Las Vegas Domestic Violence Lawyer

A wooden gavel resting on an open law book, symbolizing the enforcement and interpretation of domestic violence laws.

Facing domestic violence charges in Las Vegas requires a strong defense. At LV Criminal Defense, our experienced attorneys are committed to defending your rights and achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Are you charged with domestic battery? Our experienced domestic violence lawyers are here to get the results you need. And we have the track record to prove it. Attorney Nicholas Wooldridge is one of the Nation’s top criminal defense lawyers who has helped thousands of clients successfully resolve their domestic violence cases.

At LV Criminal Defense, we provide comprehensive legal representation to those facing domestic violence charges. Throughout the state of Nevada, domestic violence encompasses a wide range of offenses. These offenses may include:

Domestic Violence Charge Defined

In layman’s terms, domestic violence or domestic battery can be defined by any form of unwanted physical contact between family members, or two people with familial relations. This physical contact can be as simple as a push, or incredibly violent, involving the use of weapons leading to hospitalization, or even death. Furthermore, visible injuries may or may not be present depending on the events leading up to arrests for the domestic violence charge(s).

In Nevada, some domestic violence allegations may include other forms of abuse such as:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • More serious physical abuse, like strangulation
  • Injuries constituting substantial bodily harm

These additional allegations can be equally damaging to a domestic violence case, and may carry severe legal consequences separate and apart from the domestic battery charge.

So, if you or a loved one have been accused, arrested, or charged with battery domestic violence, call us right now for a free consultation and case evaluation. You can reach our Las Vegas domestic violence attorneys 24/7! We do not use an answering service, so you’ll speak directly to our staff when you us at 702-623-6362.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.

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Lastly, if you’re facing a more serious domestic violence related charge like felony domestic battery by strangulation, call us immediately. There are certain measures we take, and we must do it quickly, so we can effectively begin laying the foundation for your defense.

Arrested for Domestic Violence Case in Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, NV, domestic violence cases typically start with a single call to the police or hotel security. Regardless of a battery domestic violence taking place, or a vindictive family member making false accusations, a single call to law enforcement will most often lead to an arrest on domestic violence charges. Yes, you read that correctly! All it takes is one call to law enforcement with a report of unwanted physical contact.

What Happens When Police Arrive for a Domestic Violence Call?

Upon arrival, law enforcement officers usually split up the complaining parties. The officers will proceed to question each of the parties separately. Per your 5th Amendment right, you are not obligated to make any statements to law enforcement, written or oral. So, it’s best not to speak to police. However, if you and or your family member provide a statement, and the officers can determine a battery domestic violence occurred, they will arrest the primary aggressor. This action initiates the domestic violence case and legal process.

Once arrested, the person determined to be the primary aggressor must spend a minimum of 12 hours in jail before they can be released. This is mandated through Nevada law and there is no way around this 12 hour hold period.

Nevada Domestic Violence Cases Court Process

There are several steps throughout the court process relative to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. These steps are generally the same as long as the charge remains a misdemeanor. The court process involves Arraignment, Pretrial, Entry of Plea or Trial, and Sentencing. These steps may have different names depending on the location of your case (Justice Court or Municipal Court), but the process is identical.

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Arraignment

The first step is Arraignment, where the person accused of a domestic violence charge, usually referred to as the defendant, enters a plea. The defendant can submit a plea of Not Guilty, Guilty, or No Contest.

Understanding each type of plea and its consequences is crucial, as explained by top-rated Las Vegas domestic violence attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge. This initial legal step underscores the necessity of having an expert domestic violence defense attorney by your side.

If you hire LV Criminal Defense, our experienced Las Vegas criminal lawyers will always enter a plea of Not Guilty on your behalf. Regardless of guilt or innocence, entering a plea of Not Guilty allows us to fight for our clients rights and potentially obtain more favorable outcomes.

Pretrial Conference or Status Check on Negotiations

On most other misdemeanors, your attorney will typically set a second court date. This second court date is usually referred to as a Pretrial Conference, Status Check, or Status Check on Negotiations. Again, these terms are all synonymous relative to Nevada misdemeanors, and really boils down to the court in which the case is located. However, domestic violence cases are a bit different.

Generally speaking, prosecutors will not offer a negotiation or plea bargain on domestic violence cases. This is due to prosecutors’ statutory obligations on domestic violence cases. Additionally, Nevada law prohibits reduced sentences for domestic violence offenses through plea deals.

Thus, our criminal defense attorneys will usually bypass the Pretrial setting, and set domestic violence cases for Trial, during the initial Arraignment.

