Nevada’s domestic violence laws protect persons from violent crimes committed by persons with whom the victims share certain domestic relationships. Nevada also provides protection to domestic violence victims by providing a system where victims can obtain court-issued protective orders.
Nevada domestic violence laws apply to current and former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who currently or formerly resided together, persons who are or were in a dating relationship, people who have a child in common, the minor child of any of these people, or a person appointed legal guardian for the minor child of any of these persons. Domestic violence occurs when one of the following offenses is committed between any of these persons:
(Nev. Rev. Stat. § 33.018)
A defendant convicted of a domestic violence battery is guilty of a misdemeanor if the defendant has no other domestic violence battery convictions within the previous seven years. Such conviction carries a minimum of two days in jail, 48 hours of community service, and a $200 fine, although the defendant may receive up to six months in jail, 120 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine.
A conviction for a second domestic violence battery within a seven-year period is also considered a misdemeanor, but it carries a minimum sentence of ten days in jail, 100 community service hours, and a $500 fine; and a maximum sentence of six months in jail, 200 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine. Defendants convicted of a first or second domestic violence battery within a seven-year period must also participate in domestic violence counseling. The defendant may also be required to pay the costs of counseling for a child under 18 years of age where the judge determines that the defendant’s crime necessitates such treatment for the child.
A defendant convicted of a third or subsequent conviction for domestic violence battery in a seven-year period is guilty of a Class C felony. Class C felonies carry a sentence range of one to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. A domestic violence battery is also punished as a Class C felony if it involves strangulation. Under such circumstances, the domestic violence battery carries up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Nevada law includes a very unusual requirement when it comes to how the prosecutor may handle a charged case. It prohibits the prosecutor from dismissing a domestic violence battery charge in exchange for a plea of guilty, guilty but mentally ill, or nolo contendere to a lesser charge or for any other reason other than an insufficiency of evidence. This means that plea bargains (to lesser offenses) are allowed only if the prosecutor can represent to the court that he does not have enough evidence to convince a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, of the defendant's guilt for original charge. He cannot offer the plea because other, more pressing cases deserve his attention, or because he thinks a lesser charge will send the defendant the right message.
(Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 193.130, 200.485)
A police officer is required to make an arrest of a person suspected of committing a domestic violence battery within the preceding 24 hours, regardless of whether the officer has a warrant. If two (or more) people accuse each other committing domestic violence battery, the officer is required to arrest only the person determined to be the primary aggressor.
(Nev. Rev. Stat. § 171.137)
A court may grant a temporary or extended order for protection against domestic violence where it appears from an application that an act of domestic violence occurred or a threat of domestic violence exists. The court can grant a temporary order without providing notice to the adverse party (that is, the person that the applicant seeks protection from), but it may also require the applicant and the adverse party to appear before the court prior to issuing an order. The court must notify the adverse party and conduct a hearing before granting an extended order.
(Nev. Rev. Stat. § 33.020)
A temporary order for protection against domestic violence may include any of the following provisions:
An extended order can contain any of the provisions that are permitted in temporary orders. Additionally, extended orders can contain provisions that:
(Nev. Rev. Stat. § 33.030)
A person who violates a term of a temporary or extended order for protection against domestic violence commits a misdemeanor, unless the act constituting the violation carries a greater penalty under law.
(Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 125.560, 33.100)
If you are charged with committing a domestic violence crime or accused of domestic violence in a petition for a protective order, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. A conviction for a domestic violence offense carries potentially severe penalties, including the possibility of incarceration. A domestic violence protective order can limit your rights as a parent and property owner as well as limit your freedom of movement. An experienced attorney will provide important guidance will defending your rights.