Las Vegas Domestic Violence Attorney
The crime of domestic violence is taken very seriously in Nevada, and is considered the unlawful use of force or violence against another person with whom the aggressor has a qualifying domestic relationship. The important word there is “force,” which can include emotional blackmail and verbal intimidation – in other words, you can be prosecuted for Battery Domestic Violence in Nevada without actual physical contact or violence taking place. Hitting, pushing, strangling, burning, and poisoning are all considered battery and can be grounds for a domestic violence charge.
Different states have different requirements for which relationships qualify as a domestic relationship under domestic violence laws, but Nevada considers qualifying relationships as those between spouses, ex-spouses, those in serious relationships, those formerly in serious relationships, parent and child, family members, extended family members, individuals related by marriage, and individuals who live under the same roof. In Clark County, the children of related family members and custodians/legal guardians of children receive specific legal protection under the law.
While women between the ages of 20 and 24 report the most domestic abuse incidents, age is the only similarity among alleged victims. Domestic abuse is not the monopoly of any economic class, race, or ethnic group. Women from virtually every demographic category report being victimized by spouses, partners, and boyfriends. Recently-divorced and recently-separated women are just as at-risk as any other group of women.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Las Vegas, contact an experienced Las Vegas domestic violence attorney at The Fletcher Firm today.
An Experienced Las Vegas Domestic Violence Attorney
A crime of domestic violence can be categorized as either a misdemeanor or felony, with felony being the more serious of the two. A first or second charge for “battery domestic violence” is a misdemeanor in Nevada, provided no weapons were used and no strangulation or substantial bodily harm occurred. The maximum allowed penalty for a misdemeanor is six months in jail and/or a fine of $1,000. If you are convicted, you may also be sentenced to 200 hours of community service, and weekly counseling for up to a year. If an act is committed with a weapon or results in permanent damage, then the accused will likely be charged with a felony. Felony charges will also be pursued if the accused has been convicted of two cases of at least misdemeanor domestic violence in the last seven years.
A successful felony conviction for domestic violence will automatically result in a jail sentence of at least one year. The maximum sentence for a felony conviction of domestic violence is five years. If convicted of a felony, you may also be forced to pay a fine of up to $10,000. Unlike certain other types of crimes, judges are not allowed to suspend sentencing in felony domestic violence cases and place the convicted person on probation. Mandatory sentences for felony domestic violence convictions are required by Nevada statute.
In terms of securing a conviction, prosecutors in domestic violence cases are required to meet strict requirements in order to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a suspect has actually committed the act of domestic violence charged. A Nevada prosecutor needs to prove three points to convict a defendant for Domestic Violence: 1) willfulness, meaning the action was intentional; 2) illegality, meaning the action lacks any legal defense like self-defense or the defense of others; 3) and force, which may be emotional or psychological as well as physical and does not necessarily require violence. Failure to meet these requirements means that the judge or jury evaluating the case must acquit the suspect – in other words, find the suspect not guilty of the offense and let him or her go without any consequences.
In Nevada, it’s important for everyone to understand that testimony in domestic violence cases may be heard from family members, neighbors, colleagues, and acquaintances, so virtually anything you ever say or do in the presence of a third person could come back later and be used against you. Even verbal “lovers’ spats” can lead to arrests, charges and counter-charges, and criminal proceedings.
Don’t face a domestic violence charge alone. Apart from the immediate legal penalties, a conviction for domestic violence creates a permanent criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. It may be difficult for you to find future employment opportunities or housing with a domestic violence conviction on your record. Your friends and family may turn their back on you if you are convicted of domestic violence. A good Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can explain your side of the story and advocate aggressively on your behalf. Even if you’re innocent, the prejudice against anyone even accused of violence against women is strong, so you’re going to need expert help to defend against it. If you are charged – now or in the future – with domestic violence in or near Las Vegas, fight the charge and arrange at once to speak with an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney.
A Las Vegas Criminal Attorney That Will Fight For Your Rights
Nobody should have to face domestic violence charges on their own. A conviction for a crime of domestic violence can have serious consequences that follow you for the rest of your life. It is not recommended that you put your future in the hands of a public defender. This is why domestic violence suspects are encouraged to work with experienced domestic violence defense attorneys, like the attorneys on staff at the Fletcher Firm. This team of attorneys, which has several decades of combined legal experience, can represent clients through the entire criminal process. The Las Vegas domestic violence attorney from The Fletcher Firm assigned to the case will ensure that the accused understands the charges and evidence which the prosecution will present at trial, and will provide the accused with sound legal advice on the legal options available. Plus, the attorney will speak on behalf of the accused and will ensure his or her rights remain protected in interviews and through trial.