Charges of domestic battery can often be one of the most disturbing and emotionally difficult lawsuits to deal with. Although a domestic battery lawyer can help reduce an accused’s sentences down to light penalties such as court-ordered anger management sessions, marriage counseling, alcohol rehabilitation, and restraining orders, it does not remove the fact that those who were proven and declared guilty were sentenced to heavy penalties like jail time or prison time.
But what is Las Vegas domestic battery according to the Nevada Revised Statutes? What happens after the police have been called and arrest the person who committed the act of domestic violence or spousal battery?
Definition of Domestic Battery
Domestic battery, commonly called domestic violence, is considered a crime in the state of Nevada. However, an act must have 3 main components before it can be considered as a domestic battery:
- The use of unlawful physical force on another person,
- The physical force is intentional, and
- The physical force occurs between people in an intimate, family, or domestic relationship
1) The Use of Unlawful Physical Force or Violence
Unlawful force or violence means touching someone else’s body in an aggressive and/or unwanted way. Common examples of physical violence 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
2) The Physical Force is Intentional
A person can be convicted of battery charges only if the physical violence they committed was intentional. Honest accidents do not qualify as battery since there is no intent to use unlawful force, a notion that a domestic battery lawyer can use as defense. However, some situations may still result in 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.
3) The Physical Force Involved People within a Domestic Relationship
The violent behavior is considered domestic violence when the accused allegedly committed it on any of the following people:
- Someone living in the same home (roommates or housemates)
- Any relative by blood or marriage
- A former or current spouse
- A former or current dating partner
- Co-parent of the same child/children
After the Arrest
It is still important for a person accused of and arrested for domestic violence to know his/her rights. Getting a legal counsel such as a domestic battery lawyer to represent you is one of the important steps when one is trying to prove your innocence. Additionally, the accused can take note of the following:
- 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 domestic battery 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 a certain distance of the victim.
- Ask your domestic battery lawyer attorney to file a motion of appeal regarding the restraining order. Restraining orders are given to protect the alleged victim. It is important that you ask your domestic battery 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.
There are several cases of arrests because of false allegations of 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 on 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 an exaggerated version of the incident to avoid arrest.
Defenses a Domestic Battery Lawyer can Use
The most common defenses that a domestic battery lawyer use against a battery charge are:
- The battery occurred as an 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 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
Your Las Vegas domestic violence lawyer can help you collect enough evidence to show any injury that the arresting law enforcers misconstrued as intentional are just a result of unfortunate and unforeseeable circumstances. The most effective defense against a domestic violence charge, however, depends on the facts of your situation.