Domestic Violence in Nevada: What Happens When the Police are Called?
If Las Vegas police come to your home on a domestic violence complaint, it is likely that someone is going to jail and facing a costly and time-consuming experience. There are two sides to every story, and police responding to a domestic violence complaint often make decisions before having all the facts.
Once a Nevada resident is arrested and charged with domestic violence, it is up to the prosecutor whether the case goes forward. The alleged victim cannot change her or his mind and have the domestic assault charges dropped. If the police have probable cause to believe someone is the victim of domestic battery, they are required by law to arrest the accused perpetrator.
Your best response to being arrested for domestic assault, battery or another domestic violence crime is to contact an experienced Las Vegas domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible.
Prosecutors in Nevada take domestic violence cases seriously. Even if the accuser recants, Nevada prosecutors cannot reduce or drop domestic violence battery charges unless they know the defendant is not guilty. A conviction will include a jail sentence (which may be suspended), hundreds of dollars in fines and months of counseling sessions and community service. Never face domestic violence charges in Nevada without an experienced defense attorney at your side.
How Las Vegas, NV Police Respond to Domestic Violence Reports
- Verbally abused
- Sexually abused
- Threatened with a deadly weapon
- Or suffered any other form of physical violence.
You may be charged with domestic violence if you have any of the following relationships with the victim:
- Intimate partner
- Family member
- Or acquaintance.
Once the police arrive at the scene of a domestic dispute, they will separate the parties involved, assess any injuries, and call for any necessary emergency medical assistance. They will talk to each party separately to determine who is the aggressor and who is the victim, assuming this is not already apparent. Then they will arrest the aggressor and take him or her to be charged and jailed.
In some cases, an alleged victim may file a police report of domestic violence with Las Vegas police, and the arrest will take place afterward. Reports may be filed online, over the phone or in person.
After an arrest, a domestic violence case exists against the person arrested — without further investigation and regardless of whether the actual perpetrator of violence in a dispute was taken into custody.
Police may also advise or help the alleged victim obtain a victim advocate, an individual trained to provide emotional support as well as information about the law and court proceedings and resources for additional help.
Once charged, an individual may be released on his or her own recognizance or on bail, which may be secured with a bail bond.
Domestic battery is a misdemeanor, which carries a sentence upon conviction of up to 6 months in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. A misdemeanor case from an arrest in Las Vegas will be heard in Las Vegas Municipal Court, at 200 Lewis Avenue.
It is important to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with domestic battery.
5 Reasons to Hire an Attorney after Being Arrested for Domestic Violence
- We’ll speak for you. Domestic violence cases are highly emotional, and what you say in a charged emotional state can be held against you and ultimately harm you. Our attorneys can step in to make formal replies to false, exaggerated or inflammatory accusations, and determine whether it is in your interest to respond to questions from the prosecution and how to respond if you do. Our Las Vegas domestic battery attorneys will act quickly to protect your rights and ensure your case proceeds in a manner that is fair to you.
- We’ll build a case that supports you. An experienced Las Vegas domestic battery lawyer can help you tell your side of the story to the court. As your attorneys, we can gather evidence to build a strong and persuasive defense in your case or to argue for charges to be dropped or reduced.
- A charge does not have to end in a conviction. Domestic violence cases are complex. Because they occur behind closed doors, they often come down to “he said, she said.” There are many ways to create a reasonable doubt about the charges against you. Perhaps you were acting in self-defense or to protect a child. Maybe it was an accident; you had no intention to harm anyone. Sometimes we can demonstrate that the entire complaint was made up and even that injuries were self-inflicted.
- Domestic battery charges can be reduced. When the evidence we gather shows weaknesses in the case, prosecutors will listen to suggestions for alternative charges. A good first step is a reduction to simple battery, which eliminates the mandatory minimum sentences required for a domestic battery conviction. Charges may also be reduced to nonviolent misdemeanors, such as disorderly conduct or breach of peace, or you may be allowed to enter a plea of no contest and obtain a stayed adjudication. This allows you to complete certain requirements, such as community service or counseling, after which the case may be reduced or dismissed after a period of time. This requires a lawyer who can build evidence that supports the request and has the relationship to persuade the prosecutor.
- A domestic battery conviction can hurt your child custody rights. Under Nevada law, separated parents are presumed to have joint legal and physical custody of a minor child, but judges are to consider the “best interest of the child” in making final custodial decisions. Even a domestic violence charge can lead to an adverse decision against the accused parent. Such a charge is known as a “rebuttable presumption,” and the accused parent is presumed not to be fit for custody of the child unless they can rebut this presumption to the satisfaction of the judge.
Contact Our Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys in Las Vegas, NV
Do not wait to talk to a seasoned Las Vegas domestic violence attorney if you have been arrested on a domestic violence charge in Clark County, Nevada. We can work quickly to protect your rights and work to keep you from suffering the damage a conviction can do to your life. Contact Adras & Altig in Las Vegas as soon as possible for a free initial consultation and evaluation of your case.