Las Vegas Defense Attorney for Domestic Violence Charges
Experienced Criminal Defense Law Firm in Clark County, Nevada
Domestic violence charges are serious business in Nevada. A conviction can result in a substantial fine, prison time, community service, counseling, a restraining order, and more. It can also negatively impact family law matters like divorce and custody, as well as other aspects of your life, including employment opportunities.
If you are facing a domestic violence charge in Clark County, you need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney to represent you. At The Gersten Law Firm, we know the law and also know local law enforcement and court practices and procedures.
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten holds a Master of Forensic Sciences degree. He worked for the Intelligence Division of the U.S. Secret Service, as well as the Office of Criminal Investigations at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Attorney Gersten will put his extensive criminal defense experience and local knowledge to work in assessing the full circumstances, asserting a forceful defense, and exploring all options for resolving the charges. Call 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
Battery Domestic Violence in Nevada
There are a number of different domestic violence crimes in Nevada. The most common is battery that constitutes domestic violence — or battery domestic violence — which includes many types of abuse and many different types relationships.
There are two required legal elements of battery domestic violence. First, the victim and the person charged must be in a familial, intimate, or domestic relationship. Physical violence between friends and neighbors does not qualify as battery domestic violence. Relationships that covered include:
- Spouses: current, separated, or divorced
- Domestic partners: current, separated, or divorced
- Relatives by blood or marriage
- Significant others
- Co-habitants, such as roommates or housemates
The second required element is “battery,” which means an intentional physical touching in an unwanted, offensive way. Battery charges usually involve allegations of things like hitting, slapping, kicking, pushing, choking, biting, spitting, cutting, burning, or throwing an object that hits the victim.
Nevada Penalties for Battery Domestic Violence
A first offense of battery domestic violence is a misdemeanor. All subsequent offenses are felonies, with each additional offense increasing in seriousness of degree and severity of penalties. In all instances, penalties include fines, prison time, required counseling, community service, and limitations on other arrests and citations during pendency of the domestic violence charges and penalties. Penalties become more severe with each subsequent offense. Charges involving strangulation, deadly weapons, or substantial bodily harm carry the heaviest penalties.
Nevada law requires the police to investigate all charges of domestic violence. Prosecutors are required to pursue cases, even when a victim recants, if there is sufficient other evidence to prosecute. Judges are not permitted to allow probation in battery domestic violence cases. However, for a first offense, it is sometimes possible for an experienced attorney to negotiate a suspended sentence for a first offense, along with other required penalties.
Defense of Battery Domestic Violence Charges
Every case of battery domestic violence is based specifically on the facts of what occurred. Often, it is difficult to sort out the truth from fiction amid all the allegations, victim and witness statements, statements by the person accused, and police investigation reports. For that reason, having a criminal defense attorney like Joseph Gersten, who has substantial experience in investigation matters and techniques, is extremely important. Depending on the facts of the case, there are several different defense strategies may be available:
- Accident: If the touching was an accident, rather than intentional, it is not a battery.
- Self-defense: If the touching was necessary to prevent injury or death to the person charged or to another person, and was not more violent than necessary, the touching may be justified as self-defense.
- False allegations: If the victim’s allegations can be proven false, as sometimes occurs in domestic violence cases, there is no factual basis for the charge.
- Self-inflicted injuries: If it can be shown that the victim’s injuries were self-inflicted to create the impression that the person charged is responsible, there is no factual basis for the charge.
- Witness testimony: If unbiased witnesses testify that no battery occurred, it will help confirm the defense against the charge.
In all cases, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged intentionally used unlawful force. A defense attorney’s goal is to undermine the prosecutor’s case by conducting a thorough investigation of the facts and asserting a solid defense strategy.
Offenses Related to Domestic Violence Charges
There are often additional charges that accompany a domestic violence charge, including:
- Assault and battery
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Child abuse and neglect
- Elder abuse
- Date rape
- Disorderly conduct
- Sexual assault
- Stalking / Aggravated Stalking
Regardless of the charges you are facing in a domestic violence situation, Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten will thoroughly assess your case and work hard to negotiate the best possible resolution for you. He is just a call away — and your initial consultation and case evaluation are free-of-charge.
Sealing a Domestic Violence Record
A domestic violence record carries a stigma and can also adversely affect your life in many ways, including limiting employment opportunities. In Nevada, a domestic violence record can be sealed by the court under certain circumstances:
- For a misdemeanor battery domestic violence charge: the record can be sealed seven (7) years after release from jail or end of a suspended sentence, whichever is later.
- For a felony battery domestic violence charge: the record can be sealed ten (10) years after release from jail or discharged from parole, whichever is later.
If you have a prior domestic violence record and are eligible to have it sealed, attorney Joseph Gersten can help.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Las Vegas Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Domestic violence charges of any type are not a matter to take lightly or attempt to negotiate by yourself. You need a tough, experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the domestic violence laws, as well as the laws for related offenses. If you are facing a domestic violence charge in Las Vegas, Henderson, or elsewhere in Clark County, Las Vegas attorney Joseph Gersten will discuss and evaluate your case based on his extensive investigative and criminal defense experience. Your initial consultation is free-of-charge. Call 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.