Nevada law contains provisions that penalize acts of domestic violence. A person commits domestic violence by hurting, trying to harm, or threatening a family or household member or an intimate partner.
Nevada law defines what constitutes domestic violence—what acts and by whom. Domestic violence offenses in Nevada include but are not limited to battery, assault, coercion, sexual assault, stalking, and false imprisonment.
Domestic violence occurs when a person commits any of these acts against individuals who share the following relationships:
Not included in this list are siblings or cousins, unless they are in a custodial or guardianship relationship with each other.
Two of the most common domestic violence offenses are domestic battery and protection order violations (discussed below).
Nevada defines "battery" as the unlawful use of force or violence upon another person. Battery can include a range of actions from shoving and hair-pulling to punching or shooting someone.
When no aggravating factors apply (weapons, substantial harm), the penalties for domestic battery depend on the defendant's criminal record.
First offense. A first offense of domestic violence battery within a seven-year period constitutes a misdemeanor. A defendant faces up to six months in jail and a fine of $200 to $1,000. At a minimum, the judge must make the defendant serve two days of jail time and perform 48 hours of community service.
Second offense. An offender who's convicted of a second domestic battery crime within seven years is also guilty of a misdemeanor with a maximum 6-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. However, the minimum sentence increases to 20 days of jail time, a $500 fine, and 100 hours of community service.
Third offense. A third offense of domestic battery within a seven-year period is a category B felony, which carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $5,000 fine. This felony offense carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Nevada law provides for harsher penalties when the domestic battery involves any of the following aggregating factors.
Strangulation. A person who commits domestic battery by strangulation faces a category C felony conviction, punishable by one to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Substantial bodily harm. Domestic battery offenses in which the victim sustains serious bodily harm are category B felonies and subject a defendant to one to six years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000. Substantial bodily harm means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, extended loss or impairment of a part of the body, or prolonged physical pain.
Deadly weapons. A defendant who uses a deadly weapon during the commission of domestic battery faces a category B felony, which carries 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If the victim sustained substantial bodily harm, the potential incarceration penalty increases to up to 15 years.
Pregnant victim. A person faces a gross misdemeanor or felony for committing domestic battery against a pregnant victim. A first offense is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum of 20 days in jail, plus a $500 to $1,000 fine. Second and subsequent offenses constitute category B felonies with penalties of one to six years in prison and a $1,000 to $5,000 fine. To secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant knew or should have known of the pregnancy.
Repeat felony offenders. An offender who commits a domestic violence battery and has previously been convicted of a felony domestic battery or use a deadly weapon in a domestic battery can be charged with a category B felony. Category B felonies carry 2 to 15 years in prison and a fine of $2,000 to $5,000.
A protection order against domestic abuse generally prohibits the defendant from:
A person who violates a temporary domestic abuse order commits a misdemeanor and faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, if an offender violates an extended domestic abuse protection order, they face harsher penalties depending on how many previous violation convictions they have. A second violation means gross misdemeanor penalties, while a third or subsequent violation constitutes a category D felony, punishable by one to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
In addition to imprisonment and monetary penalties, Nevada law establishes the following conditions, restrictions, and penalties for domestic violence cases. Whether an offense constitutes domestic violence depends on the factors involved.
Nevada law requires a police officer to arrest a person suspected of committing a domestic violence battery within the preceding 24 hours, regardless of whether the officer has a warrant.
Police must also hold a person arrested for domestic battery for at least 12 hours before allowing release on bail. This 12-hour wait is often referred to as a "cooling off period." Those arrested for violating a temporary or extended order for protection may also be subject to the cooling-off period, depending on the circumstances of the conduct.
For suspects released on bail without going before a court official, the bail amount range is $3,000 to $15,000, depending on prior domestic violence convictions. A suspect must go before a judge to request a lower bail amount.
A defendant convicted of a domestic violence offense in Nevada loses the right to own or possess a firearm. This is true regardless of the severity of the offense. A prohibited possessor who violates this law faces a category B felony conviction, which carries one to six years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
For first and second convictions of domestic violence battery within a seven-year period, the court must order mandatory weekly counseling sessions for a specified length of time. Furthermore, the court may require defendants to participate in a treatment program if alcohol or illegal substances played a role in the offense.
If you've been arrested for or charged with a crime of domestic violence, contact a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction for domestic violence can have serious, long-lasting consequences. A lawyer can help you navigate the court system and discuss potential outcomes in your case based on your unique set of circumstances.
(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 0.060, 33.018, 33.020, 33.030, 33.100, 125.560, 171.137, 176.094, 178.484, 200.480, 200.485, 202.360 (2023).)