In the State of Nevada, battery / domestic violence means unlawfully using force or violence against someone who is your spouse, former spouse, any person to whom you are related by blood or marriage, someone with whom you are residing, someone you have or are currently dating, or someone with whom you have a child or guardianship of a child in common.
Unlike traditional battery, battery domestic violence is considered an “enhanceable offense.” This means that each conviction for battery domestic violence in a seven year period carries increasingly severe penalties. A first offense battery domestic violence conviction carries up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, up to 120 hours of community service, and weekly domestic violence counseling. A second offense for battery domestic violence within a seven year period is punishable up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, up to 200 hours of community service, and weekly domestic violence counseling. A third offense for battery domestic violence in a seven year period is a felony carrying a mandatory prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to the penalties imposed by the court, a conviction for domestic violence carries with it what are known as “collateral consequences.” Collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction can include possible negative implications on divorce proceedings, child custody and visitation rights, and immigration proceedings. Additionally, pursuant to federal law, if you are convicted of battery domestic violence, you might become unable to legally possess a firearm.
If you are being accused of battery domestic violence, it is critical that you retain counsel immediately. A skilled attorney will guide you on the correct path to preserving evidence that could be integral to a successful defense. Such evidence often includes text messages, emails, evidence of self-defense such as injuries that you may have sustained, as well as evidence exposing your accuser’s bias or motive to lie, such as spite or jealousy. Most domestic violence cases are won or lost long before a trial begins based on thorough preparation.