LAS VEGAS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWYER

Neither Nevada or the federal government takes this charge lightly. You should retain an attorney for this matter. Even a misdemeanor conviction for this charge carries mandatory jail time. In addition, this conviction can cause the loss of custody
of your children, loss of employment, and can subject you to deportation.

Whether you are a man or a woman, if you are convicted of domestic violence in Nevada, this creates a presumption that you are unfit to be the primary custodian of your own children. This means that you can lose custody of your children to the parent who, for 5 years, has maybe only spent every other weekend with them. This is not something you or your children deserve.    

Further, under federal law, you cannot ever legally carry a firearm if you have a domestic violence conviction. If you are in the military or a member of law enforcement, this is usually the end of your career. In other fields which require special licensing, this conviction can cause you to lose and/or prevent you from renewing that license.

In Nevada, the relationship that constitutes "domestic" and the actions that count as "violence" are   very broad. Married persons, boyfriend-girlfriends, same sex couples, blood relatives (siblings, parents and their children, cousins), even roommates are all relationships which count as "domestic" for purposes of this charge. Moreover, acts which may not seem like a violence, such as pushing, pinching and hair pulling, are all actions which are used to show the "violence" aspect of the crime.

If you think you should just plead guilty to "get it over with," you are gravely mistaken. This conviction is a part of your permanent record. Additionally, for 7 years, the conviction can be used for enhancement. During this 7 year period, if you are convicted of a second offense of domestic violence, you are facing at least 10 mandatory days in jail.   A third offense within 7 years carries a penalty of  1 to 5 years in prison.

It Nevada, a prosecutor is prohibited from negotiating domestic violence to a lesser charge unless he knows that the there is not probable cause or that the case will not be proven at trial. For this reason, these types of cases almost never negotiate. Unless you plead guilty, your case will go to trial. You  need an experienced trial attorney to prepare and present your defense.    

If you are currently charged with domestic violence, or if you are suffering loss of employment, family, or deportation due to a domestic violence conviction, it is not too late. Call a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer at Mueller, Hinds, and Associates, Chtd. now for a free consultation.

Frequently asked questions regarding battery constituting domestic violence

What type of relationship is required for the "domestic" element of battery?
Nevada law defines "domestic" very broadly.  This is listed in NRS 33.018 as a spouse, former spouse, any other person to whom he is related by blood or marriage, a person with whom he is actually residing, a person with he has had or is having a dating relationship, a person with whom he has a child in common, the minor child of any of those person, his minor child or any person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian of the minor child.

Dating relationship means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement.  It does not include a casual relationship or business relationship.

The Nevada Supreme Court even found that a battery by a sister in law against a brother in law constitutes domestic violence in City v. Eighth Judicial District Court and Meunier.


Q: What is the penalty if I am convicted?
 
For the first offense within 7 years, you are convicted of a misdemeanor, and you must:

  • Spend at least 2 days in jail up to 6 months;
  • Perform a minimum of 48 hours, but not more than 120 hours, of community service;
  • Pay a fine of not less than $200, but not more than $1,000;
  • Participate in weekly counseling sessions of at least 1 1/2 hours per week for at least 6 months up to 12 months for the treatment of domestic violence.  This is paid for by the defendant; and
  • Pay a $35 administrative assessment fee.
  • In addition, the court may order you to participate in a drug and/or alcohol treatment program at your own expense.
  • The judge could also order you to pay for counseling if he determines that a person under the age of 18 may need counseling as a result of the commission of battery constituting domestic violence.

For the second offense within 7 years, you are convicted of a misdemeanor and you must:

  • Spend at least 10 days in jail up to 6 months;
  • Perform a minimum of 100 hours, but not more than 200 hours, of community service;
  • Pay a fine of not less than $500, but not more than $1,000.
  • Participate w in weekly counseling sessions of at least 1 1/2 hours per week for 12 months for the treatment of domestic violence.  This is paid for by the defendant.
  • Pay a $35 administrative assessment fee.
  •  In addition, the court may order you to participate in a drug and/or alcohol treatment program at your own expense.
  • The judge could also order you to pay for counseling if he determines that a person under the age of 18 may need counseling as a result of the commission of battery constituting domestic violence.

For the third and any subsequent offense within 7 years, you are convicted of a guilty of a category C felony.  You must serve a mandatory 1 to 5 year sentence.  There is no probation for this offense.  In addition, the court may impose a fine of up to $10,000.

    
Q: If I am convicted, will I be taken into custody in court?

Nevada law gives a judge discretion to allow you to serve your jail time intermittently.  This means that, with the judge’s permission, you can leave court and can check yourself in later at the jail when you are not required to be at work.  You cannot serve your time in periods of less than 4 hours. 

Q: If I am convicted, can I complete these requirements outside of the State of Nevada?
The jail time cannot be completed out of State but the other requirements can be.


Q: Can my conviction from another State be used for enhancement in Nevada?
Yes. However,  the convictions need to be examined to determine if they are valid to use as priors.


Q: I was already arrested and taken to jail for this.  Will I get credit for those days?
Yes, you will receive credit, but 2 days is the minimum amount of jail time required in Nevada.  The maximum sentence is 6 months.







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