Domestic Violence: How Firms Like Adras and Altig Can Help With Your Defense

There are times when even the closest of loved ones end up fighting and what seems like a simple argument devolves into a complicated legal battle, especially if neighbors and the police get involved. Because domestic violence falls under criminal law, it need not be necessary for one of the couples to file or continue pressing charges. Prosecutors also have the right to pursue criminal action independently. 

As such, it can go a long way if you know the intricacies of domestic violence law and how you can plead your defense if you find yourself in a situation where you’re facing domestic violence charges. Dealing with such matters is a lot more than just hiring a domestic violence charges lawyer NRS 200.485. You should be aware of your rights and the intricacies involved in domestic violence law.

Being charged with domestic battery does not mean you would not have any strong arguments for your defense. At times, the matter escalates because the police do not hear both sides of the story and one of the two people involved ends up taking the brunt of the matter. A decent lawyer would be able to plead your case to the court and tell your side of the story while navigating all the legal intricacies involved.

But before we dive further into the benefits of hiring a lawyer for domestic violence charges, we will first go into specifics regarding the law, the attached penalties, and the consequences of such matters. This will give you an understanding of the legal framework involved so you’re not completely clueless when you go see a lawyer.


What Falls Under Domestic Violence?

Under the Nevada Revised Statute § 200.485, domestic battery or battery domestic violence occurs when the alleged victim is a spouse or partner, your child, or blood relative and there has been a willful and unlawful use of force or violence against such person. Acts that would be considered as battery include punching or hitting, pushing, shoving, slapping, strangling, choking, grabbing, burning, throwing objects, biting, poisoning, and holding someone against their will.

As you can see, there isn’t a setlist of actions that would constitute battery or domestic violence and the situation needs to be assessed. When discussing the matter with your lawyer, give him all the details so he can properly assess whether your actions would count as battery and whether the other individual involved was indeed a blood relative, partner, child, or wife. A detailed account of the events might also help your lawyer in assessing strategy on defense.

One thing to remember is that you should never speak to the police until and unless you have a lawyer present with you. Anything that you say can be used as evidence against you and it might harm your defense. So be sure to have a lawyer in the room when talking to the police.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

Nevada does not take domestic violence lightly and the same is reflected in the penalties prescribed under the law. For first time offenders, the penalties include a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 6 months in jail, a minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 120 hours of community service, a minimum of $200, and a maximum of $1000 fine plus assessments, weekly domestic violence counseling sessions for up to 12 months (at the defendant’s personal expense), participation in a drug or alcohol treatment program (if such factors were involved in the event), and costs for counseling it the victims are underage.

When it comes to second offenses (within 7 years), the penalties are pretty much the same with the minimum thresholds being somewhat changed. Penalties include a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of 6 months in jail, a minimum of 100 hours and a maximum of 200 hours of community service, a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1000 fine plus assessments, weekly domestic violence counseling sessions for a minimum of 12 months (at the defendant’s personal expense) and with no cap on maximum, participation in a drug or alcohol treatment program, and costs for counseling it the victims are underage.

If there is a third offense within 7 years, then the matter goes from being a misdemeanor crime to being a Category C felony. Moreover, if the case involves bodily harm, strangulation, or use of a deadly weapon, then the penalties can get much worse, regardless of whether it’s your first offense or third offense. Moreover, not only is the law reflective of how seriously Nevada state law considers domestic violence but prosecutors also always take a strong stance in this regard.

Considering the strong stance of the law and prosecutors, along with the significant penalties that have been prescribed, it would be prudent to speak to a lawyer if you find yourself charged with domestic violence and assess your options. Speaking to a lawyer will also allow you to know what your options are in terms of defense, which is what we touch upon now.

Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence cases are often convoluted and the bulk of evidence comes from a “he said, she said” approach. Anyone having experience in these issues understands that the matter can get out of hand, with accusations flying merely because it was the heat of the moment or an exaggeration of facts leading to complicated legal troubles. Often it can also be an incorrect interpretation on the part of the police (if they get involved) which leads to arrests and legal complications.

Therefore, the best defense happens to be a good offense and your lawyer will be looking to poke holes in the story put forward by the prosecution. Your lawyer will look to cast doubt on whatever account is presented by the prosecution. Moreover, if you’re hiring an experienced law firm like Adras and Altig, then the strategy will also include strengthening your account of the story. Therefore, expect long sittings with your lawyer where they’ll ask you all manner of detailed questions.

