DefinitionIn Nevada, domestic violence is legally taken as a violent confrontation that occurs between family members or between people who live together or between people in a dating relationship. It can happen between a father and daughter/son, mother and daughter/son, an adult child and elderly parent, but it most often occurs between a man and a woman living together, married or not. Sometimes weapons are used, sometimes property is damaged, but most often the physical violence increases in frequency and level over time. Domestic violence has many forms, including physical aggression or assault like hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse, as in neglect of spousal or parental duties; and economic deprivation. Domestic violence is not limited to obvious physical violence. Domestic violence can also mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment, and stalking.
Generally, if you are a victim of domestic violence and the battery upon you did not involve a weapon such as a knife or gun or your injuries did not result in permanent physical damage to you, then the crime against you is classified as a misdemeanor. The maximum possible penalty for a misdemeanor is $1,000.00 fine and/or 180 days in jail. Misdemeanors that occur within the city of Las Vegas are prosecuted by the City Attorney’s Office. On the other hand, batteries with weapons or serious injury are felonies. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office, prosecutes all felony cases and any misdemeanor cases that occur outside of the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City and Mesquite. Domestic violence is a serious problem that has been happening for centuries. In the United States each year it affects millions of people. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of employment or educational level, race or ethnic background, religion, marital status, physical ability, age, or sexual orientation. If you are being abused by your partner, you may feel confused, afraid, angry and/or trapped. All of these emotions are normal responses to abuse. You may also blame yourself for what is happening. But no matter what others might say, you are never responsible for your partner’s abusive actions. Batterers choose to be abusive. No one deserves to be battered. If you, or for that matter, anyone you know or care about, have been physically injured, threatened, raped, harassed or stalked, you can report these crimes to the police. Criminal charges may lead to the abuser being arrested and possibly imprisoned. Even if you don’t want to press criminal charges, you can file for a civil court order that directs your partner to stay away from you. In many states restraining/ protective orders can also evict your partner from your home, grant support or child custody, or ban him/her from having weapons. In Clark County, getting a restraining order issued against someone is fairly easy. Sometimes all it takes is the filing of an application form and paying of the prescribed fees. If charges have been pressed anyway, as when the police have been called by your neighbors and they have to make an arrest, you will only have to testify in court if you receive a subpoena ordering you to appear in court to testify in a trial. You are not the one who filed charges and therefore it is not your call anymore to have them dropped. City Attorney Office policy and Nevada Revise Statute guidelines prohibit dismissal of the case unless the prosecutor is unable to prove in court the defendant guilty of committing the crime.