Domestic violence may be defined as a confrontation between family members, people in a romantic relationship, spouses, ex-spouses, or people who live together. There are particular circumstances that may result in a person facing domestic violence charges in Clark County. Understanding these and how they may affect you will offer you an advantage in approaching your case from the proper standpoint and seeking a positive outcome. If you are charged with domestic violence, contact our Las Vegas domestic violence defense lawyer today and take a few minutes to review the information on our website.
Types of Domestic Violence
A loud argument may have spurred the neighbors to call the Las Vegas police, resulting in a domestic violence arrest when no physical violence actually occurred. The “victim” may have filed charges or a restraining order against you based upon entirely false accusations. A Las Vegas domestic violence defense lawyer knows an accusation may be waged in the instance that an altercation occurs and may include any acts of:
- Physical Abuse: Including hitting, punching, slapping, pushing, shoving, choking, biting, etc.
- Verbal Abuse: Including threats to commit physical harm & demeaning/derogatory language
- Sexual Abuse: Including any instances of unwanted sexual contact, even between spouses
- Emotional Abuse: Including intimidation, isolation, controlling behavior, etc.
You could be charged with a domestic violence offense in the following circumstances:
- Law enforcement may be called to the scene of an alleged domestic dispute.
- If the officers believe domestic violence was committed, they must make a police report for the incident. They must also make an arrest of the alleged abuser within 24 hours of the incident
- The person arrested must spend at least 12 hours in jail before he or she can be released.
- In the event that law enforcement is unable to make an arrest within 24 hours, they will submit specific paperwork to the Las Vegas
Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Domestic Violence Unit, where detectives will review the evidence and police report to determine whether to submit the case for prosecution.
LVMPD Domestic Violence Unit detectives may also investigate reports of alleged violations of protective orders, stalking, harassment, or destruction of private property.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Domestic Violence Charges
Generally, a defendant will face misdemeanor domestic violence charges for battery committed without the use of a deadly weapon or when the injuries are not severe or permanent. The maximum penalties for misdemeanor domestic violence include up to 180 days in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The City Attorney’s Office prosecutes misdemeanor domestic violence charges; the Clark County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes felony charges.
Have you been arrested for domestic abuse?
Domestic violence allegations can have lasting effects on your freedom, your family, your rights and your future. If you are convicted of this serious criminal offense, you may face imprisonment in county jail or state prison, as well as heavy fines, probation, community service and other penalties. The alleged victim may also request a restraining order against you, prohibiting you from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the victim and possibly your children, as well. You may lose custody of your children and your visitation rights may be revoked or suspended.
Get information regarding penalties that may be imposed, what defenses may apply, the different types of related offenses and how an attorney can help by reading below:
- A “Victim” Can’t Drop Charges: In many cases when a victim wishes to drop charges against the alleged attacker, the prosecution may not cease to prosecute the case. They may continue to prosecute the case against the victim’s wishes for many reasons, especially if they believe that the victim is retracting for reasons of fear.
- Battery: Have you been charged with battery? Battery is the unlawful act of threatening to abuse or abusing an individual who lives in your home or a member of your family. For a person to face battery charges, the physical act of violence does not actually have to inflict serious harm on the victim; the victim must feel threatened and understand that they can becomes seriously injured if the violent act is carried out.
- Child Abuse: The abuse of a child is a frightening concept to grasp, but it does happen on a daily basis. However, if you are accused of abusing your child, physically, sexually or emotionally, you may be in serious trouble and will require the assistance of a Las Vegas domestic violence defense lawyer.
- Child Neglect: Neglecting a child is defined as failing to pay the necessary attention that the child deserves. It can include abandoning a child, failing to provide a child with shelter, care or medical treatment, or providing inadequate supervision. These types of accusations are serious and maximum penalties will be sought, including the loss of custody of your child.
- Consequences of a Conviction: Facing a criminal conviction is devastating, especially if it is one that involves the abuse or assault of a family member. Not only will a person be forced to deal with the criminal consequences, but they will also have to face embarrassment and personal repercussions within the community.
- Disorderly Conduct: Disorderly conduct is often a confusing charge for many people, because some may not understand that they have acted out of line according to the law. Disorderly conduct is defined by provoking or challenging another in a fight, using profanity to address another person or breaching the peace in some way.
- Domestic Violence Penalties: The penalties associated with domestic violence charges may vary drastically, from imprisonment to fines to community service. Charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending on the circumstances of the case, this offense will also have ramifications for a person within the community and in their personal life as well.