These discussions will cover whether the incident was intentional or an accident, if there were injuries, if 911 was called to the scene, whether self-defense or the defense of a child played a part, who started the fight, is there pre-existing animosity (often seen after a separation or divorce), if alcohol and drugs played a role, any mental health issues, and alibis. Your lawyer might also ask you for pictures of the scenery if you’ve taken any at the time and eyewitness accounts.

Taking all this information in hand, your lawyer will start preparing a strategy and will look to poke holes in the account put forward by the prosecution. Any conflicting facts in both accounts would also work in your favor as it would cast doubt on the allegations made by the alleged victim. If the court sees that the prosecution’s account is shaky and prone to questioning and doubt, there are chances the matter might be dismissed before it goes to a full trial.

Is Dropping Charges An Option?

Often the person who files a domestic violence complaint ends up regretting their decision to do so and wants to drop charges. However, falls under a breach of law that would be considered as capital crimes, which means that the withdrawal of charges would not be at the discretion of the alleged victim, but rather the prosecution. 

If the prosecutor wishes to continue with the matter, they may do so and not drop any charges if they feel the case is strong enough. Prosecutors can also call on the alleged victim to testify as the matter comes into the realm of the prosecution and the law affords them the right to call in someone to testify, including the alleged victim.

Therefore, a domestic violence charge needs to be taken seriously, especially if the matter is no longer just restricted to the two people who are involved in the dispute. Having a lawyer on board, therefore, becomes necessary at times, especially if the prosecution is not willing to listen to reason and wishes to continue with the dispute.

Sealing Domestic Violence Records

If you’ve been convicted of domestic violence and have served your sentence, there is a possibility of sealing the record, depending on the exact charge you’ve been convicted for and provided the requisite period has passed following your sentence, including any parole or probation following the sentence.

If you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, then you’ll need to wait for 7 years following your sentence. If you’ve been convicted of a Category C felony domestic violence charge, then need to wait for 12 years following your sentence. Finally, if you’ve been convicted of a Category B felony domestic violence charge, then need to wait for 15 years following your sentence.

Sealing records is also a tricky place to navigate and it would serve you well to have a lawyer coordinating everything and representing you in all matters. You’ll need to deal with the court offices, prosecutor’s offices, and the police when getting your records sealed. Having a lawyer would expedite the process and ensure that your rights are being protected.

Benefits of a Lawyer In Domestic Violence Cases

The foremost advantage of hiring a lawyer for a domestic violence case is the expertise that comes to the table. A trained and qualified lawyer will be able to explain the legal intricacies involved in domestic violence cases and assess your specific case from an expert’s point of view. The advice you get on your chances will be much more informed and accurate if coming from a trained and professional lawyer.

Furthermore, a lawyer does not just stop giving you advice. Everything to do with your domestic violence case will be handled by your lawyer. From dealing with the police all the way to the prosecution and even handling procedural matters of the courts. A task such as this one is too monumental for the layperson and chances are you would end up being dominated by the system.

Moreover, from a practical standpoint, it makes more sense to let a lawyer handle the intricacies. You already have enough stress with having to face potential jail time and a possible breaking down of a relationship. Being in such a state can result in compromising decisions to your detriment and having a lawyer around not only reduces your stress but also ensures that decisions made by you are well-informed and calculated.

Finally, it is never a good idea to represent yourself in a court of law. It looks really cool in the movies and might make for an epic story if successful, but seldom does it yield positive results. One misstep or one wrong statement and you’ll see your freedom being taken away from you and being convicted of a serious crime. Not to mention the social backlash you would be subject to when everyone finds out.

So, take the prudent approach and hire a lawyer if you find yourself facing charges for domestic violence and save yourself from a significant amount of time and effort.


As you can see from the above, dealing with domestic violence charges is not a joking matter. The repercussions of a successful conviction can end up being too costly for one to bear, both emotionally and financially. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in such a situation, be sure to consult with a lawyer immediately and assess your options.

Remember, you need to be sure of your account of the story and ensure it holds up to a strict and rigorous line of questioning, whether it’s your own lawyer asking the questions or the prosecution doing it. Be sure to ask your lawyer any and all questions you have on your mind. You’ve paid your lawyer to represent you and that means your lawyer answering any questions you have or addressing any of your concerns.