If you are charged with allegedly committing an act of domestic violence and this is your first criminal offense, you are probably feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. The proposition of being ordered to serve time in jail can be downright terrifying.
Do not fret. It is possible to mount a compelling and persuasive defense that could result in the charges being dropped or reduced with the help of an experienced Las Vegas domestic violence defense attorney.
How Does Nevada Law Define Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined under Nevada Revised Statute 33.018. It states that domestic violence occurs when there is evidence that an individual commits one of the acts listed below against or upon their spouse, former spouse, significant other, blood relative, tenant, etc. The prohibited acts include:
- Sexual assault; and/or
- A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person.
Charged with Battery Domestic Violence – What You Should Expect
If you were arrested and charged with battery domestic violence, you should expect to make an appearance in a Nevada Court on a Battery Domestic Violence charge. This court appearance is often referred to as an arraignment. At that hearing, you will have the ability to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. It is strongly recommended that you retain experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel prior to the arraignment so you can better assess your legal options.
Potential Penalties If Convicted for a First Offense Battery Domestic Violence Charge in Las Vegas
If you are convicted of battery domestic violence, and it is your first offense, do not expect be receive an extremely lenient sentence. Why? Because there are mandatory minimum sentences a Nevada Court must impose that have been set forth by statute. The potential punishments include:
- Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentence – At a very minimum, you will have to serve 2 days in jail, but you could be ordered to serve up to 6 months in County or City jail.
- Community Service – You will likely be ordered to serve a minimum of 48 hours of community service, but that could increase to 120 hours.
- Paying a Large Fine – You will be ordered to pay a mandatory minimum fine of at least $200, which could be increased to $1,000. You will also have to pay court costs and administrative fees.
- Mandatory Counseling – You will be ordered to attend counseling sessions for at least six months, but the counseling could last for up to twelve months. The counseling sessions usually take place each week and last for at least 1.5 hours per session per week.
Along with the punishments and penalties described above, there are other “collateral consequences” associated with a domestic violence conviction on your record. This includes potentially being unable to own a firearm, being ineligible for certain licensures, being unable to secure employment, etc.
Take Action By Contacting an Experienced and Knowledgeable Las Vegas Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
As you can see, the ramifications of a domestic violence conviction are quite serious and can haunt you for years into the future. This is why you should take action by finding a knowledgeable and experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney.
A common mistake that many people charged with a first offense battery domestic violence charge is trying to “get the case behind them” by simply agreeing to the first plea deal offered. This is a mistake. You should take advantage of the experience that a respected and seasoned litigator has to offer.