- Elder Abuse: Elder abuse takes on many different forms. Any action that results in physical or mental pain could lead to a conviction. Heavy fines and time in state prison are just some of the penalties and it can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony.
- Fight Your Charges: Fighting a domestic violence case may appear to be difficult, with the victim’s word against yours, but it is not impossible. During a jury trial, the jury tends to feel sympathetic for the victim, generally siding with this person and fighting to convict the alleged attacker. As such, having the most aggressive and experienced defense is absolutely necessary.
- Harassment: Harassment is defined as making threats of harming a person, making this person fear for their safety. This can include threats of bodily injury, property damage, physical confinement, or an act that may cause mental harm, and must be threatened against a family member or a loved one.
- Kidnapping: While a kidnapping charge is a serious federal offense that can result in lifelong consequences, it is often the misunderstanding between two ex-spouses or the result of a heated child custody battle in which a parent is seeking sole custody with no visitation for their child.
- Spousal Abuse: Abusing or harming one’s spouse is not only looked down upon in society, and it can also bring severe criminal consequences and penalties for a person convicted of this offense. Spousal abuse can come in the form of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
- Stalking: Stalking is defined as willfully engaging in a course of conduct that may cause a victim to feel fear, terror or intimidation. If the victim feels that they are unsafe or their family may be harmed, they may call the police and file a report against the alleged stalker.
- Temporary Protective Orders: After an alleged act of abuse occurs, a victim may be concerned as to what the future holds and if they will be attacked again. In hopes of preventing a future attack, they obtain a temporary restraining order in the attacker’s name, which can have detrimental effects on the attacker’s personal and professional life.
- Trespassing: Criminal trespassing is the act of unlawfully entering on to another’s property with the intention of harassing the property owner or committing a crime. It can also include a person entering onto another’s property after being told they are no longer allowed to enter.
- Violations of Protective Orders: A protective order is placed against an individual when another feels threatened or has already been harmed by the alleged attacker. Some individuals are unaware that a protective order is against them, and may violate the rules if they visit the victim, even if it is to make amends.
Effective Criminal Defense in Nevada
- Self-defense – If you used reasonable force against another person because you had a valid reason to believe this was necessary to protect yourself from injury, you were acting in self-defense. This may be a valid defense against your charges.
- False accusations – Your spouse, ex-spouse, or family member may have falsely accused you of domestic violence for reasons of anger, jealousy or revenge, or even in a child custody dispute or divorce in an attempt to gain an advantage over you. Bringing this to light may help ensure these frivolous charges are dropped.
- Accidental injury – There are cases where a defendant accidentally injured another person, only to have this result in domestic violence charges. If injury was unintentional, this may be grounds to have your case dismissed.
Although false accusations may be waged against an innocent party by a bitter or spiteful spouse, it is imperative that the defendant is able to adequately defend themselves against these charges. A conviction of domestic abuse charges can bring lifelong consequences, including the stigma of being labeled a “batterer,” the difficulty in finding future employment, and the possible loss of custody.
Why Hire a Las Vegas Domestic Violence Defense Attorney?
Why should you involve an attorney to handle your domestic violence charges? Whether formal charges have been filed against you at this point, you will be in danger of harsh criminal penalties and other serious consequences if you are eventually found guilty of domestic violence. Nevada, like all states, has adopted aggressive, unrelenting tactics in investigating and prosecuting those accused of domestic abuse of any kind. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be your only line of defense against an altogether bleak future.
If you are accused of domestic violence, there are several serious situations you will have to deal with. The alleged victim may seek a temporary protective order, without your knowledge and without even giving you an opportunity to defend yourself until the order has already been issued. This may temporarily prohibit you from coming into contact with or even within a certain distance of the alleged victim and even any children you share with the victim. You may be in danger of being arrested and may face imprisonment, fines, community service, counseling and probation if you are convicted.
The Benefits of Skilled Representation
A lawyer experienced in challenging domestic violence charges in Las Vegas can help you in the face of a temporary protective order and can work to ensure that an extended protective order is not put in its place. An attorney can also get to work immediately in defending your legal rights in criminal court, building a compelling case that will help you avoid a conviction for a misdemeanor or felony offense of this kind.
It is important to turn to a domestic violence attorney in Las Vegas with the knowledge and skill to fight these allegations. In the face of domestic violence accusations or charges, you need a legal professional to aggressively assert your rights and work swiftly to utilize the legal system in your favor. Our family has been practicing law in Nevada for over 20 years, and our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience. We have the skill and resources needed to accurately evaluate your charges and build a powerful defense. Call De Castroverde Law Group at (702) 222-9999 or fill out our online contact form today!