Trial

The trial phase is the critical arena where the strength of the prosecution’s case is tested against our defensive tactics. The prosecution’s evidence may include:

  • Alleged victim testimony
  • Police testimony
  • Photographic evidence
  • Medical records
  • 911 call recordings
  • Police reports

Then, the defense will try to refute the evidence and witness testimony. If the defense is successful, the prosecutor will not be able to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defendant should be found Not Guilty.

Common Defenses for Las Vegas Domestic Violence Charges

Navigating a domestic violence trial in Las Vegas requires a strategic and informed defense, especially given the complexities of Nevada law. Thus, our defense team’s role is to methodically challenge the prosecution’s evidence, aiming to establish reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt.

Possible Defense Strategies

To establish reasonable doubt against domestic violence charges in Nevada, some common defenses include:

  • Hiring expert witnesses to refute physical marks
  • Claiming self-defense
  • Proving the allegations are fabricated
  • Disputing the credibility of witnesses and testimonies
  • Hiring a private investigator to retrieve statements and or evidence that negates allegations
  • Demonstrating that injuries were self-inflicted or accidental

Particularly in cases lacking physical evidence, expert testimonies from psychologists may be essential to contest emotional or financial abuse claims. As such, our defense strategies may involve scrutinizing these claims and preparing counterarguments that highlight mitigating factors or discrepancies in the prosecution’s case.

Post-Trial Advocacy

Should the trial not result in a favorable outcome, our commitment does not end. We provide post-trial support, including filing appeals or negotiating for reduced sentencing, reflecting our dedication to our clients’ long-term well-being.

For those facing accusations of domestic violence, securing an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney is crucial. Contact LV Criminal Defense for a free consultation to discuss how we can protect your rights and formulate a robust defense strategy tailored to the specifics of your case.

What are the penalties for a domestic violence conviction in Las Vegas?

In Nevada, the sentencing phase follows a conviction for domestic violence. The penalties are stringent and escalate with the severity and recurrence of offenses, as outlined in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 200.485). Understanding the potential consequences is crucial for anyone facing these charges, and underscores the importance of skilled legal representation from a Las Vegas domestic violence attorney.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions in Nevada

  1. Misdemeanor Domestic Violence, First Offense
    • Minimum of 2 days and up to 6 months jail time
    • Between 48 and 120 hours of community service
    • Ranges from $200 to $1,000 in fines
    • Required participation in mandatory weekly domestic violence counseling treatment sessions for at least 6 months
  2. Second Offense (within 7 years)
    • Minimum of 20 days and up to 6 months jail time
    • Between 100 and 200 hours of community service
    • Ranges from $500 to $1,000 in fines
    • Extended mandatory counseling sessions for 12 months
  3. Subsequent Offenses or Severe Cases

Additional Legal Consequences

  • Firearm Prohibition: Convicted individuals may also face restrictions on owning or possessing firearms.
  • Renting House or Apartment: Most home rental management companies will perform background checks, and will disapprove any applicants with domestic violence convictions.
  • Impact on Custody and Employment: A conviction can adversely affect custody disputes and employment opportunities, particularly for those in professions that require clean criminal records.

Given the severe implications of a domestic violence conviction in Nevada, it is essential for defendants to secure experienced legal counsel. Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers are well-versed in the nuances of Nevada law and are committed to providing a robust defense to mitigate these potential penalties.

Contact a domestic violence attorney in Las Vegas NV who can help you understand how to avoid sacrificing your future by simply pleading guilty now to get it over with.

Protective Orders and Restraining Orders from Domestic Violence Charges

Understanding the legal framework surrounding protective orders, commonly known as restraining orders, is crucial for anyone involved in domestic violence cases in Nevada. These legal tools are designed to provide immediate safety and set legal boundaries for individuals accused of domestic violence.

Types of Protective Orders in Nevada

  1. Emergency Protective Orders: Issued by police at the scene, valid for a short period, typically until the court opens.
  2. Temporary Protective Orders (TPO): Generally last up to 30 days and are issued by a judge based on the victim’s immediate need for protection.
  3. Extended Protective Orders: Can last up to one year, granted after a court hearing where both parties have the opportunity to present their case.

Legal Effects of Protective Orders

  • Prohibition on Contact: The accused must refrain from contacting, harassing, stalking, or coming near the petitioner.
  • Residence Exclusion: An order may require the accused to move out from a shared residence.
  • Firearm Restrictions: Under Nevada law (NRS 33.018), individuals under restraining orders may be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.

Violation of Protective Orders

Violating a protective order in Nevada is considered a serious offense. Consequences can include:

  • Immediate Arrest: Police can arrest an individual if they believe a protective order has been violated.
  • Criminal Charges: Violations can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances, potentially resulting in jail time and fines.

Can a Nevada domestic violence conviction be removed from your record?

If the case is dismissed or you are acquitted (found Not Guilty) at trial, the record can be sealed immediately after the case closes.

