Penalties for Domestic Violence
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Las Vegas
Nevada routinely ranks in the top five worst states for domestic violence in the nation. With that in mind, legislatures, law enforcement, and the public demand harsh penalties for individuals convicted of domestic violence in Nevada.
Individuals charged with domestic violence face jail time, high fines, and probation. That’s not including the toll it takes on family, work, and living situations.
If you’re facing domestic violence charges, you’re not alone. Our Las Vegas domestic violence attorneys understand that there are two sides (or more) to every story. We’re here to listen and help you defend against domestic violence charges.
What Is Domestic Violence?
According to the Nevada Attorney General, domestic violence is defined as “violent crimes committed within the context of a relationship.”
It’s important to understand, Nevada domestic violence laws go beyond just romantic relationships. They address most types of domestic relationships. Under NRS 33.018, domestic violence can occur when a person commits certain crimes against one of the following, but not limited to:
- A spouse or former spouse
- Any person that is related by blood or marriage
- Any person who resides with the defendant
- Any person with whom the person has dated or is dating
- Parents of common children
- Children of parents, legal guardians, or anyone appointed as a legal guardian
Understanding Battery Domestic Violence (BDV) Charges in Nevada
According to NRS 200.485, battery domestic violence cases must meet the following conditions:
- The defendant and the accuser are currently (or were in the past) in a “domestic relationship”
- The defendant committed battery against the accuser
Possible acts of domestic battery include kicking, punching, slapping, biting, strangling, pushing, and similar.
Furthermore, NRS 200.481 defines battery as the intentional and illegal use of force or violence upon another person against their will. Generally, battery domestic violence charges are a misdemeanor offense.
However, if the offense is committed with a deadly weapon, against a child, or causes serious bodily harm, it will lead to felony charges.
Charges Related To Domestic Violence In Las Vegas
Domestic battery charges are not the only actions that can lead to a domestic violence investigation. Crimes that can be related to domestic violence in Nevada include but are not limited to the following:
- Sexual Assault
- Stalking & Cyberstalking
- False imprisonment
Learn more about each below.
Sexual Assault / Rape
For the most part, battery domestic violence charges are considered a lesser charge than sexual assault in Nevada. Individuals convicted of sexual assault domestic violence face felony charges, extensive prison time, and lifetime registration as a Tier III sex offender in Nevada.
NRS 200.366 defines sexual assault as forcing another person into an act of sexual penetration against their will. That includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the victim has physical or mental limitations that don’t allow them to resist or understand.
Additionally, NRS 200.373 makes it clear that sexual assault perpetrated by a spouse on their spouse is not a valid defense.
Harassment is often associated with domestic violence charges in Nevada. Under NRS 200.571, a person is guilty of harassment if they:
- Threaten to cause future bodily harm to another person
- Threaten to cause physical property damage
- Physically confine or restrain the harassed individual
- Engage in acts with the intent to cause substantial physical or mental health harm
It’s important to note that the person accusing the defendant of harassment must have a reasonable fear that their health is endangered, and the threat will be carried out.
The penalties for harassment in Nevada include possible jail time (up to six months) and a maximum $1,000 fine. Online harassment or subsequent convictions can lead to harsher punishments.
Individuals who illegally, willfully, or maliciously take actions (directed at the victim) that can cause a reasonable person to be fearful, terrorized, intimidated, etc., are guilty of stalking (NRS 200.575) in Nevada.
Nevada stalking laws also include instances of cyberstalking. Nevada defines cyberstalking as stalking done online, in text messages, social media chat apps, etc.
Furthermore, the offender must publish or distribute the victim’s information in a manner that increases the risk of harm to the victim. Cyberstalking is a category C felony that could result in up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
A few examples of cyberstalking crimes in Las Vegas include:
- Sending manipulative emails to an ex-spouse from multiple email accounts
- Hacking into someone’s email account and changing the password
- Posting the victim’s sensitive personal information in a public forum
- Creating fake social media accounts and contacting the victim under false pretenses
Many domestic violence cases involve false imprisonment (NRS 200.640). False imprisonment is the unlawful and intentional restriction of another person’s ability to move freely. For example, a spouse may lock their partner in a room and not allow them to leave.
False imprisonment is a gross misdemeanor offense in most cases. However, it could lead to felony charges in certain circumstances.
Additional Domestic Violence-Related Charges
- Larceny & grand larceny
- Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon
- Destroying private property
- Unlawfully entering a property
- Harming or killing a pet
Penalties For Battery Domestic Violence in Nevada
The consequences for a domestic violence conviction vary depending on the type of crime committed, domestic violence history, and many other factors.
Under NRS 200.485, a person who is guilty of a domestic violence offense faces the following:
- First Offense: Up to 6-months in jail, community service, maximum $1,000 in fines, and mandatory counseling.
- Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 10-day jail sentence, but up to 6-months, up to 200 hours of community service, fines, and mandatory counseling
- Third or More Offense: A third domestic violence conviction (within three years of the second) is a felony. Penalties include up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Penalties levied against those accused of battery domestic violence in Las Vegas depend on the circumstances of the case. In some cases, defendants can be charged with a felony on the first domestic battery offense.
Furthermore, individuals convicted of BDV lose their right to gun ownership, permanently.
Hiring a proven domestic violence defense lawyer can increase the odds of dismissed or decreased charges and lessened penalties.
Charged With Domestic Violence in Las Vegas? Contact Us Today
A domestic violence conviction can lead to jail time, fines, and loss of certain rights. It can also tarnish your reputation. The good news is that domestic violence charges don’t always necessarily lead to convictions. Working with an experienced and proven criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas can profoundly impact the outcome of your case.
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, representing yourself or being underrepresented can be catastrophic. Don’t risk your future when you don’t have to.
Our skilled legal team will fight to ensure you get the least amount of penalties possible under the circumstances. Contact us through this website or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 for your free initial consultation today.