • $35 administrative fee
  • Domestic violence counseling for at least 1½ hours a week for 6 to 12 months at the patient’s expense.

Penalties for 3rdor Higher Offense (within 7 years): Category C Felony

  • 1 to 5 years in State Prison
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • $35 administrative assessment fee
  • Domestic violence counseling for at least 1½ hours a week for 6 to 12 months at the patient’s expense.

First-time incident of domestic violence in Nevada may be charged with Category C Felony if the alleged abuse involved strangulation or resulted in injury.

Penalties for Battery with Strangulation: Category C Felony (For more info, go here)

  • 1 to 5 years in State Prison
  • $35 administrative assessment fee
  • Mandatory fine of $15,000

Penalties for Battery resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm but with No deadly weapon: Category C Felony

  • 1 to 5 years in State Prison
  • $35 administrative assessment fee
  • Mandatory fine of $10,000

Penalties for Battery with Deadly Weapon and No Substantial Bodily Harm: Category B Felony

  • 2 to 10 years in State Prison
  • $35 administrative assessment fee
  • Mandatory fine of $10,000

Penalties for Battery with Deadly Weapon AND With Substantial Bodily Harm: Category B Felony

  • 2 to 15 years in State Prison
  • $35 administrative assessment fee
  • Mandatory fine of $10,000

Plea Bargain

It is possible to reduce battery domestic violence to lesser charges. It depends on the case if it is possible to reduce the charges to:

  • A simple battery (misdemeanor) –  A simple battery is an unapproved touching. It’s a misdemeanor that bears a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
  •  A breach of the peace (misdemeanor) –  Breach of the peace is an offense when an individual is deliberately loud, offensive and troublesome. The penalties fall under the misdemeanor category and include a maximum jail term of 6 months or a maximum fine of up to $1,000.
  • Alternative treatments like counseling / anger management
  • Dismissal – the charges can be completely dismissed without the need for a trial or plea bargain.

Attorney for Battery Domestic Violence

If you are charged with battery constituting domestic violence, contacting a domestic violence lawyer in Las Vegas is the only call you need to do. Ross Goodman has a decade’s worth of experience in successfully resolving domestic violence cases and often achieving full acquittals. Call Ross Goodman now for a free legal consultation of your domestic violence charges and avoid the negative implications that stems from a domestic battery case.