If you are convicted of a first or second domestic violence offense, you must wait 7 years from the date the case is closed to request that your record be sealed. This includes completing all of the required sentence, such as community service, first.

If the conviction was for a felony domestic violence charge in Nevada, you must wait 15 years from the date the case is closed to request that your record be sealed.

How Does a Nevada Domestic Violence Conviction Affect Child Custody?

In Clark County, and across Nevada, family courts prioritize the best interests of the child in determining custody outcomes. A domestic violence conviction can significantly influence a judge’s decision regarding child custody matters. When one parent is found guilty of domestic violence, particularly a battery domestic violence conviction, courts are often hesitant to award custody or may limit visitation rights to protect the child’s welfare.

Implications for Child Custody Cases

  1. Custody Decisions: Judges are likely to consider the safety and psychological well-being of the child, leading to possible restrictions on parental rights for the convicted parent.
  2. Mandatory Counseling: Convicted individuals might be required to undergo counseling as stipulated under NRS 200.485, which courts might review before making any custody modifications.
  3. Legal Representation: Securing a knowledgeable Las Vegas domestic violence attorney is crucial. A specialized lawyer can provide the necessary legal support to navigate the complexities of family and criminal law intersecting in domestic violence cases.

Navigating Custody with a Domestic Violence Conviction

  • Strategy and Advocacy: Our legal team provides a robust defense not only in the criminal case but also in addressing the ancillary impacts on custody disputes.
  • Mitigating Factors: We work to present mitigating factors and rehabilitation efforts, which can help in portraying the client’s commitment to change, potentially swaying custody evaluations.

What happens to a domestic violence victim during the case?

The victim does not have to attend the arraignment or pretrial conference, but can if they want. Also, the victim can speak to the judge before a defendant is sentenced if there is no trial. If there is a trial, the victim will probably be sent a subpoena to testify at trial.

Can the accuser drop the charges in Nevada?

A commonly asked question is whether a domestic violence victim can “drop” the charges against the accused. They cannot. The reason is that in reality, the state of Nevada or the City of Las Vegas is bringing the charges against the accused, not the accuser. In essence, the jurisdiction where the alleged crime happened is prosecuting the case on the Peoples’ behalf, and the accuser is simply a witness to the prosecutor’s case.

Free Consultation for Domestic Violence Cases

Facing domestic violence charges in Nevada can be a daunting and stressful experience. Our law firm understands the complexities and sensitive nature of these cases. We are here to provide robust legal support and guidance throughout the legal process. To help you get started, we offer a free consultation to discuss your specific situation and explore your legal options.

Why Choose Us?

First off, if you haven’t read through our 400 plus Google reviews from clients like you, then we suggest checking them out. We go above and beyond the call of duty for our clients because we truly care about our results. Our head trial attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge, isn’t just any criminal defense attorney. His foremost passion is defending clients at trial and outmaneuvering the prosecution.

We strive to provide:

  1. Expertise in Nevada Domestic Violence Law: Our Las Vegas domestic violence lawyers are deeply familiar with all aspects of Nevada law related to domestic violence, ensuring that you receive knowledgeable and effective representation.
  2. Personalized Legal Strategy: No two cases are alike. We tailor our defense strategies to the specifics of your case, considering all available evidence and the unique circumstances surrounding your situation.
  3. Compassionate Legal Care: Understanding the personal challenges you face, we handle every case with sensitivity and confidentiality, ensuring that your rights and dignity are respected throughout the process.

Contact Our Las Vegas Law Office Today

Don’t navigate the complexities of domestic violence allegations alone. Our experienced team of criminal defense attorneys is ready to help you fight for your rights and work towards the best possible outcome. By contacting us for a free consultation, you take the first step towards securing a strong defense and gaining peace of mind during these challenging times.

To schedule your free consultation, call us at 702-623-6362 or fill out the contact form. We are available 24/7 to answer your call, provide immediate legal assistance, and begin building a strong defense on your behalf.

Reach out today—let us show you how our dedicated legal team can make a difference in your case.

Nevada Domestic Violence Statistics

Click here for a full version of the infographic “Domestic Violence in Nevada – Statistics”

In Nevada, the prevalence of domestic violence is a significant concern, reflecting broader societal issues that necessitate urgent attention and action. Data from the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides a sobering glimpse into the reality faced by many in the state.

