Battery Domestic Violence in Nevada - - an Overview

BATTERY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN NEVADA - - AN OVERVIEW

In Nevada, the laws dealing with crimes or allegations of Battery Constituting Domestic Violence are different than almost every other type of crime.  There are laws written specifically to allegations of violence occurring in a domestic context.   Nevada defines “Domestic Violence” in NRS 33.018 as occurring when any person commits an act of violence against one of the following:  a spouse or former spouse, a person related by blood or marriage, a resident of the same house (such as a roommate), a person in a dating relationship (past or present), if they have a child in common or where there is a parent/child or guardian relationship.  

To amount to domestic “violence," the act can be (as defined in Nevada Law) a battery, assault, the compelling of the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform (known in Nevada as the crime of “coercion”), sexual assault, a course of reckless conduct designed to harass the other (such as stalking, arson, trespassing, destruction of the person’s property, stealing (or larceny) of the person’s property, injuring (or killing) the person’s animal, carrying a concealed weapon (without a permit)), falsely imprisoning the person or unlawfully/forcibly entering the persons residence. 
 
BATTERY:  What is it?

When law enforcement receives a call of a domestic incident, they are duty bound to respond and conduct an investigation.  Once the police arrive on scene they first attempt to identify if a battery has occurred.  In Nevada, Battery is defined in NRS 200.481 as any “willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.”  Battery is any force or violence.  It is essentially a harmful or offensive touching.  It can be a push, a punch, a kick, a slap, hair pulling, scratching, grabbing, throwing an object, spitting . . . technically, under Nevada law, a Battery can occur if you flick someone with your finger.  

DOMESTIC RELATIONSHIP:  What is that?

Once police or law enforcement determine a battery occurred, they then determine if it is in the course of a domestic relationship.  If the people are related by blood, married, dating, have a child in common or live in the same house, it will be deemed a domestic relationship.

PRIMARY PHYSICAL AGGRESSOR:  Is going to be arrested.

Once the police determine that there was a battery (any force or violence) and it occurred in a domestic context, they then attempt to determine who the primary physical aggressor is.   Police in Nevada are trained that when they respond to a Battery Domestic Violence call, they “must” arrest someone.  In fact, Nevada law requires the law enforcement officer to arrest someone, even if the fight is mutual.  NRS 171.137 says that the law enforcement officer has to “arrest a person when the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has, within the preceding 24 hours, committed a battery upon his or her domestic partner.”  Under that same law, when two domestic partners use physical force on each other, law enforcement must determine which of the people involved is the primary physical aggressor.  That person must, under Nevada law, be arrested and taken to jail where they must stay for at least twelve (12) hours (commonly referred to as a “cooling off period”).  In some cases the police cannot identify who the primary physical aggressor is and both people are arrested and taken to jail.  It is also important to know that the primary physical aggressor is not necessarily the person who used force first.  The person that strikes first is usually the one arrested but, in some cases, the person that is arrested is the person who caused the most harm or injury… even if they didn’t hit first.  Finally, in determining which of the domestic partners is the primary physical aggressor, police are allowed by statute to run the parties and see if they have previous arrests or incidents of domestic violence in their criminal history.   

ARRESTED FOR BATTERY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:  Now what?

Just as the laws pertaining to investigations of Battery Domestic Violence are unique in Nevada, so are the laws after a suspect is arrested.  Nevada law, in NRS 171.1225, states that a person will not be admitted to bail sooner than 12 hours after arrest.  That means if you are arrested and taken to jail, you MUST stay there for at least ½ a day to “cool off.”  In addition, bails are higher for Battery Domestic Violence allegations than other misdemeanor offenses.  Standard bail on most Las Vegas Misdemeanor charges is $1,000.00.  Standard Bail for a First Offense Battery Domestic Violence allegation is triple that, or $3,000.00.  For a Second Offense Battery Domestic charge, standard bail is $5,000.00.

CHARGED WITH BATTERY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN LAS VEGAS:  What should I do?  

If you are arrested, you have already faced the situation described on this page.  What is extremely important to know is that you should act as fast as possible to retain an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who knows Nevada law and knows how to start building your best defense right away.  The best Battery Domestic Violence Lawyers in Las Vegas know that you must act quickly in order that essential evidence is preserved and not lost forever.  You should take photographs which depict injuries on yourself if you are accused of being the primary physical aggressor.  You should collect, document and preserve all physical evidence, such as text messages, emails and written notes.  You should make sure you accurately provide all information and evidence to your lawyer right away.  This gives you the best chance to build your best defense against this serious crime.  

CONTACT OUR LAS VEGAS BATTERY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWYER TODAY

If you, or someone you know, has been investigated, accused or arrested for a crime of Battery Domestic Violence in Las Vegas, contact Attorney Josh Tomsheck at the law firm of Hofland & Tomsheck right away.  We are usually able to meet with you the same day you contact our office and our consultations are always free.  Call us today.