Domestic violence remains to be one of the more serious and pressing legal issues that Nevada courts have to deal with today. Due to a host of factors which may include career, monetary, or personal problems, disgruntled spouses take out all their frustrations with their partners, physically or verbally, or in many cases, both. Newer interpretations of the law also covers violence and abuse between people who are in a non-legally binding relationship, like two people going out on a date.
The State of Nevada will actively pursue any case of domestic violence that is filed in any of their courts, even if the victim fails or refuses to cooperate with the authorities. To this end, tougher laws against domestic violence were enacted, with severe consequences even for a first-time conviction. These laws were also meant to give a better interpretation of what constitutes as domestic violence.
Common Enhanced Domestic Violence Cases
Law defines domestic violence as using willful and unlawful force against another person, who may either be the perpetrator’s current or former spouse, blood relation, person currently dating, minor currently under the perpetrator’s care, or the legal guardian of a person that is related to the perpetrator. Like many serious felonies, it is enhanceable, with even more dire legal consequences for repeat offenses. Domestic violence charges also become enhanced through various kinds of related offenses committed during the act that make the charge more severe.
Battery by strangulation
Battery with strangulation means that the defendant, in addition to physically hitting the victim, also resorted to impending the victim’s breathing. This is usually carried out by hand, although the popular misconception is that it can only be done with an item wrapped around the neck, such as rope. This is one of the more fatal forms of domestic violence, with unconsciousness settling in within seconds, and possible death within just a few minutes. It is also one of the more rarely implicated forms, as few medical and legal experts look into it as an important part of a domestic violence case. Recent Nevada legislation aims to fix that problem, however.
Battery causing substantial bodily harm
Domestic violence often comes with the consequence of injury. However, when an act of domestic violence results in substantial bodily harm, the situation has just become a lot more serious. Committing an act of battery with substantial bodily harm means that the victim has suffered severe physical pain that has lasted for a protracted period, and may or may not result in the temporary loss or impairment of a body part. This particular charge can be further enhanced if it was found that the defendant committed the act while using a deadly weapon to physically harm the victim.
Coercion in itself is not an enhanced domestic violence case, per se. However, it becomes significant in a domestic violence case if the act was committed to conceal the crime. For example, the defendant allegedly coerced the victim to avoid calling 911 and ask for help from authorities. Typically, this would involve verbal threats directed against the victim or someone close to him or her. In more serious attempts of coercion, the perpetrator may directly threaten the victim with a deadly weapon, or restrain the victim to prevent him or her from seeking help.
Further Notes about Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a complicated matter. To some, what constitutes as domestic violence can be difficult to point out, making it possible to charge a person for it. They may be unaware that what they are doing is already considered domestic violence, or are only seen by other people as doing so.
Self-defense and lawful resistance
At times, a person may be forced to enact violence upon another, if they feel their safety is under their threat. Acting in self-defense is not a crime in itself, and the law protects this as a person’s fundamental right as long as he or she does this within legal limits. Some people can view this as an act of domestic violence, however, mostly due to a miscommunication between the two people involved. Other unscrupulous people may take advantage of this, twisting the narrative to turn an act of self-defense into a domestic violence case.
No-show victims and material witness summons
Many people who have suffered from multiple cases of physical abuse at the hands of their partner eventually suffer from serious post-traumatic stress. At times, this has caused them to avoid showing up in court proceedings related to their case, due to the stress of recollecting their experiences. This usually leads to the prosecution requesting the summoning of material witnesses to corroborate or deny the specifics of the crime in place of the witness. Legal experts have questioned this particular method in the past, however, due to certain circumstances.
Civil lawsuit implications
Nevada law states conclusively that criminal conviction in a domestic violence already acts as irrefutable evidence that the defendant must pay reparations to the victim. In other words, a person convicted for committing domestic violence acts will not go through a typical civil lawsuit procedure should the victim pursue for damages, but will instead have to pay the amount prescribed by the civil law judge. This can be troublesome, especially as it still covers people who entered a plea of no contest during their plea hearing for the case.
Domestic violence is a serious legal matter that may catch people off-guard, unless they have a better understanding of what entails a domestic violence charge. Be informed about Nevada’s domestic violence laws, and avoid being falsely accused of committing an act of domestic violence in the future.