Nevada treats domestic violence cases harshly, and lawmakers have made several laws to protect victims. If you have been arrested/charged with a domestic violence offense, your thoughts will likely not be how technical the law is. Rather, you’ll be thinking about what will happen next, what to expect, the penalties you’ll face if convicted, how you can defend yourself, and if you can be out on bail.
What Domestic Violence Crimes Involve
Per Nevada law, domestic violence crimes are criminal acts that you commit against someone else with whom you have an intimate relationship, including:
- Your former or current spouse.
- Any person to whom you are related by marriage or blood.
- An individual with whom you have sired a child.
- An individual with whom you’re living or have lived.
- A person you’re dating/have dated.
- The child of any of the parties mentioned above.
- A court-appointed custodian/legal guardian of children of the parties mentioned above.
Per Nevada law, acts that are considered domestic violence include:
- Threatening or forcing a person to do things they have the legal right to decline or compelling them not to do things they’re entitled under the law to do.
- Sexual assault.
- False imprisonment.
- Harassing behavior like stalking, trespassing, arson, stealing, property destruction, or injuring/ killing an animal.
- Forcible or unlawful entry to a person’s residence if there’s an anticipated risk of injury to the person from the unlawful/forcible entry.
When committed against the parties mentioned above, all these acts are categorized as domestic violence crimes. Thus, they have given associated punishments.
Domestic violence crimes differ from other random offenses since the victim and perpetrator aren’t strangers. Instead, they’re family members, parents of common children, or intimate partners. Therefore, this relationship binds a victim to their perpetrator. For instance, the victim may be relying on the perpetrator for economic or child support. Domestic violence crimes are characterized by escalating abuse where one partner in the relationship controls the other through deprivation or threats of deprivation, violence, or force.
Possible Penalties for Domestic Violence Crimes
In Nevada, you are subject to these penalties if you commit any domestic violence act:
- The first offense in seven years is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a jail sentence of 48 hours to six months, a fine ranging from $200 to $1000, and community service for 48 to 120 hours.
- A second offense in seven years is also a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of six months in jail, a fine ranging from five hundred dollars to a thousand dollars, and community service for a hundred to two hundred hours.
- In seven years, a third and subsequent offense is a Class C felony punishable by a maximum of $10,000 in fines and a prison sentence of between one and five years.
In addition to the above penalties, you will also be required to take counseling classes. The court may require you to pay for the counseling charges for a minor below 18 years where it rules that your crime necessitates counseling for the minor. Any domestic violence crime that involves strangulation (be it a first, second, or third/subsequent offense) is a Class C felony. Under these circumstances, the crime will carry a prison sentence not exceeding five years and a maximum of $15,000 in fines.
Legal Defenses to Domestic Violence Crimes
There are many ways to fight domestic violence charges, depending on the criminal act you’re accused of. One defense that cuts across all domestic violence crimes is false allegations. Since domestic violence allegations occur in a domestic relationship, they’re often emotionally driven. It could be that the victim made up a false story out of jealousy, anger, or just to take revenge on you. Another defense used for most domestic violence crimes is self-defense. You can also argue that the prosecution failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Limited Ability to Have Your Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed
Nevada law forbids the prosecution from dismissing domestic violence charges in exchange for a guilty plea to lesser charges for any given reason but the inadequacy of evidence. By this, it means a plea bargain to a lesser crime can only be allowed if the DA admits in court that there’s not enough proof to convince the judge beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty of the original charge. The DA can’t offer you a plea deal simply because other cases deserve their attention or they think a lesser offense will send you the intended message.
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
If you commit a domestic violence crime, the judge may issue a permanent or temporary restraining order against you. The temporary order may be issued without being notified, but you may also be required to appear in court before you’re issued with the order. The judge must notify you and hold a hearing before issuing you with a permanent restraining order. A restraining order may:
- Prohibit you from harassing, physically injuring, or threatening the victim.
- Exclude you from the victim’s residence.
- Prohibit you from going to the victim’s workplace, school, or residence and order you to avoid any specified places the victim frequents.
- Grant temporary child custody to the victim if the judge has jurisdiction.
- Require you to limit or avoid communicating with the victim.
If you violate the terms and conditions of a domestic violence restraining order, you can face misdemeanor charges unless the act constituting the violation warrants a greater punishment under the law.
Bail and Bond for Domestic Violence Cases
Although Nevada is highly strict with domestic violence cases, it allows the posting of bail. Posting bail enables you to prove your innocence while out of jail. Bail amount varies depending on the severity of the crime and the jurisdiction. Despite most of them being misdemeanors, domestic violence crimes have a higher bail amount than other offenses. The standard bail amount for a first offense is $3,000, a second offense $5,000, and a third offense $15,000. The judge has the discretion to order a higher bail amount depending on how severe the offense is or your criminal history.
And if you aren’t ready for the direct standard bail payment, you can seek a bail bond agent’s assistance. A bail bonds agent will pay the entire bail amount for you, but you’ll first have to pay them at least 15% of the total bail amount. A bond comes in handy because you will be able to secure your release even if you don’t have the required bail amount in cash.
Find Bail Bond Services for Domestic Violence Crimes Near Me
At Express Bail Bonds, we can help you secure your release from jail as soon as possible if you’ve been arrested for domestic violence accusations in Las Vegas. Our agents are on standby 24/7 to help and guide you through the challenging process of posting bail. Call us at 702-633-2245 to ask questions concerning bail bond services or if you need to be bailed out after your arrest. We’ll meet with you at the place of your choice or work with you over the phone. Whether over the phone or in person, we will deliver quality bail bond services.