Nevada “NRS Battery Domestic Violence” Laws
(Domestic Violence 200.485)
Article Provided By The Law Offices of Karen A. Connolly
Domestic violence can destroy families, social relationships and, professional reputations. If convicted of a battery domestic violence the offender may face severe financial and legal penalties. If the offender is involved in a child custody battle or divorce, allegations or a conviction for domestic violence can affect the outcome of the proceedings.
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What Constitutes NRS Battery Domestic Violence in Nevada?
According to NRS 33.018 and NRS 200.485, battery domestic violence is when an offender commits battery against or upon a:
- Former spouse;
- A person that the offender is related to by blood or marriage;
- A person that the offender is or was residing with;
- A person that the offender had or is having a dating relationship with;
- A person that the offender has a child with;
- A minor child of any of the above persons;
- The offender’s minor child; or
- Any other person that has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the offender’s minor child.
According to NRS 33.018, for purposes of constituting a battery domestic violence in Nevada, a dating relationship is the frequent, intimate association characterized by the expectation of affection or sex. Under NRS 200.481, a battery is the willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person. Examples of battery are hitting, pushing, biting, strangling, burning, poisoning, pulling on another’s clothes, pulling another’s hair, throwing an object at another person and hitting that person with the object, as well as many others.
NRS Domestic Violence Penalties
The severity of the punishment for a conviction of battery domestic violence in Nevada depends on the number of convictions, the length between convictions, and the means in how the battery was committed. Charges for battery domestic violence vary from misdemeanor charges to felony charges.
First Offense: According to NRS 200.485, a first offense conviction within seven years for battery domestic violence is a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of two days to six months imprisonment in a city or county jail. Offenders must also perform 48 to 120 hours of community service and pay a fine of $200 to $1,000.
Second Offense: According to NRS 200.485, a second offense conviction within seven years is a misdemeanor carrying a sentence of 10 days to six months imprisonment. Also, offenders will perform 100 to 200 hours of community service and pay a $500 to $1,000 fine.
Third or Subsequent Offenses: According to NRS 200.485, a third or subsequent offense within seven years is a category C felony in Nevada. If convicted of a category C felony a person will serve one to five years in a state prison and pay up to a $10,000 fine.
If a person commits battery domestic violence by strangulation it is a category C felony. If the offense is by strangulation a person will serve one to five years in a state prison and pay up to a $15,000 fine.
A person convicted of domestic violence may also have a restraining order issued against them. A temporary restraining order may last up to a month and an extended protective order may last up to one year.
Counseling for Battery Domestic Violence Offenders
It is important for offenders to get the proper counseling to get to the root of why the domestic violence is occurring. If convicted of battery domestic violence in Nevada the court can order mandatory counseling. The offender will be responsible for paying for the counseling. For the first offense within seven years a court will order mandatory weekly counseling sessions of one and a half hours per week for six months. For a second offense within seven years the counseling sessions will be for one and half hours per week for 12 months.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, regular alcohol abuse is one of the leading risk factors of domestic violence. The court may also order an offender to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program if it deems treatment appropriate for the offender. The offender will pay for treatment.
Children and Battery Domestic Violence
If the court determines a minor child needs counseling relating to the domestic violence the court can order the child to seek counseling through a child welfare service. The offender will be responsible for paying for the services provided by the child welfare agency to the extent that the offender is able to pay. Also, if a parent is convicted of domestic violence and then or after involved in a child custody battle, the court may rule it not in the best interest of the child for that parent to have custody given the parent’s past conviction.
No Pleas or Probation for a Battery Domestic Violence Conviction
A prosecutor cannot plead down a charge for battery domestic violence to a lesser charge, unless the prosecutor determines that probable cause cannot be proven. A court may not offer probation to an offender; however, a court may suspend a sentence if the court rules it appropriate, the offense was a misdemeanor, the offender serves the minimum sentence, the offender participates in a drug or alcohol treatment program or treatment program for domestic abusers, and anything else the court deems as appropriate.
Federal Crime for Domestic Violence
A person may also be subject to a federal crime for domestic violence if:
- The defendant traveled to or from Nevada or caused the victim to travel to or from Nevada in relation to the domestic violence; and
- The offender and victim are married, dating, or sexual partners.
A conviction of battery domestic violence can carry heavy penalties in Nevada and possible federal criminal charges. The consequences of a conviction can have long-term effects on the offender’s familial, social, and professional life. A person convicted of domestic violence will feel the effects on their time, money, and relationships. A thorough investigation should be conducted with any domestic abuse arrest to see if a defense to the domestic abuse charge exists.