Will You Need the Services of a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer?

If you are charged with a crime of domestic violence in or near the Las Vegas area, it is a serious charge. You will need to be advised and represented by a Las Vegas domestic violence defense lawyer, and you will need to contact that lawyer as quickly as possible after your arrest.

How is domestic violence defined under Nevada law? What are your legal rights if you face a domestic violence charge? What are the consequences of a conviction for a crime of domestic violence? And what will a Las Vegas domestic violence defense attorney do to defend you?

Keep reading this short discussion of emotional abuse and domestic violence to find the answers you may need now or in the future.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence in Nevada?

Domestic violence is sometimes defined – inadequately – as a violent crime committed in the context of an intimate relationship. However, according to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, domestic violence includes “physical, emotional, verbal, spiritual, [or] financial” abuse.

Emotional abuse involves controlling another person by manipulating that person’s emotions and embarrassing, shaming, blaming, criticizing, or humiliating that person. The motive of emotional abuse is to control another person by isolating, discrediting, and/or silencing that person.

What Are Some Specific Examples of Emotional Abuse?

In some situations, emotional abuse may be obvious to everyone and overtly manipulative, but in many other cases, emotional abuse is subtle, insidious, and difficult to identify. Emotional abuse may include but is not limited to:

  1.  constant criticisms and unreasonable demands
  2.  possessiveness and constant, irrational accusations of cheating
  3.  stalking or constantly needing to know the other person’s whereabouts
  4.  monitoring someone’s phone and internet activity
  5.  isolating someone from friends and loved ones
  6.  taking or hiding someone’s cash, keys, or other items
  7.  constantly condescending to, belittling, bullying, or humiliating someone
  8.  using someone’s hopes, fears, and weaknesses against that person

Could You Face a Criminal Charge for Emotional Abuse?

When someone is charged with domestic violence based on emotional abuse, the charge may seem to appear out of nowhere. You may not have known that your words or actions were considered abusive or potentially constituted domestic violence.

For emotional abuse to be considered a crime of domestic violence, in most cases, there must be repeated incidents and a demonstrable pattern of behavior. Insulting your spouse or another household or family member one time is almost never sufficient to trigger a criminal charge.

However, when the police in Nevada respond to a domestic violence call, under Nevada law, an arrest must be made if the police have “probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has, within the preceding 24 hours, committed a battery upon his or her domestic partner.”

How Is Emotional Abuse Charged as a Crime?

When law enforcement officers in this state believe that they have probable cause to arrest someone for domestic violence based on emotional abuse, the charge is usually battery domestic violence:

  1.  When battery domestic violence is a first offense with no aggravating factors (no serious injury, deadly weapon, or strangulation), it’s a misdemeanor. A conviction may be penalized with a brief jail term, a fine, community service, and court-ordered counseling.
  2.  A second battery domestic violence offense with no aggravating factors is also a misdemeanor but may be penalized on conviction with a longer jail term, a costlier fine, additional hours of community service, and court-ordered counseling for up to a year.
  3.  A third conviction for battery domestic violence is a felony that may be penalized on conviction with a prison sentence. If there are aggravating factors, a three-time convicted domestic violence offender could serve up to fifteen years in a Nevada state prison.

A Nevada prosecutor usually will not drop a battery domestic violence charge even if the accuser asks for the charge to be dropped. After a battery domestic violence charge has been filed, only the prosecutor has the discretion to determine if the case will move forward.

What Else Does a Domestic Violence Conviction Entail?

Under both Nevada and federal law, an offender who has been convicted of a domestic violence crime automatically loses – for life – the right to own a firearm, unless a court sets aside or expunges that conviction or the offender obtains a full pardon.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, a conviction for domestic violence may put you at risk for deportation. If you hold a professional license in Nevada, a conviction for domestic violence may result in disciplinary action by your professional licensing board.

How Can You Fight a False Domestic Violence Claim?

Domestic violence happens far too often in Nevada, and convictions for domestic violence are penalized harshly. Phony domestic violence charges are also common. Nevada defense lawyers, family law attorneys, prosecutors, and judges deal routinely with false domestic violence claims.

However, it is seldom easy to divide the truth from the falsehoods in a domestic violence case. Your Las Vegas domestic violence defense lawyer will fight for the truth, but a false domestic violence claim is like any other phony criminal allegation.

What is “true” in your case may be determined by a group of complete strangers – a panel of jurors. After reviewing the details of the case against you, your Las Vegas domestic violence defense attorney will develop a defense strategy that will be persuasive and effective.

If you’re innocent, don’t plead guilty, and do not agree to a plea deal. Fight the charge with your lawyer’s help. If the case against you is strong and your conviction is certain, your attorney may negotiate a plea deal for a reduced charge and a reduced sentence.

Why Should You Select Goodwin Law Group?

The right defense lawyer can often make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal in a domestic violence case. How can you select a defense attorney who is knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated to fighting diligently and aggressively for the justice you need?

At Goodwin Law Group, criminal defense attorney Charles Goodwin has a remarkable record of success in domestic violence cases, winning acquittals or having charges reduced or dismissed. He represents clients in and near the Las Vegas Valley and throughout Southern Nevada.

If you’re charged with a crime of domestic violence – now or in the future – promptly contact the offices of Goodwin Law Group at 702-819-8242, and let Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Charles Goodwin put the law to work for you.