WHAT IS DOMESTIC BATTERY: Charges, Defences and Sentencing

What is domestic battery

Domestic violence battery charges are frequently the most disruptive and emotionally difficult to fight. It can lead to marital counseling, domestic violence counseling, anger management, alcohol classes, restraining orders, and even jail time, even when the parties do not want such outcomes. When the police charge someone with domestic violence, state prosecutors will almost certainly pursue the case.
These charges can have an impact on both your personal and professional life, particularly if you face incarceration in county jail, city jail, or state prison.

What Is Battery Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence battery is a charge that falls under the category of domestic violence. It is the most common charge in domestic violence cases. Because the legal definition of “battery” is so broad, a fight between spouses that drew the attention of police and others would almost certainly be considered battery. A battery is defined in NRS 200.481 as any willful or unwillful use of force or violence against another person. The victim and accused were in a domestic relationship when the accused committed battery against the victim, according to NRS 200.485, the battery domestic violence law. When a battery charge falls under the category of domestic violence, it is referred to as domestic battery or battery domestic violence. With little evidence to prove who is right or wrong, a domestic battery case ultimately comes down to the victim’s credibility and whether or not they are telling the truth!

Domestic violence

Domestic violence is a broad term that encompasses many elements, including domestic battery. It is the intentional use of force against someone with whom you have a domestic relationship. It is also a crime to use one’s power, coercion, and violence to control another person. The accuser of domestic violence is someone who makes physical or psychological threats, or even acts against the victim. Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Restriction Orders For a Domestic Battery

It is ideal for victims of domestic violence to obtain a restraining order against the accuser to prevent their presence around them. The accuser must stay away from the victim and must not have any firearms. If an accuser violates a restraining order, it is usually a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

If you are charged with domestic violence or domestic battery, your life could be turned upside down. Also, if you are charged with domestic violence, you could lose your job, family, friends, and freedom. Although domestic violence or domestic battery charge can be fought, they can be extremely difficult to win and overcome.

domestic battery

Procedures to Follow Following a Domestic Battery Charges

If you have been arrested for battery resulting in domestic violence, there are some important things you can do to protect your rights. Of course, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. You can also take the following steps in addition to hiring a lawyer:

#1. Photograph any injuries you may have sustained during the altercation.

If you want to prove to the court that you acted in self-defense, photos of your injuries could help. Even if the police took pictures during the arrest, bruises usually darken over time, so photograph your injuries over several days, even if they heal. Remember to give the photographs to your defense attorney.

#2. Never defy a protective order (also referred to as a restraining order)

A restraining order will most likely be issued following your domestic violence arrest. In general, the restraining order will prevent you from contacting the alleged victim and from returning to the home, even if you need to retrieve your belongings. Do not violate the restraining order’s terms.

#3. Request that your attorney files a motion to modify the restraining order.

A restraining order is essentially a no-contact order imposed to protect the victim. You are not permitted to contact the victim in any way, including by phone or in person. If you need to talk to the alleged victim about children, finances, or other important issues, it is best to have your attorney file a motion to allow you moderate contact.

Most importantly, even if the alleged victim attempts to contact you, you must avoid violating the restraining order by having no contact with the victim under any circumstances.

Arrested on False Domestic Violence Allegations

Surprisingly, many arrests are made based on false allegations of domestic violence. The following are some of the reasons for arrests based on false allegations:

  • When the police are called out for domestic violence, they expect to make an arrest. Even if the alleged victim does not wish to be prosecuted, the police will usually make an arrest for safety reasons. Typically, males are arrested, but females are increasingly being arrested for domestic violence.
  • Law enforcement officers are confronted with conflicting stories and must quickly determine who the “primary aggressor” was in the situation.
  • When the police tell the parties that both of them are going to jail, the alleged victim exaggerates claims in order to avoid being arrested.

Strategies for Criminal Defense

There are numerous approaches to dealing with a domestic battery charge, many of which can help to have a case dropped or reduced prior to trial. The following are some of the more common defense strategies:

#1. Representation by an Attorney

It is impossible to overstate the importance of hiring an attorney in a Domestic Violence Battery case. With an attorney on the case, the chances of a charge being dropped, amended or diverted increase significantly.

Hiring private counsel indicates to the prosecutor that the defendant intends and is determined to fight the case, and will not accept boilerplate offers routinely presented to the Office of the Public Defender.

Furthermore, a private attorney provides the defendant with the knowledge and experience required to effectively contest the charge. This improves outcomes while weakening the prosecution’s resolve to pursue the matter in the first place.

