Can You Go to Jail for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges

Let’s be honest, the term “Domestic Violence” evokes specific images and thoughts for many people. The assumption is that you are guilty of the offense no matter what.

States like Nevada have very strict laws when it comes to domestic violence charges.

If you are charged with domestic violence, you must consider it a serious offense even if it is considered a misdemeanor.

Domestic violence charges can follow you the rest of your life extending beyond the standard penalties associated with criminal offenses.

There is a stigma that comes with these charges that can keep you from gaining employment, getting an apartment or even owning a gun.

Just recently, the Supreme Court held up a law that says that a person charged and convicted of any domestic violence charge cannot own a firearm.

So if you are facing domestic violence charges, whether you think they are justified or not, the consequences can be severe and can affect your life in significant ways. You need to hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately to protect your rights and defend against the charges.

The Defenders is a criminal defense law firm in Las Vegas that specializes in domestic violence cases. Our team has years of experience and will fight for your rights, ensuring that you receive the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in Nevada must contain two elements.

  1. You and the victim are or were in a domestic relationship, and
  2. You committed battery against the alleged victim.

NRS 200.485 does not discriminate as to where the action took place, just that it took place.

In a lot of criminal cases, the district attorney (D.A.) will work with a defense attorney to reduce criminal charges down to a lesser offense as part of a plea agreement, but battery domestic violence is a special circumstance.

The prosecutors are prohibited from reducing charges or dropping the case unless there is insufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

A lot of times, the accuser or the victim who initially called the police will repent or does not want to press charges against the accused.

Prosecutors will charge the accused anyway and will continue with the case.

So even if you are just charged with this crime, it is imperative that you have experienced and aggressive legal counsel.

Since the case won’t likely be dropped and will move forward you need a strategic defense.

Jail and fines are not the only consequences of domestic violence charges.

Can I Go to Jail for Domestic Violence Charges

First-time domestic violence charges are often considered misdemeanors, leading many to expect just a slap on the wrist, maybe a fine, or community service. However, the actual consequences depend on the crime and its severity.

But can you go to jail for domestic violence charges? Yes, you can go to jail.

Also, the time of the charges plays a role in the sentence your given for example:

First Offense of Battery Domestic Violence in a 7 Year Period

  • $200-$1000 fine
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service
  • Domestic violence counseling at least 1.5 hours per week for 6 months
  • Jail time ranging from 2 days to 6 months, with the possibility of suspension upon completion of all other penalties.

Second Offense Within a 7 Year Period

  • $500-$1000
  • 100 to 200 hours of community service
  • Counseling of at least 1.5 hours per week for one year
  • 10 days minimum in jail or up to six months.

The Third Offense Within a 7 Year Period

  • Automatic category B felony charge even if the victim was not injured
  • 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison
  • $1000-$5000 fine
  • Note a felony conviction for domestic violence means that any future charges will be a felony charge with up to 15 years in prison and a $2000- $5000 fine.
  • Felony Domestic Violence conviction are eligible for probation

So, as you can see, you can go to jail for misdemeanor domestic violence charges from the first time you are charged.

Each time subsequently leads to more jail time and some really big prison sentences if convicted.

What Determines if You Go to Jail for Domestic Violence

There are always aggravating factors that come into play when someone is charged with a crime.

This is no difference in domestic violence cases.

If there are aggravating factors, this can affect the charges against you as well as the sentence you might receive.

For example, if the victim sustained serious bodily injury but no deadly weapon was used, the crime could go from a misdemeanor charge to a category B felony with 1 to 6 years in prison and a $1000 to $5000 fine.

Other examples include:

  1. If the victim was pregnant: If you know or should have known the victim was pregnant, the first offense is a gross misdemeanor with 364 days in jail and up to $2000 in fines.
  2. The case involved strangulation: If the victim was strangled but no serious bodily injury occurred or no deadly weapon was used it is still considered a category B felony with 1 to 5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  3. Use of a deadly weapon: If a deadly weapon was used to inflict unlawful physical force on another person and the victim sustained substantial bodily injury then this can be considered a category B felony with 2 to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  4. If a police officer has probable cause: If the officer believes you have committed battery on your domestic partner in the last 24 hours they have the right to take you into custody.
  5. Where you are in relation to your charges: Domestic violence charges like other offenses are progressive. Meaning, the first offense is usually the least amount of penalties and each subsequent charge there are more penalties including more jail time and even prison.

Other Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges

There are few things anyone charged with domestic violence should know.

These charges can affect the rest of your life in very negative ways. That’s why fighting them with an experienced legal team is essential.

A few things that will happen if you’re charged or convicted.

  1. There may be a restraining order placed against you. This means you can have no contact with the victim or in some cases children.
  2. You may lose custody or visitation to your children even if the case has not been resolved.
  3. You will lose the right to a own a firearm for life no matter if its a felony or misdemeanor conviction
  4. Domestic violence charges must remain on your record for 7 years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies.
  5. If you are here on a visa or work permit you may be deported even if the conviction is a misdemeanor.
  6. If you hold a professional license the state licensing board could discipline you separately for the charges. Even if not convicted, you could face losing your professional license. Teachers, lawyers and nurses are just a few professionals that require a license in Nevada.
  7. If you’re attending certain schools, your enrollment might be at risk. Additionally, prospective employment or housing might also be affected by criminal charges or convictions.

As you can see, jail time isn’t the only penalty you can face if charged or convicted of domestic violence.

These accusations can have far reaching consequences that can affect you for a lifetime.

Domestic violence charges carry a significant stigma, and people will perceive you differently if they know you’ve been charged or convicted.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Fight Domestic Violence Charges?

Many people hear the word misdemeanor and think it’s nothing.

Domestic violence charges are completely different from other charges.

Even if the victim doesn’t want to press charges, the state will.

Retaining a professional with experience in domestic violence cases like The Defenders increases your odds of beating the charges against you.

Hiring a private defense team assures that your case will be thoroughly investigated.

If you end up with a public defender your lawyer might not have the time or resources to even look at your case right before court.

Public defenders have loads of cases that keep them overworked.

When you hire a personal defense team, you are afforded more time to work your case since private attorneys are not motivated to settle for some plea bargain if the case can be won, like public defenders.

You’re not just in jeopardy of going to jail but losing your job or professional license.

Hiring the right lawyer allows you to pursue the best possible outcome in your domestic violence case.

If you have been charged with any form of domestic violence call The Defenders for a case review today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be charged with domestic violence if it’s my first offense?

Yes, domestic violence charges can happen on a first offense. Consequences include jail time, fines, restraining orders and loss of certain rights.

Can the victim drop charges against me?

No, once domestic violence charges have been filed by the state they cannot be dropped by the victim. Only the prosecutor can choose to dismiss the case.

Can I still be charged if my partner doesn’t want to press charges?

Yes, even if your partner does not want to or refuses to press charges, the state can still choose to prosecute you for domestic violence. Ultimately, it is up to the prosecutor whether or not to pursue a case.

What is considered a deadly weapon in domestic violence cases?

A deadly weapon can be any object that is used or intended to cause death or serious bodily harm. This can include firearms, knives, and even objects like baseball bats or heavy tools. The determination of a deadly weapon can also depend on the context and severity of use. So even if an object is not typically considered a deadly weapon, it could be classified as such in domestic violence cases if used to inflict harm. It is important to consult with your lawyer about the specifics of your case.

Can I still own a firearm after being convicted of domestic violence?

No, under federal law, anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges cannot legally own or possess firearms for the rest of their life. This includes any type of firearm, even hunting guns.

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