Domestic Violence

In Nevada, battery domestic violence is defined as intentionally inflicting unlawful physical force on current or former dating partners, spouses, or family members.

Defining Domestic Relations

To be charged with domestic violence, the perpetrator and victim must share a familial, intimate, or domestic relationship. This can include:

  • Domestic partners (current or separated)
  • Spouses (current, separated, or divorced)
  • Co-parents of a minor child
  • Significant others
  • Minor children of the defendant or significant other
  • Guardians of the alleged victim
  • Relatives by blood or marriage (except cousins or siblings, unless they are in a guardianship or custodial arrangement with the defendant)

Physical violence between strangers, acquaintances, friends, or neighbors does not involve a familial, intimate, or domestic relationship, so it is characterized as battery.

Defining Battery

Battery involves hitting, kicking, choking, cutting, or throwing objects at a victim. It is defined as deliberately touching another individual in a violent, hostile, aggressive, or unwanted way. A defendant may be convicted of battery even if the alleged victim doesn’t sustain any injuries or feel any pain.

Posting Bail For Domestic Violence

In Las Vegas, the bail amount will vary depending on the offense:

  • 1st BDV with no aggravating factors: $3,000
  • 2nd BDV with no aggravating factors: $5,000
  • 3rd BDV with no aggravating factors: $15,000
  • 1st BDV on a pregnant victim: $5,000
  • 2nd or subsequent BDV on a pregnant victim: $15,000
  • BDV with strangulation: $15,000
  • BDV with substantial bodily harm but no deadly weapon: $15,000
  • BDV with a deadly weapon: $20,000

Penalties & Jail Time

Penalties for a first-time BDV in a seven-year period (classified a misdemeanor) are:

  • $200 to $1,000
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service
  • Domestic violence counseling for at least 1.5 hours per week for at least six months
  • Two days to six months in jail

Defendants convicted of a second-time BDV in a seven-year period (classified a misdemeanor) face:

  • Minimum 20-day jail sentence
  • $500 to $1,000 fine
  • 100 to 200 hours of community service
  • Domestic violence counseling for at 1.5 hours per week for at least 12 months
  • 20 days to six months of jail

A third BDV in a seven-year period is automatically a category B felony punishable by:

  • One to six years in Nevada State Prison
  • $1,000 to $5,000 fine

These penalties apply even if the victim doesn’t sustain any injuries.

Once a defendant is convicted of a felony-level BDV, subsequent charges are automatically filed as a category B felony, even if the case is minor. The punishment for this would be two to 15 years in prison and $2,000 to $5,000 in fines.

Fighting Domestic Battery Charges

To dismiss domestic battery charges, a defense attorney must show that the defendant acted in lawful self-defense. Another potential defense is that the defendant has been falsely accused, which can be common in child custody battles. Defendants may also argue that the incident was an accident.

In domestic battery cases, the defense lawyer will gather evidence from eyewitness testimony, video footage, and medical records of any injuries.

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