#2. Early Discussion

One of the primary benefits of hiring a private attorney is the ability to contact the prosecution as soon as possible. The timely presentation of factual defenses, legal issues, and mitigating circumstances can have a significant impact on the State’s decision to pursue a domestic battery charge. It conveys competence and resolves while also establishing a rapport that may be required in future negotiations.

#3. Interacting With the Victim

Domestic Battery charges are most effectively addressed early in the case before formal charges are filed. Even if a ‘no-contact’ order has been issued, an attorney can contact the alleged victim to determine whether or not the charge should be pursued. The attorney can then go over the steps that can be taken to request that the charges be dropped.

To avoid prosecution, the State Attorney’s Office will usually require the victim to complete a drop-charge affidavit, take a course, or meet with a Domestic Violence advocate. The victim may also contact the prosecutor directly.

However, in all cases, the decision to prosecute rests solely with the Office of the State Attorney. A victim’s input is frequently persuasive, but it is never decisive.

#4. Attending the ‘No Contact’ Order

In domestic battery cases where the alleged victim does not want to press charges, the parties should immediately seek to modify any No Contact Orders imposed by the court. This is accomplished by filing a Motion to Modify Release Conditions.

The modification or lifting of a ‘no contact’ order not only allows the parties to resume contact and further coordinate their efforts to have the domestic battery charges dropped, but it also sends a signal that the alleged victim is uncooperative and opposes any further prosecution.

#5. Voluntarily Seeking Help

In many cases, a defendant and/or victim should take the initiative and voluntarily enroll in counseling or other psychological or substance abuse services. Voluntary participation in such programs can demonstrate a level of responsibility on the part of the parties. It can change the prosecutor’s perceptions of a case and the defendant, and increase the likelihood of a non-criminal resolution, such as Pretrial Intervention.

#6. Pre-trial Motions

When a domestic violence charge cannot be resolved in the early stages of the case, pretrial motions can provide additional impetus for the charge to be dropped or reduced. Motions to ‘Stand Your Ground,’ Motions in Limine, and Motions for Court Ruling are some common examples.

Stand Your Ground provides the accused with the possibility of prosecutorial immunity. Motion in Limine and Motion for Court Ruling can show the prosecutor the factual and evidentiary flaws in his or her case. This could help with negotiations and discourage further litigation.

#7. Readiness for Trials

Battery-Domestic Violence prosecutions frequently lead to a trial. As a result, for the duration of the case, both the defendant and the attorney must demonstrate resolve and trial readiness. In some cases, simply being ready, willing, and able to go to trial can play a significant role in having a charge dropped, reduced, or diverted.

Is Domestic Battery the Same as Intentional Infliction of Corporal Injury?

While intentional infliction of corporal injury is a crime similar to domestic battery, California law treats the offense differently.

A person commits this offense if he willfully inflicts bodily harm on an intimate partner, according to Penal Code 273.5.

The main distinction between this offense and domestic battery is that intentional infliction of corporal injury requires the defendant to actually injure the alleged victim.

PC 273.5 is a wobbler offense, which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The offense is punishable by:

  • significant jail time, and/or
  • Fines of up to $10,000 are possible.

Sentencing

If the defendant is convicted of domestic battery, the judge will determine the appropriate sentence. However, before doing so, the victim will be given the opportunity to speak to the court about the defendant and the impact of the crime on the victim.

Penalties for the First Offense

  • A minimum of two days in the Washoe County Jail, but no more than six months.
  • A minimum of 48 hours of community service, but no more than 120 hours.
  • A fine of at least $200 plus assessments, but no more than $1,000 plus assessments.
  • Participation in weekly domestic violence counseling sessions lasting at least 12 hours per week for a period of no less than 6 months and no more than 12 months, at the defendant’s expense.
  • A domestic violence assessment fee of $35.

Penalties for a Second Offense Within Seven Years B.

  • A minimum of 10 days in the Washoe County Jail, but no more than 6 months.
  • A minimum of 100 hours of community service, but no more than 200 hours.
  • Minimum fine of $500 plus assessments, with a maximum fine of $1,000 plus assessments.
  • Participation in weekly domestic violence counseling sessions for a minimum of 12 hours per week for a minimum of 12 months. This will be at the defendant’s expense.
  • A domestic violence assessment fee of $35.
  • Penalties for the third offense within seven years
  • A category C felony punishable by probation or imprisonment in the Nevada State Prison. Lasts for a period of not less than one year nor more than five years.
  • A maximum fine of $10,000.

Domestic Battery Charges Sealing or Expunging

A person who commits an act of domestic violence battery or any other domestic-related crime of violence, as defined in Florida Statutes Section 741.28, is ineligible to have his or her record sealed or expunged, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.

In other words, if you plead guilty to any domestic violence charge, you will have a criminal record for the rest of your life. This rule is without exception.

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