Key Statistics from Nevada

  • Overall Reports: Nevada ranks 23rd nationally for the number of contacts made to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, with 1,791 documented calls from victims seeking help.
  • Age Distribution: The most affected age group comprises individuals aged 25 to 36, who make up 41.9% of all calls. This is followed by the 37 to 46 age group, accounting for 19.9% of the contacts. Young adults aged 19 to 24 represent 15.9%, while those aged 46 to 54 make up another 11.3%. Notably, the least likely to report are those under 18 and those over 56.
  • Geolocation: The majority of the reports of domestic violence made by Nevada residents to the National Domestic Violence hotline came from Las Vegas. A full 69% of all contacts to the hotline were made by people in the Las Vegas area. Reno had the second highest number of calls at 13%.
  • Additional Abuse: Of those who contacted the hotline to report domestic violence, 95% were experiencing emotional or verbal abuse while 71% were experiencing physical abuse. Economic and financial abuse was a problem for 16% of those reporting domestic violence, and sexual abuse was reported by 8% of those who contacted the domestic abuse hotline for help.

While a single act of emotional or verbal abuse is typical not criminal, a pattern of behavior can definitely result in a variety of criminal charges, including for stalking or harassing. If the verbal or emotional abuse takes the form of a threat to the victim’s safety, then it may be possible for a defendant to be arrested on the basis of that single threat even without a pattern of menacing behavior or actual physical action. Whether the defendant broke the law could hinge upon whether his conduct was viewed as a reasonable threat of causing imminent harm.

Physical abuse, including hitting, biting, choking, or other acts of aggression is always considered criminal behavior and even a single instance could lead to the arrest of the alleged abuser.

Resources and Support for Domestic Violence Victims in Nevada

In Nevada, victims of domestic violence have access to a robust network of resources and support designed to offer refuge, legal advocacy, and recovery assistance. Here are the vital services available to those affected by domestic violence:

SafeNest Support Services

  • 24-Hour Hotline: Victims can contact SafeNest around the clock at 702-646-4981 for immediate assistance.
  • Shelters for domestic violence victims: Shelters are located at undisclosed locations and are open to abuse victims and their children.
  • Advocacy: SafeNest advocates for strong legal protections for victims of domestic violence.
  • Domestic violence prevention: SafeNest provides education and support with the goal of preventing acts of abuse.
  • Counseling: Adult victims and children from abusive homes can get help and support from trained counselors with experience helping those who have been affected by domestic violence.

Other Resources and Services

Victims can also obtain help from local law enforcement. In addition to calling 911, other first responders and peace officers can be contacted at the following telephone numbers:

  • Ambulance Dispatch Center 702-384-3400
  • Las Vegas Metropolitan Police 702-229-3111
  • North Las Vegas Police 702-633-9111
  • Nevada Highway Patrol 702-486-4100

Peace officers can respond when domestic violence complaints are made and can provide guidance to victims on how to secure a temporary protective order in an emergency situation. There are also specialized, dedicated Clark County officials who can assist with emergency temporary protective orders as well as long-term orders of protection. Resources for those seeking a protective order include:

  • Clark County Emergency TPO 646-4981 400 W. Van Buren, Las Vegas, NV
  • Clark County Court TPO Office 455-3400 480 W. Bonanza Road, Las Vegas, NV

There are also a number of homeless and emergency center who can provide housing and other crisis services. Here is the contact information for shelters and services that could be helpful for victims interested in escaping a shared living space where an abuser is located:

  • National Crisis Hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE
  • Nevada Crisis Hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-486-7282
  • SAFE House, which can be reached at 451-4203
  • Safe Nest Crisis, which can be reached at 646-4981
  • St. Vincent’s Annex, which can be reached at 384-0409 1526 and which can be visited at North Main St., Las Vegas, NV
  • The Interfaith Hospitality Network, which can be reached at 638-8806
  • The Las Vegas Rescue Mission, which can be reached at 382-1766
  • The Salvation Army Shelter , which can be reached at 639-1876 and which is located at 35 West Owens, North Las Vegas, NV
  • The Shade Tree, which can be reached at 385-4596 and which is located at 1 W. Owens, Las Vegas, NV
  • WestCare Youth Shelter , which can be reached at 385-3332 and which is located at 300 E. Charleston, Las Vegas, NV

Finally, because it can take time to establish a new residence after leaving an abusive situation, there are a number of resources available for transitional housing including:

  • Ashley House , which can be reached at 647-2010
  • Golden Rule, Inc., which can be reached at 383-0847 and which is located at 624 E. Stewart, Las Vegas, NV
  • Project Home, which can be reached at 647-3307 and which is located at 330 W. Washington, Ste. 7, Las Vegas
  • Women’s Development Center, , which can be reached at 796-7770 953 and which is located at E. Sahara. Ste. 201, Las Vegas, NV

More Information

Read more about what is required to prove domestic battery, domestic violence battery with strangulation, spousal abuse, and child abuse and neglect, as well as defenses to these crimes in Nevada and the possible sentences.

Learn more about temporary protective orders (also known as restraining orders), including how long they last and what happens if they are violated.