Chances are you or someone you know has been involved in an incident of domestic violence.
As Las Vegas attorneys, we often see domestic violence in all areas of the law including, but not limited to, criminal defense matters, divorce cases, restraining orders, CPS cases and even in guardianship cases.
To properly address these issues as your prospective attorneys, we believe it is important for our clients to understand that they are not alone if they have been involved in an incident of domestic violence.
In this article, we address Nevada domestic violence by the numbers and offer some information about how allegations of domestic violence can affect your divorce, custody and/or criminal law matter.
Nevada Statistics Regarding Domestic Violence
Below are some statics about domestic violence in Nevada:
According to The Nevada Attorney General, Nevada ranks 23rd in the nation for calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline
Nevada consistently ranks 1st in the nation for domestic violence fatalities according to the NCADV.
95% of Nevada calls to domestic violence hotlines involve emotional or verbal abuse including threats, insults, humiliation, and isolation
Las Vegas accounts for 69% of all calls from Nevada to the National Domestic Violence Hotline
Females age 30-44 in Nevada are most likely to be the victims of domestic violence and nationally 95% of domestic violence victims are women
Law enforcement is likely to be involved in 36% of all domestic violence calls in Nevada
Repeat offenders account for more than 75% of all domestic violence incidents in Nevada
Men are almost 10 times more likely to commit an act of domestic violence in Nevada than women
Nevada Domestic Violence Defined
Now that you know some of the statistics about Nevada domestic violence, it’s time to consider the law regarding domestic violence in Nevada.
In Nevada, the definition for battery domestic violence, is found in NRS 200.485. Nevada law defines battery domestic violence as intentionally inflicting unlawful physical force against either a family member, spouse, dating partner, or housemate.
Examples of battery domestic violence include: pushing or slapping an ex-husband or wife, punching or strangling a significant other, burning or poisoning a roommate, throwing an object at a sibling, or spitting on a relative.
Criminal Penalties For Committing Battery Domestic Violence In Nevada
Most first offense charges of domestic violence in Nevada are misdemeanors. The punishment for a misdemeanor may include: a fine of $200 to $1,000, 48 hours to 120 hours of community service, weekly counseling for 6 months to a year; and staying out of trouble for a period of time.
A second charge of battery domestic violence in Nevada can include jail time, fines, classes and counseling and additional jail time of 10 days.
If a third offense of domestic violence occurs in a seven year time frame, the perpetrator can be charged with a felony. A felony charge can include up to 5 years in prison if the perpetrator is convicted.
If the charges of domestic violence include strangulation, use of a deadly weapon or substantial bodily harm, the District Attorney may decide to prosecute the case as a felony regardless of whether or not it is a first offense. These types of incident can carry up to 15 years in prison.
Domestic Violence Can Affect Your Nevada Family Law Case
If you are going through a divorce or custody matter, a domestic violence charge can affect your time with your children as well as your ability to remain in the marital residence.
In Nevada, a domestic violence conviction creates a presumption against the perpetrator that having primary or even joint custody of the children is not in the children’s best interests. The statute regarding domestic violence in custody determinations can be found at NRS 125C.230. In real life what this means is that if your family court judge determines there has been an act of domestic violence, by clear and convincing evidence, then it will be up the perpetrator of the domestic violence to convince the Court that joint custody or primary physical custody is in the children’s best interests.
In addition to affecting custody, a domestic violence charge can also affect your right to have communication with your spouse or significant other, including continuing to reside in the same home. If there has been domestic violence in a relationship, and the matter is now in family court, the family court judge can determine that the victim of any domestic violence may get exclusive possession of the residence causing the perpetrator to find another home until the case is over. Likewise, the family court judge can issue a no contact order prohibiting the perpetrator of the violence from contacting the victim. Finally, the Court can also issue a restraining order thereby keeping the perpetrator away from the victim’s home, place of employment and other places the victim frequents.
If you are facing domestic violence charges in Nevada or if there are allegations of domestic violence in your family court case, call our office at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information. We have experience handling domestic violence cases in Nevada criminal court and Nevada family court. An experienced domestic violence attorney can evaluate the strength of the evidence against you, explore any possible defenses you might have, and explain your rights and options available to you.
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For more information from other articles we have published about domestic violence consider these: Assault and Battery, Tips for Getting Domestic Violence Charges Reduced or Dismissed, 5 Questions to Ask Your Domestic Violence Defense lawyer, 5 Tips For Dealing With False Allegations of Domestic Violence