What Penalties are Typical for Domestic Violence?
If someone is facing a charge for domestic violence battery, it can be unclear what the penalties will be if that person is found guilty of the crime.
The State of Nevada does impose severe penalties for those found guilty of domestic violence crimes, and the convictions can be enhanced depending on how many offenses the defendant has in his or her history.
The following explores what those penalties include.
First Offense Within Seven Years
When this is the first offense the individual has had within seven years, the arrest will be treated as a misdemeanor. If the individual is convicted of battery domestic violence, a jail sentence of at least two days in jail is mandatory, but the maximum sentence can be up to six months in jail.
Most first offenses can involve some level of negotiation, and jail can be avoided, but in rare situations where it cannot, house arrest is a possibility. The individual will also be ordered to complete at least 48 to 120 hours of community service, which involves unpaid work done for a nonprofit organization that benefits the community.
In addition, the individual will be ordered to pay a fine, ranging from $200 to $1,000, plus administrative fees. The current minimum administrative fee is $345.
In some situations, the individual may also be required to attend domestic violence counseling. This counseling can last anywhere from six months to 12 months, and it normally involves weekly classes, in-person, for a length of around 90 minutes. The individual will also be responsible for the fees associated with the course.
If the drug and alcohol abuse also played a part in the battery, the judgment may also include an order to complete a drug and/or alcohol assessment, including any required follow-up treatment.
In addition, during the pendency of the case, it is likely the judge will order the defendant to “stay away” from the alleged victim until the case is closed, including no contact with that person directly or through third parties.
A “stay away” order is similar to a temporary protective order (TPO), although it is considered separate and distinct. Violating the “stay away” order can result in jail time.
The first offense may also have consequences if the person who is the defendant is an immigrant. If he or she is not a United States citizen, it is important that the person plead the case to a lesser charge than domestic violence or even less than a simple battery, to remain in the country.
Speak with a criminal attorney on how to best handle this specific issue given the significant consequences associated with it.
If the defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, he or she will also lose gun rights permanently under federal law. It may also not be enough to reduce the charge to a simple battery. To protect the defendant’s gun rights, it is best to have the charge reduced to disorderly conduct or even have the charged dismissed, if possible.
Second Offense within Seven Years
If the defendant has been arrested and is convicted of a second domestic violence battery offense within seven years, this offense will also be a misdemeanor, but the minimum sentencing requirements are increased.
The minimum jail sentence is increased to 10 days, with the maximum staying at six months. The minimum fine goes up to $500 to $1,000.
The court will also increase the community service requirement to a minimum of 100 hours with a maximum of 200 hours.
In addition to the other mentioned requirements regarding a “stay away” order, gun rights and immigration, the defendant will be required to complete 12 months of domestic violence counseling.
Third Offense within Seven Years
For a third offense within a seven-year period, the offense goes from a misdemeanor to a felony charge. As a felony, the offense is punishable by prison time ranging from one to five years.
Under Nevada law, the judge is not granted the authority to suspend a prison sentence in lieu of probation either. The intent of this requirement is to show how seriously the state takes domestic violence.
If the person is convicted of a third domestic violence battery offense within a seven-year period, he or she will be spending at least one year in Nevada State prison before he or she is eligible for release on parole.
Other penalties may also be assessed, including increased fines and community service. Similarly, the defendant will face the same penalties regarding gun rights and immigration if convicted.
Contact Us Today
If you are the victim of domestic violence or have been accused of committing a domestic violence battery, let Dan and his team go to work for you. Call 24/7 to schedule a free consultation: (702) 848-5000