Facing a domestic violence allegation is one of the most intimidating experiences a person can face. The consequences go far beyond criminal penalties. They can include a loss of close relationships or even a strong career.
To protect yourself from these life-altering punishments, you should learn as much as possible about the allegations against you. This knowledge includes preparing for court proceedings. You must understand certain aspects, such as the types of evidence prosecutors use in these cases.
This article is here to help you understand what those pieces look like. Read on to gain crucial insight to help you fight against domestic assault accusations.
Domestic Assault Law in Nevada
The state defines domestic violence as the intentional infliction of physical harm, emotional abuse, or intimidation by an intimate partner, family member, or household member.
That definition is broad, as it could include someone you briefly dated or a roommate with whom you have no outside relationship.
Domestic assault includes hitting, slapping, kicking, or any other form of physical aggression. It can also include threats of violence or intimidation.
This type of evidence can take many forms, including photographs of injuries, medical documentation, and DNA samples.
Strong physical evidence can be incredibly effective in a domestic abuse allegation. It can convince a judge or jury that tangible proof of the alleged harm exists.
However, physical evidence is not always available or reliable. This is particularly true in cases where a victim has no obvious injuries, or no physical evidence is left behind.
Your attorney could challenge the admissibility of the evidence. For instance, the evidence could have been obtained through an illegal search.
Your lawyer could also present alternative explanations for the evidence. For example, if there are bruises on your partner's arm, they may have been caused by an innocent accident.
Witness testimonies serve to corroborate the victim's account. Witnesses can be anyone who observed the abuse. This includes family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. They may have seen or heard the abuse occur, noticed visible signs of abuse on the victim, or witnessed the perpetrator's behavior before or after the incident.
Prosecutors use testimony to add credibility to the victim's statements.
Defense lawyers often question the credibility of the witness. This can involve pointing out inconsistencies in the testimony or uncovering a motive for lying.
Attorneys can also present physical evidence that contradicts the testimony, such as video, audio recordings, communication records, or medical reports.
Your lawyer may also be able to provide a solid alibi that shows you were not present when the crime occurred. This makes the witness appear unreliable.
This type includes any documentation, such as police reports or medical records, that indicates past incidents of abuse.
Historical documentation can support a victim's claims by providing a timeline of events and showing a pattern of behavior.
Prosecutors must be careful when using this evidence. Presenting these records in court makes them part of the public record, so your accusers must pay close attention to legal and ethical issues.
Your lawyer may challenge the authenticity and reliability of the evidence. Doing so could mean arguing that specific documents are hearsay.
Attorneys may suggest that such documents were created under duress, and they are, therefore, unreliable.
Defenders could also present evidence that undermines the credibility of the record. They may question the documentation itself, claiming that the information is out of context. The documents could also contain inconsistencies that undermine the accuser’s account.
Domestic Assault Penalties in Nevada
Under Nevada law, domestic assault is typically classified as "battery domestic violence." This crime can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the details.
For misdemeanor battery domestic violence, the penalties can include up to 6 months in jail, fines of up to $1,000, and completing a domestic violence counseling program. Additionally, the court could enforce other conditions such as probation, community service, or restraining orders.
If the offense is charged as a felony, the penalties are more severe. Felony domestic battery can result in imprisonment ranging from 1 to 20 years, fines of up to $10,000, and the completion of a domestic violence counseling program. The court may also impose additional restrictions, such as probation and restraining orders.
Legally, abuse and assault are not always the same thing. Domestic abuse includes verbal and emotional abuse, deceit and gaslighting, isolation, controlling behaviors, manipulation, etc.
Many of these behaviors, though immoral, are not necessarily illegal. Constantly belittling your partner, for instance, would not lead to an arrest.
Allegations of non-violent domestic abuse can still lead to legal consequences. Courts can order restraining orders against alleged abusers, giving the supposed victim a larger share of the marital assets in a divorce. Domestic abuse allegations can still greatly impact your life, and you should defend yourself against these accusations.
Every citizen is entitled to a strong defense against domestic violence allegations, and Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover is here to help. If you are facing these allegations, contact us today by reaching out online or calling our office at (775) 502-1575.