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Mandatory Arrest Law in NV Domestic Battery Cases

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Mandatory Arrest Law in NV Domestic Battery Cases


Domestic battery, also known as domestic violence, is one of the most charged crimes in Nevada. The main reason why is because the state has a “mandatory arrest law.”

According to NRS 171.137, if a police officer has probable cause – unless mitigating circumstances are present – to believe someone has committed domestic battery within the past 24 hours, the officer must arrest the alleged primary aggressor. Law enforcement officials do not need to obtain a warrant to make a domestic battery arrest.

A person who is arrested based on this law cannot post bail for at least 12 hours. On the other hand, if the police ultimately do not arrest anyone, the alleged victim can still pursue criminal charges against the alleged offender by requesting the prosecution file a criminal complaint.

Although domestic abuse is a serious issue in our country, many disputes arise in the heat of the moment. There are cases where alleged victims express immediate regret after the incident and request law enforcement officials to drop the charges and move on with their lives.

Unfortunately, recanting domestic battery allegations does not impact whether a case goes forward or not. The District Attorney’s Office has the authority to dismiss the case.

Prosecutors often consider the alleged victim’s initial allegations to be facts. When someone recants their statement, prosecutors may suspect that the person has ulterior motives, such as reconciling the relationship between him/her and the alleged offender, being afraid of testifying at trial, maintaining financial support because the alleged offender is the breadwinner of the family, or the alleged offender’s friends and family may seek vengeance against the alleged victim.

While facing criminal charges for recanting does not commonly occur, it is possible to be charged with “making a false police report” for falsely accusing someone of domestic battery. Making a false police report is a misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of no more than six months and a maximum fine of $1,000.

If you have been accused of domestic violence in Reno, contact the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover at (775) 502-1575 today and request a free consultation to learn how we can help you.

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